The Baby Boom generation is like a huge elephant walking through the economic, social, and psychological landscape of America, says Neal Slafsky, a financial planner in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., citing an analogy popularized by Ken Dychtwald, a national expert on aging. "And if you're marketing to them, you have two choices: You can wait until the elephant passes you by and shoot arrows at its butt-or you can get out in front and dig a big hole."As president of Capital Planning Group, Slafsky is among many in the industry who view technology as the heavy equipment that financial services firms can use to dig that hole to capture Baby Boomers' retirement assets-assets that Conning Research & Consulting reports were $11 trillion in 2001 (see chart, page 18).

In an industry that depends upon advisors and agents to distribute its products, insurers that equip producers with technology that enables them to provide advice, service and products more efficiently, and to meet the needs of Baby-Boomer retirees, will win the battle, industry experts say.

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