Lifestyle segmentation of older Koreans: a longitudinal comparison of segments and life satisfaction
Purpose Aging is a global phenomenon for many countries, and South Korea has become the fastest aging country in the world. The purpose of this study is to identify and validate a representative typology of older Koreans based on their lifestyle and value orientations. This study also makes a longitudinal comparison of these segments in two waves using similar survey data collected in 2009 and 2017 and examines any meaningful changes that occurred during the periods. Design/methodology/approach Using survey data collected from 750 older adults living in four major cities in Korea, this study conducted factor and cluster analysis to identify lifestyle segmentation of elderly Koreans. Both descriptive and mean comparison analyses are followed to characterize the segments with relevant demographic and behavioral variables. In addition, this study makes a longitudinal comparison of these segments in two waves (2009 and 2017) and examines any meaningful changes that occurred during the periods. Findings Six distinctive lifestyle segments of elderly Koreans are identified. The longitudinal comparison reveals some changes that occurred during the period. The level of importance of values and things to own has been declined during the period on most of the aspects, which can be interpreted that older Koreans become more realistic and practical. The level of life satisfaction between the two periods turned out to be similar. However, satisfaction in material comfort and health has been improved during the period, which means that the perception of their financial and physical aspects has been improved over the years. Originality/value First, based on Tempest et al.'s three grey discontinuity framework (2002), the segmentation model provides comprehensive coverage of psychological transitions experienced by older people due to economic, physical and mental discontinuities with age. Second, this might be the first longitudinal study to examine the changes in segmentation over time in terms of the lifestyle of older adults. Practically, the findings of this study provide useful insights for policymakers in developing aging-related policies as well as for marketers who are interested or currently doing business in Korea or Asian consumer markets.
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