Seniors are Smart Buyers

English: Outdoor practice in Beijing's Temple ...
English: Outdoor practice in Beijing's Temple
of Heaven. Polski: Ćwiczenia taijiquan
w Pekinie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Alan Knight

Many have a very stereotypical view of seniors, especially when it comes to marketing.  The idea that they are doddering, out-of-touch, tight-fisted, grumpy, miserly, narrow-minded, and set-in-their-ways has been statistically proven false.  Seniors today are generally healthier, in touch, computer savvy, and very active.  They even carry cutting-edge, hand-held mobile devices. They take classes in Tai Chi or Tuscan cooking with other adults, half their age or younger.  They shop, read, socialize and travel.  Some even work part-time, often in new, challenging fields.  Countless seniors can do what they want, and because they have the time and money, they do just about everything younger adults do.

Joe Marconi, in his book, Future Marketing:  Targeting Seniors, Boomers, and Generations X and Y, writes:  “Many older folks strive to squeeze the most they can out of every moment of their lives.  They want to be active, independent, involved, busy, on the scene, online, traveling, dancing, experiencing and discovering all forms of entertainment.

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According to data compiled by the Administration of Aging, nearly half of all households headed by older Americans (65+) in 2001, had incomes of $35,000 or more.  And in 15.6 percent of senior households the number is above $75,000.  A generation ago, one in four people age 65 or older lived in poverty.  Today, it's fewer than one in ten.  Maddy Dychtwald, one of the nation's leading authorities on generational marketing, examines the tremendous reversal of fortune in her book, Cycles:   How We Will Live, Work, and Buy.  “During the past half century, this group has gone from being the poorest segment of society to being the richest through a combination of saving, investing, pension programs, and the windfall profits from rising home costs“, says Dychwald.  Eighty percent are homeowners, and three-quarters of them have paid off their mortgages.

How much do they spend?  On average senior households manage to spend a hefty $30,000 a year, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics 
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Consumer Expenditure survey.  “The seniors group has by far the greatest percentage of those who have achieved financial and professional success, and who can stop at a clothing or department store, cosmetics boutique or fine jewelry counter and buy without guilt and without compromising the family budget,” says Marconi.  And while the two-year slump in the stock market cut a deep swath in their investment income, it now seems that seniors curtailed their spending only marginally.

So, how do we define the term, “senior?”  When does a person reach that point?  The AARP, the nation's largest senior-advocacy group, starts their recruiting when people turn 50.  Government agencies define “older population” as starting at 55; others 65.  And because the first of the boomer generation is just now inching toward senior-hood, one market research firm divides the senior-line at age 57.

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Now, all that being said, according to leading marketing authorities, age doesn't matter.  The senior lifestyle, not the number of birthdays, defines them as consumers.  Dychtwald makes a salient point in writing, “Maybe you can call them seniors, but you can't assign them all to the same category...Age is no longer the ultimate definer of who we are, what we're doing, how we feel on the inside, what group we're a member of, or the products and services we demand from the marketplace.”

More and more seniors today are looking ahead to needs within the near and distant future.  Where does their money go? 

1.    Those with children and grandchildren are spending money on their families.  If financial resources are available they help to take care of family. Many grown children often have money problems of their own.  It may be the result of losing a job or the need for a down payment on a house.  The older generation learned early the need for saving and planning ahead. Seniors also enjoy doing things for their grand kids.   In the present time, they enjoy buying the latest toys, although they do prefer to buy something that will last.  In the long term, many grandparents are helping with planning ahead for the college of their grandchildren.  There are many savings plans available just for that.
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2.    Most seniors try to pay off all the debt they can.  That includes their mortgage.  Nothing brings more satisfaction than the accomplishment of paying off a house or a car, which represents the two greatest household expenses.
3.    Another area where money is well spent by our senior population is in taking care of immediate and long term health needs.  It may involve buying a long term health care policy.  It also involves planning ahead in making the home more comfortable and practical for the later years. One area is in making the bathroom more conducive for safety and independence.  More and more seniors are planning ahead for a day when mobility may be a real challenge, even getting around in their own home.  If they have done any reading at all they will discover that one in three seniors age 65 will take a fall every year.  By age 80 that percentage will grow to one in every two.  Many of these falls result in serious injury, with broken bones, and some are even fatal.  A large percentage of these falls take place in the bathroom.  As a result, many seniors are looking ahead.  Even though there may be no health concerns at present, they are looking ahead to a time when they may need to take every safety precaution.  They are installing bathrooms with wider doors (for walkers and wheelchairs), and placing grab bars on the wall where needed.  
Tub King Walk In tub

There are two special bath and shower designs that are very popular now with seniors:  The Walk in Tub has been around for a dozen years now and everyone has seen the advertisements.  This tub eliminates two things in particular:  1. The fear and possibility of falling; 2. The need for assistance in bathing.  The tub comes with a free standing soaking tub with a water-tight door, an ADA compliant seat, with all controls within easy grasp, and an interior grab bar for pulling up from the seat.  There is a handy hand-held shower and options can include air jet and water jet hydrotherapy along with an inline heater.  Younger seniors who plan wisely will include a Walk in Tub in their bathroom.  It can easily replace the existing tub that is there and the installation can be done in one to two days. 

Another bath innovation that is really catching on is the Walk in Shower Suite. This allows the wheelchair-dependent senior to enter a shower through the design of a zero threshold opening.  What makes it work well is the fact that it is not a shower “enclosure.”  In fact, it is not enclosed at all.  It is a beautiful designed addition to the bath and provides all the safety accessories that anyone would require.  There is a seat for those who need one and hand-held showers, but the highlight of this design is the beautifully decorated walls of the shower.  It comes in a number of sizes to fit any bathroom.  Nothing satisfies a senior more than to be able to bathe independently and safely.
According to census projections, one in six Americans (56.2 million people) will be older than 65 by 2020.  By 2030, that population will balloon to about 70 million.  This will change the world of marketing.  More companies will be looking at what seniors are buying, and they will try to anticipate what they might buy in the future.  It's time to look ahead whether you are the buyer or the seller.  Our world is changing.

In this article, I talked about what is considered being a senior today. I highlighted many of the changes that have taken place and shows how and what seniors are spending their money on. Grand children and improving their safety are top issues. Seniors are buying walk-in tubs and a new innovation called Safety Suite Showers to deal with the safety issues.

Check out this short video about our Walk-in Tub Buyers guide.

If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here. 

If you have a comment, please type it in the Comment section below.  Of course, I encourage you to share this article with your family, friends, and colleagues. 

Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you.  Thanks for reading; it’s been my pleasure to share this information with you.

Free Shipping on all Walk-in Tubs. Click here.
Alan Knight (now retired) is the former co-owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He had many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. These companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email
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The World's Most Expensive Bathtubs

By Alan Knight
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Many of us have dreamt that we were rich. That money was no object. We could go where ever we want. Stay where ever we want and buy whatever we want. Imagine the possibilities of what you could do.

If you had unlimited resources, what would be on your shopping list?  Imagine being able to purchase anything you wanted without having to look at the price tag.  Imagine being able to purchase any home, any car, or take any vacation without having to consider, “How much?”  One of your favorite shopping sprees might be to decorate your new palace.  Let's consider: What would you pay for a one-of-a-kind bathtub? Here are a few options:

The $47,000 Question

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What if you could laze around in a very, very unique bathtub that costs more than many homes?  You might choose “The Red Diamond” bathtub by Water Games Technologies, priced at a modest $47,200.  This unique tub is bright red and designed for two people.  The console of the tub is framed in gold.  To be precise, 42 grams of 18k gold.  The Swarovski crystals control two waterproof HDTVs that remain hidden when not in use.  There are massage functions, multicolored light systems, a hand-held shower unit, and an automatic disinfection center.  There is even a Swarovski-coated champagne holder.  This tub is not for the faint of wallet, but if you have the money, no problem.

Solid Copper Tub for a Modest $67 Grand!

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Another option while you're shopping might be the Kallista Archeo Copper Bathtub, made of “solid” copper.  It was hand-crafted by the very people that refurbished the torch on the Statute of Liberty.  The tub is five feet long and thirty inches wide and is spacious enough to accommodate most anyone.  The fluted faucet and hand-held shower carries the same aesthetic quality as the rest of the tub.    The engraved starfish-on-seashell knobs is the final touch.  This tub can be yours for the modest price of $67,557.

Now We Step Up to the Big Leagues
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The Baldi Malachite bathtub, shaped like a boat, is designed by Luca Bojola and is made of turquoise malachite with 24 k gold-plated Clawfoot legs.  The price is a step up from the others at $222,000.

Finally, the Baldi Rock Crystal bathtub is a three-person tub, obviously designed for more decadent tastes.  It was created in 2008 and shown at the Salone de Mobile with a price-tag of $790,310. It was carved from a single piece of Amazonian rock crystal, measuring over eight feet in diameter.  It was created for Harrod's in London, and it shows.  The exterior was left rough cut to give it a unique design edge.  Baldi even offers a rock crystal basin to compliment the exquisite bathtub.   

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By the way it did sell, going for $850,000. I don't know how they come up with the prices for these tubs, but remember, if you have an unlimited budget, what's an extra $800,000 here or there?

Who Says Money is No Object?

I've always loved the tag line, “Money is no object.”  There are a hand-full of people in the world who can actually say that and mean it, but what about the rest of us?  Most of us, as in 99.9% of the population, do have to budget our expenditures.  We all want the finest in décor, but we have to reign in our spending and move from unlimited opulence to practicality.  So, let me talk briefly about how you can have a bathtub that looks priceless without having to break the bank.

Tub King Slipper Tub
Of all the tubs on the market today, none seem to carry the look of luxury and elegance like the cast iron/porcelain tubs.  The porcelain (glass) finish is smoother than silk and the shine will rival any precious metal.  On the Clawfoot models, the legs come in many metallic finishes, like chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze.  The faucet, drain, overflow, water-supply lines, and other accessories can come in the same metallic finish as the legs, making for a perfect ensemble. A more contemporary design these days is the cast iron/porcelain Pedestal tubs, where a pedestal replaces the feet. 

Luxury Without the Luxury Price

Tub King Double Slipper Tub
The unique shapes and sizes provide a fit for any bathroom with a style for every taste.  You can choose the popular Slipper Tub with the dramatic, high slope at the end of the tub for reclining or the Double Slipper with the high back on both ends of the tub, making it perfect for two people. Another popular model is the Dual-ended tub.  It is perfectly symmetrical with a slight slope on each end and a center drain.  For more traditional tastes, there is the Rolled Rim tub, designed after the shape that was popular in the early part of the 20th century.  
Tub King Slipper Tub

The sizes can vary from 48 inches in length to 75 inches, allowing the tub to fit in any bathroom.  And the great thing about the cast iron/porcelain tub is that it is affordable for anyone.  Prices start under a thousand dollars, and it will make any bathroom look like a palace.  I remember a customer coming into our showroom a few months ago.  He noticed our hammered copper finish on a Slipper Tub.  It was actually sitting on a showcase stage.  He pointed to it and said, “I want that one.  Can we load it up?”  I said, “Don't you want to know the price?”  His answer surprised me, “No, it doesn't matter.”  He still got away for under $2,000 and was very happy with it.

Price Does Matter Today

We're not all “made of money.”  Even with beautiful porcelain tubs there can be wide swings in prices for models from various companies.  Tub King, Inc., has been careful to keep prices affordable for all shoppers.  Make sure you take a look and let your budget be your guide.

In this article, I discussed the some of the most expensive bathtubs in the world and yet, also discussed how the average person can still afford the luxurious look and feel of a cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot or Pedestal tub. This article shows that even when price matters, you can still get a high-quality, beautiful Clawfoot or Pedestal tub for under $1,000.

Until next time. 

Customer Testimonial for Tub King's Cast iron/Porcelain Pedestal Tub

If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.   
If you have a comment, please type it in the Comment section below.  Of course, I encourage you to share this article with your family, friends, and colleagues. 

Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you.  Thanks for reading; it’s been my pleasure to share this information with you. 

Free Shipping on all Walk-in Tubs. Click here. 

Alan Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc., and  in  Jacksonville, Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” three years running. If you’d like to contact them, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to

Get a Free Giftcard. Click here. 
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The Hottest New Innovations in the Bathroom

By Kerry Knight        

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There is a host of new innovations in the bathroom that are catching the watchful eye.  As new technology affects the way we live, it has also found its way into the home. Here are just a few:
  • Communication technology would include telephones for the bathtub and the toilet
  • Flat screen TV on the wall
  • Sophisticated sound systems
  • Infrared lighting spas for removing toxins from the body
  • Steam rooms
  • Japanese Soaking Tubs
  • Radiant heating for towels, the floor, and the tub area, with a less utilitarian look and more of a sculptured appeal

Introducing Safety Suite Showers

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While these new ideas are catchy, there are a couple of new concepts that are far more practical.  The most popular, in addition to bathtub technology, is the new walk-in shower with low or zero thresholds.  It eliminates “enclosures” all together and the shower becomes an integral part of the bathroom.  A good example is Tub King’s Safety Suite Showers.
Alan Knight, president of the company, remarks, “Our Safety Suite Showers accomplishes something where others fail.  It can come with a zero threshold configuration, which means those who are wheelchair-dependent can become totally independent in taking a shower by themselves.  The wheelchair can roll right into the edge outer edge of the shower, then allow the person to stand up using the many safety bars that are installed on the walls makes it easy to maneuver around the shower opening.  The drop-down or built-in shower seat is also a great advantage in design.  No longer do those who consider themselves physically challenged need to feel they cannot take a shower safely.  Plus the independence is a great morale booster.”

The great thing about the USA-made Safety Suite Shower is that it comes with so many options to choose from.
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  • Size.  Regardless of your bathroom size, there is a Safety Suite Shower configuration that will fit your space and personal needs.  If you are removing an existing, standard-size bathtub (routinely 60 x 30 inches) then the best choice for your Safety Suite Shower is the 54 x 30 x 78-inch model or the 48 x 36 x 78-inch model.   If greater width is desired, there is also a 60 x 33-inch model.   If you are into doing new construction, you can go a little larger with the 61 x 31 x 78-inch version.
  • Options.  The options are endless.  For example, the plumbing fixtures can come in different finishes to match your bathroom’s décor.  That would include the popular chrome or beautiful brushed nickel.   There is also a very unique faucet available that has a circular safety bar that encircles the faucet.  “This is an extremely fine addition that adds so much more to the safety aspect of the shower ... to be able to have something to hold to while adjusting the water volume and temperature,” says Alan Knight.  Each Safety Suite Shower comes either with a built-in, custom-molded seat or even better, a drop-down seat.   There are many other wall mount options that can be offered for both convenience and safety.  And by the way, there is also another version of the Safety Suite that offers a low, four-inch threshold for those who are not wheelchair bound.
  • Ease of installation.  The safety bath suites come in either three- or five-piece variations, and installation is simple. Furthermore, the Safety Suite Showers are packaged in moduled components in either three or five pieces, so in most cases, having to expand a doorway to get the shower components into the bathroom isn’t necessary, as it sometimes in with a new bathtub.  A modest goal for installation time would be two days.  Many homeowners find that they can actually install the units themselves with a little help from family, friends or neighbors.  If more professional help is needed, most local handymen or plumbers can do the work.  The complete units are priced modestly and can save the homeowner considerably more than doing a complete build-out offered by many remodelers.  The savings can go as high as 50%.
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There is one thing that I have not mentioned about the new Safety Suite Showers, and that is just how attractive they are. You can choose from a wide variety of colors and tile configurations such the now-popular neutral colors of Beige, Bone or Biscuit. Or, if having something more colorful is your fancy, there are configurations such as Almond Granite, Coco, Dune, Mink, Ashley, Violet and others. Furthermore, you can have the seat top and back be configured in a veneer of handsome, waterproof Brazilian Walnut.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention you can also order matching safety-designed toilet paper roll, towel rack and shelves, all of which come with a built-in, sturdy grab bar.

More and more people are looking to the future.  Couples and individuals are considering what their lifestyle will be in 10 or 20 years.  Hopefully they will be just as active and robust as ever.  But what if there are some medical challenges or mobility issues?  These pre-retirement folks are considering designing their homes for the future.  And yet, at the same time, they don't want to design a home that looks like a hospital room.  To avoid a totally utilitarian look, the Safety Suite Showers provide tremendous options.  The beautiful walls and openness give it not only an inviting look, but provide additional spaciousness to the bathroom, actually integrating the shower with the bathroom room itself.

The Wonders of the Walk-in Tub

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While I am discussing new innovations in bath technology, I would be remiss without referring to the Walk-in Tub.Outside of the Safety Suite Showers, this is the best thing to come along.  For those who prefer to take a soaking bath, this option offers additional benefits.  First, these tubs come as independent units, free-standing, and providing a water-tight door for easy access.  There is a seat inside and the height of the tub (normally 40 inches) means the user can submerge most of their body for a nice, warm, soaking experience.  The real treat is the options of air jet and water jet hydrotherapy, along with the inline heater.  With the touch of two controls, the user can bask in bubbles and whirling, massaging water to treat a number of personal and medical needs.  The inline heater keeps the water warm for longer periods of use.  There is a hand-held shower wane with a long metal-braided hose to rinse and shower while sitting.  The Walk-in Tub comes with all the safety features of grab bars, slip-resistant seat and floors and a low threshold entry way.  This tub also fits easily into an existing bathroom.  It comes in a 48 x 28-inch version or 54 x 30-inch version. Installation can also be accomplished easily in two days. 

Technology can be a wonderful thing, especially when it makes our lives safer, more enjoyable, healthier, and versatile. Tub King’s Safety Suite Showers and Walk-in Tubs fit that bill admirably.

In this article, I talked about some of the newer technologies that are being integrated in bathrooms today. I highlighted the numerous innovative designs and features of the Safety Suite Showers, explaining their various configurations and advantages. It also reviewed the benefits of the Walk-in Tub.  

 Learn more about Tub King's Walk-in Tubs

If you’d like to receive a FREE Walk-In Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here.  Or, if you’d like to receive a FREE Clawfoot Tub Buyers’ Guide, click here. 

If you have a comment, please type it in the Comment section below.  Of course, I encourage you to share this article with your family, friends, and colleagues. 

Have a question?  Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed below and I’ll personally get back to you.  Thanks for reading; it’s been my pleasure to share this information with you.

Check out Tub King's Safety Suite Showers. Click here.

Kerry Knight (now retired) is the former co-owner of Tub King, Inc., and  in Jacksonville, Florida. He had many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. These companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email

Get Your Free GiftCard from Tub King. Click here to learn more.
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