An initiative of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging

The Longevity Economy

Introducing actions to make a community age- and dementia-friendly is not only civically-minded but may offer financial benefits as well.  Age- and dementia-friendly municipalities are inclusive by design and may be attractive to older adults as they can access more substantial services and programs that promote independent living and the ability to age-in-place.

Many adults are working later into their lives, earning higher salaries than their younger counterparts.  Either by choice or necessity, older adults continue to work full- or part-time to support themselves financially or to satisfy a sense of purpose.  Some adults begin an encore career (a second career where they pursue personal interests). Others pursue entrepreneurial ventures with over 23% of new businesses in 2011 launched by adults over the age of 55

What is the Longevity Economy?

A study published by Oxford Economics determined that people over the age of 50 stimulate financial growth in local and national economies.  The Longevity Economy, the economy generated by people over the age of 50, is projected by the year 2032 to grow to $13.5 trillion, making up approximately 52% of the United States GDP..

As of 2012, the taxes generated by the Longevity Economy accounted for approximately 50% of federal, state, and local taxes.  This older population accounts for 65% of the wages and salaries earned in the United States. People over the age of 50, have a household wealth of approximately $765,000 on average.  At the time of the Oxford Economics report publication, the state and local tax generated by the Longevity Economy accounted for $761 billion.

Adults over the age of 50 significantly affect consumer spending numbers, contributing approximately $3.0 trillion in 2012 with a projected increase to $4.6 trillion by 2032 (excluding health care).  These older adults outspend more than their younger counterparts in many economic sectors and industries. Nonprofit businesses, for example, rely on this population as these older adults donate nearly 70% of all charitable contributions.  Small and local businesses may benefit directly from the spending habits of older adults as well. In 2009, Grandparents paying for gifts and services for their grandchildren spent over $52 billion.

Aging in Place

A growing number of older adults are choosing to live at home, with over 82% of individuals studied preferring to “age in place,” even when greater daily assistance and health care are required.  Though in-home care services are perceived as expensive, this option of “telemedicine” can save adults money as it may avoid or defer the costs of living in a dedicated care facility.

Older adults can confidently live in the community as they grow older, knowing that they have access to inclusive age- and dementia-friendly programs.  With an informed community network to support them, these adults are valued and respected well into their golden years.

Source:  Longevity Economy

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