Work & Economic Security: Economics of Longevity

The Economics of Longevity, titled “The New Old,” This report was published by The Economist in London in July. With contributions from over 30 experts in ageing, it’s clear that the impacts of the Global Ageing trend are as great as those from climate change or new technologies. “Making longer lives financially more viable requires a fundamental rethinking of life trajectories.” “Given the right input from governments, employers and individuals, it should be possible to stretch the increasingly productive in-betweener stage and compress the dependent period at the very end of life.” The report reinforces our appreciation of intergenerational programs with research that shows that, “Older people in multi-generational teams tend to boost the productivity of those around them.” 

Aging and Financial Inclusion. Here is an easy-to-read booklet describing the “G20 Fukuoka Policy Priorities” in relation to aging populations. Positive aging advocates can use this work with policy makers, regulators, and financial service providers to maximize financial wellbeing. This is particularly important in countries with limited or no social security but useful in every country seeking avoidance of old-age poverty, improvements lifetime financial planning and intergenerational equity. 

The Longevity Economy: Generating Economic Growth and New Opportunities for Business.  Although focused on the economic impact of the growing population over 50 in the U.S., this report published in 2013 by Oxford Economics for AARP is useful for any country with a rapidly aging population. It shows how the shifting spending patterns of older adults provide employment for nearly 100 million Americans, boost charitable giving, and contribute over half of tax revenue. It also quantifies the paid and unpaid productivity of people who are working and volunteering longer. 

Freelancers Hub – In the U.S. and a number of other developed countries, union strength is dramatically reduced and along with it employer pensions and employer-paid vacation time and health benefits. Close to half of workers are working independently on a contractual basis. Individual freelancing is an economic growth area where there is an attractive living environment now that technology makes self-employment so easy. The Freelancers Union in New York City has developed insurance and other tools for freelancers.

UN Women: Working for the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women – Old and Young – “Women and girls are central to the sustainability of rural households and communities, improving rural livelihoods and overall wellbeing, but their role and significance is often overlooked.” Through a joint program titled UN Women, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program are working together to change this.  

Designing Positive Platforms: a guide for a governance-based approach –   The Institute for the Future takes a close look at the upside and downside of the gig economy.  Ever-growing numbers of senior workers are directly involved in this new way of working. In a gig economy, temporary jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. It runs entirely on online social platforms that connect people, knowledge and opportunities for meaningful collaborative work. 

Economic Security:  Older women are confronted with multiple poverty risks in Europe, including an alarming 40% pension gap.  ‘The EU gender pension gap of almost 40% should raise alarm among policy makers. Yet they prefer to show national average poverty rates that do not reflect the reality faced by many older women’, says Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe. ‘Older women face multiple poverty risks: they bear the financial consequences of spending more time educating children and caring for family members, of gender discrimination in pay, and of longevity. The gender pension gap will continue to increase if nothing is done to address inequalities faced by women and ensure they have access to a fair and decent income throughout their lives.

Why the World Needs to Rethink Retirement – Many countries are grappling with outmoded retirement pension plans that were designed for 10 to 20-year retirements. Now, people may find themselves living to their 100th birthday, with a 30-40 year retirement. Pension fund savings are inadequate to cover the gap, even if many older adults are earning income later in life. According to the United Nations, the number of those over age 60 worldwide is expected to double by 2050 to 2.1 billion. In the 1950s, that segment of the world’s population was around 205 million.

85+ and Working. Percentage-wise, the largest population growth in the U.S. is in the age 85+ age group. So maybe it’s not surprising that a record number of U.S. seniors age 85 and older are working for pay. They’re doing all sorts of jobs – crossing guards, funeral service workers, clergy, sales, property managers, managers and legislators, lawyers and judges. By sheer numbers, the top job among the 85-plus-year-olds is farmers and ranchers. Article by Washington Post. 

BBC News UK – Older Workers are ‘Untapped Resource’ –  In June 2014, BBC News in the United Kingdom (UK) featured a segment in which they discussed how the UK, like many other countries around the world, are transitioning into a period where opportunities to retire early with a substantial pension are a relic of the past. The segment discussed the phenomenon of people working into later life and specifically mentioned the fact that retaining experienced and productive workers could potentially be beneficial for individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole.

The Longevity Revolution and its Emerging Economy –  This 55 minute video shows Andy Sieg and Ken Dychtwald in a dialogue at the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) conference held July 2017.  Sieg and Dychtwald imparted significant insights on how the changing culture of ageing is generating exciting possibilities for individuals and opportunities for business and investors in the massive, growing and global longevity economy.

I will keep working until I can’t any more – There’s no such thing as retirement any more for millions of elderly workers around the world. Longer life expectancies combined with higher living costs means working until you physically can’t is a reality for many. However, that also means there’s a trend emerging for a post-retirement career.

Growing the European Longevity Economy – An hour-long panel discussion about the “business of ageing” convened by the Milken Institute in London in 2016, including Sarjbit Nahal, Bank of America; Jonathan Collie, author of “The Age of No Retirement;” Lynda Gratton, London Business School, co-author of “The 100-Year Life”; Baroness Sally Greengross, director of the International Longevity Center; and Jodi Holtzman, AARP.