Everybody is getting older. The median ages of populations around the world are increasing. The average median ages of many countries are advancing, as their birth rates are declining. It is estimated by a study from the Urban Institute that countries such as Japan and Italy will have a median age of 52 by the year 2050. The study also illustrated that within the next decade, the number of workers between 50-65 in the European Union countries, will increase by over 24 percent. The demographic shift caused by aging populations, and its impact on societies is often called the “Silver Tsunami.”
Today, aging is not considered a natural progression in life. It is viewed with contempt and something to battle on a daily basis. In order to avoid the impression of being old, more people than ever before are getting cosmetic surgery. These procedures are occurring at an alarming rate at even earlier ages. Many women are getting facelifts before they even reach the age of forty. Too many people associate old age with sickness and decreased abilities.
Many people work beyond retirement age. In many cases, it is not out of financial necessity, but a desire to be productive and social. There have been studies that show older workers are more trustworthy than younger workers. They have fewer workplace accidents and lower number of conflicts with their co-workers. Older workers have proven to have a more positive attitude and better able to handle stress than younger workers. Workers who retire and don’t work or volunteer often regret it. According to an article in the Economist, this developing situation is causing companies to face some difficult decisions.
It’s not uncommon for a person today to retire from one profession, and then begin another career in a completely different occupation. Employment agencies are discovering older workers who want to experience another type of work. Colleges and universities have experienced more older students enrolling to further their education. This is changing the working landscape, as well as the concept of retirement.
The Baby Boomer generation is embracing all aspects technology. They are very active on social networks. The majority use smartphones as part of their daily activities. Over 80 percent of Baby Boomers utilize the internet. They are very well connected and regularly research health and other information. Baby Boomers know more about the latest technology than any other previous generation.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, most are being treated for at least one chronic illness. Approximately forty percent of Baby Boomers are overweight. This has created an epidemic of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. It’s been estimated that 25 percent of Baby Boomers have a walking disability. This creates a number of health issues resulting from a lack of exercise. Many believe the healthcare system is going to change drastically in order to accommodate needs of the Baby Boomer generation.
The current Baby Boomer generation provides hundreds of billions of dollars for the US economy every year, and that number is only going to increase. They also spend tens of billions of dollars each year just for travel. According to a study from the Center for Mature Consumers, Baby Boomers currently provide approximately 75 percent of the country’s wealth.