Tags: Investors | Graying | America | Gold

For Investors, the Graying of America Could Be a Gold Mine

By    |   Sunday, 11 May 2014 08:29 PM

Many assume the graying of America is a bad thing for the economy, but aging actually may be the next big opportunity, according to Next Avenue.

Next Avenue, a nonprofit publisher dedicated to the 50-plus U.S. demographic, said entrepreneurs and companies who focus on aging could profit enormously.

Speakers at a recent Milken Institute conference agreed, according to a Next Avenue article reprinted by Marketwatch. According to institute president Paul Irving, the nation is “at the early stages of a gigantic global, cultural shift, and you can’t underestimate the importance of it.”

Editor's Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038

Panelist Jody Holtzman, an AARP senior vice president, said that “older people and their consumer demand is the primary driver of economic growth, accounting for $7.1 trillion in economic activity.”

Next Avenue reported Home Instead, which operates 1,000 franchises of home-care services for older adults, says one of its biggest challenges is finding enough caregivers.

Another Milken Institute panelist, John Beard, a director of aging at the World Health Organization, said, “The most successful entrepreneurs in the U.S. today are over 60.”

Transamerica Institute President Catherine Collinson noted about 65 percent of baby boomers either plan to work past age 65 or don’t plan to retire at all.

“America’s workforce wants to continue working,” she said. “There’s an opportunity for educators to update their continuing education programs. And there are fantastic opportunities for employers to work with employees to maximize their value as they shift to part-time, train and mentor younger workers — even to help with succession planning.”

Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, said eldercare opportunities may present one of the largest business opportunities around the graying of the nation.

“I am convinced that, in the next several years, eldercare will be what child care was in the '70s and '80s,” said Hodin. “Companies that begin designing benefits programs to facilitate this will be very competitive.”

New reports from the U.S. Census Bureau estimate the nation's 65-and-older population is projected to reach 83.7 million in the year 2050, almost double the 2012 level of 43.1 million.

The Census Bureau estimated that home and health care services, community care facilities for the older population, and continuing care retirement communities, all showed an increase of 20 percent or more in their number of employees between 2007 and 2011.

PC World reported that both a challenge and a business opportunity lie with incorporating IT into a complex medical care system that includes health insurance companies and, increasingly, technology vendors.

Michael Cantor, chief medical officer of the New England Quality Care Alliance, said, “We have the technology. The whole system isn’t incentivized to use this technology.” He said insurance companies, for example, do not reimburse doctors for telemedicine.

The American Telemedicine Association defines telemedicine as "the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status." The industry organization says telemedicine use  two-way video, email, smartphones, wireless tools and other electronic methods.

PC World reported care providers believe telemedicine can help hold down medical costs and provide care, especially to baby boomers, some of whom have chronic conditions that need constant monitoring.

Editor's Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038

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Many investors assume the graying of America is a bad thing for the economy, but aging actually may be the next big opportunity, according to Next Avenue.
Investors, Graying, America, Gold
Sunday, 11 May 2014 08:29 PM
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