Super Age: Planning (and saving) for a long life
Today, 54 million Americans are over 65 and in 2024 we will see Peak65 – the largest surge of Americans turning 65 than at any time in our history. By 2030, all boomers will be over 65, what the United Nations calls a “Super Age” – when at least one out of five people are over the age of sixty-five.
WATCH Your Money Map: Super Age: planning for a long life
The future may be long and gray, but it’s incredibly bright
Contrary to what is often viewed as a challenging time, Demographic futurist and Longevity expert, Bradley Schurman, sees this as a golden period for humankind – so long as employers do their part. “If we do nothing, if we continue to push people out of work because they’re older… the social fabric of society starts to fray. If we don’t have people working, we don’t have people earning, we don’t have people being active consumers. And if larger numbers of them keep falling out of the workforce… those structural changes will show up not only in our ability to retain and recruit talent, but also to create an active consumer base, which is what we want in a healthy and functioning economy.”
Having the freedom to choose how long you work can be good for both your economic interests and the country. According to research, the U.S. economy would have added an additional $850 billion to its GDP in 2018 if older workers could have remained in or reentered the labor force, switched jobs, or been promoted internally. In a non-age-biased economy, the total contribution by older workers is projected to be $32.1 trillion to GDP in 2050. (AARP The Economic Impact of Age Discrimination 2018). And older workers can also improve the bottom line. BWM reported that with a few changes to their factory- wood floors, ergonomic chairs, adjustable tabletops- their “pensioners line” increased productivity by 7% and performed as well as the younger workers. Absenteeism also fell from 7% to 2%, lower than the younger workers (Harvard Business Review 2010).
Financial planning for your Super Age
Staying in the workforce longer can be a great way to ensure that you have enough savings to support what will statistically be a longer lifespan, especially if you are a woman. While government programs like Social Security and Medicare are helpful safety nets, according to Schurman, “The world in which Medicare and Social Security was built is not the world in which we exist today. The demographics have simply shifted.” Making sure you have assessed where you are financially and what your retirement journey looks like are critical steps to prudent financial planning. Secured income from pensions, social security, and annuities are also important parts of the solution for retirement security in America, no matter how long you decide to work. Learn more at www.protectedincome.org.
Four tips for Super Agers
- Constantly be a learner. If you are not learning you are not earning!
- Wellbeing comes from both financial fitness and physical fitness.
- Socialize with multiple generations. Age bias is curable if you show up with vigor!
- Maintain your independence by future proofing your house now- materials, lighting, etc.
Bradley Schurman is the author of The Super Age, Decoding our Demographic Destiny and the founder and CEO of the global research and advisory firm, The Super Age, where he regularly advises Fortune 500 companies on their age-inclusion and longevity strategies. He’s written for Newsweek, been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today, and regularly appears as a guest on podcast, radio, and television shows. He is a noted expert on demographics and how they disrupt social, cultural, political, and economic norms. His deep understanding of population change, coupled with his grasp of emerging trends, makes him an authoritative visionary concerning the future of our world.
Visit protectedincome.org to find more resources and guides.