I just finished reading a book on why companies should be more attentive to those of us, age 60 and over. According to the author, Susan Wilner Golden, we represent a cohort that has trillions of dollars in spending power. The book is Stage (Not Age): How to Understand and Serve People over 60.
There is such a thing as a “longevity economy”, and it includes all the services, products and jobs that serve people in our age category. The appeal to businesses is to consider that our age cohort has some attractive features: we are living longer, we tend to be healthy, we have spending power, and by golly, we use that spending power on goods and services.
What I find particularly interesting is how the book dispels the view that aging is a negative state of affairs, one defined only by frailty, diminished mental capacity, and reduced productivity. Indeed, the author makes the case that businesses should recognize that many of us will live much longer than the previous generation, will be in good health for longer periods, will be engaged in productive ventures, and will reward companies that create products and services to help us achieve our goals. I also appreciate that not all seniors fit this description.
The author also underscores that we older adults come in all sizes, shapes, physical condition, financial status, interests and attitudes. Thus, the title is about understanding the stage of an adult person’s life, and not just their age. This could be quite a change for companies that historically see older adults in a state of decline and some market principally to the frail elderly. I suspect that this also applies to government policies.
Among other things, the Amazing Care Network is about shaping how society, our family, friends and ourselves view aging. It’s not one size fits all. It’s good to know that commercial enterprises are taking note.
All the best,