Welcome to the future. More Americans today are living well into their 90s than ever before, and this has major implications for the rest of us.
According to the Census Bureau, the median age of Americans rose from 35.3 years old in 2000 to 37.2 years old in 2010. By comparison, the median age in Japan is 44.8 and the median age in Uganda is 15.1 (according to the CIA website). These enormous disparities are linked to a variety of factors, including birth rates, access to medical care, nutrition, etc. In the United States, we’re living longer than before.
An article published in Health Day News in November 2011 says that 74 percent of Americans in their 90s are women, and most of them are white. Many are widows, and live with some sort of assistance or help from family. Unfortunately, just because you live into your nineties does not mean you will be healthy into your nineties. Many folks in their nineties suffer from frailty and dementia, as well as a variety of other issues.
As more Americans live longer, it will have enormous impacts on our health care costs, especially if many continue with the unhealthy lifestyles they practice today.
For those with an eye to the future, the industries that cater to senior citizens are bound to experience even more growth. Assisted living facilities and senior citizen communities will continue to multiply as the demand for these services increase.
During a time when it’s difficult to put any money aside, it remains crucial that we plan for our future. Now that it is possible to live well into our nineties, we must prepare ourselves financially.
For marketers this represents an incredible marketing opportunity since the needs of the aged are so different than the young. Our youth obsessed society ignores the old folks — for example, they care very little about Justin Bieber or the latest iPhone application. Instead, this older cohort wants products to make their lives better including affordable healthcare and travel related products.
John Bradley Jackson
Entrepreneur, Professor, Author
Deja New Marketing
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