It doesn’t take much to tell that times are tough these days. A quick glance through the news will show you that the economy is ailing and job growth is limited. Few people realize that the way seniors interact with the economic climate is a bellwether for the economy’s overall health.
As Jason Alderman points out in the Huffington Post, a key economic indicator is how many people are postponing retirement. Over 22 million people have decided to continue working past 55, and nearly a third of all workers in that age group expect to continue working past 70 or never retire! Alderman suggests a number of factors behind this trend: financial issues cause people to deplete their retirement savings to pay the bills, and decreasing home values mean people have less value in their equity than they expected, to name a few. As early as 2009, a U.S. Senate report noticed a retirement trend of older Americans continuing to work.
Naturally, some retirement-age workers have been affected by the recession differently than others. Retirement trends tend to vary from occupation to occupation. The Society for Human Resource Management points out that workers with well-defined pension plans– like government workers– are less likely to put off their retirement than others.
The trend is an important one to take notice of, as it has broad effects both on the elder care market and the U.S. economy as a whole. Retirement is a major life change, and along with it comes a broad array of changes in market activity. Retirees often have more leisure time but a modified income structure with which to enjoy that time. But as more and more Americans of retirement age make the decision not to retire, it will be important for care providers and all those marketing themselves to seniors to adapt to these new trends. Outreach tailored to seniors who will still need care, but perhaps on a different schedule, will be crucial to keeping up with the times.
Marla Levie, BSW, MA, President and Founder of Focus on Aging, has successfully been providing marketing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service-related professions in the Chicago area for over 20 years. Use the contact tab to email Marla for additional information about her services.