What are the implications of the 100 year old life in transforming the way we live, work and play?
Global populations are ageing. 620 million people in Asia Pacific will be aged over 60 by 2025. Longevity has become a dominant theme all around the world, with huge consequences at individual, social and commercial levels, Professor Andrew Scott explained at the opening keynote of the 2020 World Ageing Festival, organised by Ageing Asia. The longevity economy definitely shouts excitement for Asia Pacific’s projected US$4.56 trillion ageing market.
Global longevity expert, Professor Andrew Scott from the United Kingdom – the world’s leading authority on the economics of longevity and co-author of the global best-seller “The 100 Year Life”, shared the market potential of the longevity economy. “The big industry that is emerging now is – How do we age well? You can be running the 100 metre race at 100 years old, or your could be in a wheelchair at 50 years old”. Professor Scott encourages the discussion to move from just ageing and growing old to the longevity economy, which is about how we are ageing – staying younger for longer.
According to the 4th Asia Pacific Silver Economy Business Opportunities Report (2020 edition), the trend of “The Business of Longevity Economy” was observed as one of the top 10 key trends by 2025. This was also a key focus discussed at the by-invite only Alliance Leadersip Roundtable Series that took place in March 2021 in Singapore. Increasing lifespans represent new economic opportunities to drive innovation and prosperity. The market of products and services to promote to the over 60s population widens, and the ageing population’s needs and retirement expectations will impact through different sectors of the economy. The social and economic contributions of elders who are living longer means that they are staying employed longer, increasing consumer spending years and higher chance of being informal caregivers. The potential implications of a 100 year life means that healthy life years are increasing, and purchasing patterns widen beyond healthcare consumption to other sectors.
The longevity economy as defined by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is the economic contributions of people age 50 and older, and how they are driving the economic growth engine, stimulating jobs and creating opportunities for all. The demands driven by the business of a longevity economy points to several factors.
– The opportunities driven by extending healthy life years to enable people to stay in employment longer. Companies need to innovate to look at how to look after ageing workers by integrating new technologies to reduce heavy lifting, keeping employees healthy though wellness programmes, and encouraging work life balance.
Frontrunner examples of products that are leading the longevity economy
- Buddy by Livefreely – a predictive-AI health management and remote monitoring technology for seniors and caregiver
- S-Patch Cardio – ECG Monitoring by Samsung SDS Digital Health
- Whiz GAMBIT – AI Cleaning and Disinfectant Robot by Softbank Robotics
– Baby boomers have higher expectations of quality of life, they do not see age as a barrier and they are looking for products that will enable them with independence.
– With extension of healthy life years, baby boomers will seek travel and lifestyle services that will provide them with experiences, feel trendy and participate actively in the global e-commerce shopping arena as a new generation of tech savvy consumers.
– Urban planning and services will be age inclusive and barrier free by default as the needs of the ageing population take centre stage to help make everyday life easier for elders in our community.
– In the area of retirement planning and financing, product innovations including annuities, private pensions, insurance, and long term care financing are expected to be in demand to fund the 100 year life.
Traditional notions of life stages where we study, work and retire will evolve. The multi stage life will become the new normal where we experience a mix of different life experiences in no fix order across education, employment, paid and unpaid work, transition from part-time to full-time work, retirement, entrepreneurship and sabbaticals.
As we adjust to longer lives, we will have to keep our options open, be creative, and open to new ways of living.