The children of the baby boom after World War II are growing older. This is leaving a massive and ever-growing number of Americans who are leaving the workforce, entering retirement, and…what? Obviously, there are serious repercussions for such a gigantic change for the United States, and, indeed, for the entire world. What are those changes which are occurring, and what can we expect to see as this population continues to age?
What effect will aging and retiring populations of baby boomers have on the US economy? Economists are not entirely sure. From other models which have been seen in Japan and other locales around the world, it seems that there will be a steady decline in economic growth, which is not optimistic. However, many modern economists think that because of the versatility of our aging population, this decline might be possible to avoid entirely. Realistically, having a large population that is leaving the workforce, regardless of which population, can cause an economic recession.
If there’s one portion of our economy that will see a boon from aging Boomers, it’s the healthcare industry. Already a multimillion-dollar industry, healthcare in the US is preparing for an exponential need for medical and surgical care in the next few decades. Baby boomers will be at least 65 by 2030, so the US is trailing into the very last of the boomer retirees during this next decade. With retirement years being the greatest time for spending in healthcare services and needs, healthcare is one of the largest and most successful industries in the United States.
Age as a Secret Weapon
Not all is bad news for the US with an aging population. The valued experience and longevity of this generation can be a great boon to those who are willing to utilize their skills. These experienced individuals have already spent a great deal of time investing in business and finance, and are poised to continue to do so. They have a wealth of both skills and knowledge to offer industry. In retirement, boomers are poised to continue investment and travel spending. Many have made preparations in order to be capable of a healthy retirement plan for decades to come.
While no economist can tell us for sure, setting aside ageism and respecting the vast knowledge and experience of our retiring baby boomer population is key. Regardless of why seniors are retiring, being willing to both serve this increased population is critical to our economic function. Whether it is spending in healthcare, housing, travel, or other opportunities after retirement, the baby boomer generation is set to continue to impact the world for a long time to come.
Read this next: Is Medicare Enough for America’s Aging Population?
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