Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: How Economies Are Effected By The Boomer Tsunami and Immigration

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often- The Boomer Tsunami, Economies and Immigration – History shows us that in tough economies struggling “natives” often turn immigrants into villains. As I’ve blogged before, this country cannot survive the coming age wave without immigration.

Now, before I start get started, let me start off by stating that we MUST tighten our security measures and admission standards. Illegal entry into our country cannot be rewarded. If you are working in this country you must be a contributing member (meaning you’re paying your fair share of taxes AND you have committed no crimes). In addition to the financial ramifications of illegal aliens, we now have to worry about the security issues.

Now that being said, we face some serious challenges in the near future. By 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that our economy will support 168 million jobs, but the workforce will be only 158 million to fill those jobs. Therefore, a shortfall of 10 million is predicted (Herman, R. E., T. G. Olivo, and J. L. Gioia. 2003. Impending crisis. Winchester, VA: Oakhill Press.).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. birthrate has fallen to about a breakeven level (from 3.3 births per couple in 1960 to 2.2 in 2000), while at the same time the dependency level of our growing population of aging citizens is increasing. By dependency, I mean that as we age we require more services: health care, maintenance, etc). In other words, who will mow my lawn or take care of me when I have Alzheimer’s?

“The soaring number of elderly people will affect the dependency ratio, which describes the impact of a nonworking population on a working population. In the United States, where there will be 246 elderly people for every 1,000 workers in 2010, there are projected to be 411 elderly per 1,000 workers in 2030.”

-D’Vera Cohn, The Divergent Paths of Baby Boomers and Immigrants

What makes the issue even more serious is that so many of us are choosing to retire at 62 (60%) rather than 65, robbing our economy of valuable workers and experience. In fact, in my humble opinion, we would be less dependent on immigration if our economy was better equipped to allow us to work well into our late 70s/early 80s . . . which would require some restructuring of social security and tax laws (in other words, don’t punish people for working).

In this video, Economist Robert Shapiro projects how economies around the world may respond to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.


Bridging the Generations


It has always fascinated me how children in schools are taught history, but have never really met face-to-face with those who experienced or contributed to it. Much of the older generation (80+) has not been exposed to modern technology, such as computers, cell phones or  iPods. They remember the old Victrola, entertainment through radio, the milkman delivering products, and the terrible depression we’ve only heard about on the news.

I thought it would be a great idea to somehow bring the two generations together.

The seniors would learn about life, the way it is for the children of today. And the children would learn about what life was like when the seniors were growing up 80-100 years ago.

About four years ago, I started the Bridging the Generations program with the local schools in my city. I’ve worked with several teachers on an ongoing basis over the years to bring the two generations together.

The children came to Oak Park to “Meet and Greet” my residents for the first visit. They were paired up with the residents, and prepared to ask questions and listen to the wonderful stories the residents had to tell. They children were amazed! “Wow, you rode in a horse and buggy to school? “, one child asked.

They kids began to look at the residents as individuals. Often times, children are afraid of seniors and view them as old, frail and vulnerable. This program really brings them inside the lives of seniors. They begin to see that aging is something to look forward to, not something to be afraid of.  It is a part of life that we all experience. It’s what you make of it that counts.

The next visit I have with the children is when I bring my residents into their high school. The children cook and serve breakfast to my residents. Last year, East Ridge High School students cooked a huge Thanksgiving dinner for the residents. The student band came in and played for them.  And the drama club, which consisted of the students that are in our program, performed a musical for them. The residents spent time listening to the students read speeches on what they were thankful for, and the students listened intently to what the seniors were thankful for.

The seniors saw first hand the art of text messaging, clothing that wasn’t tailored and multiple piercings. At first, I think they were shocked as to why a mother would let their children go out looking like that!

As the students sat down with my residents, the residents began to look past their outer appearance. They began to have a deep appreciation for the students and understood it was a struggle for independence. The residents gave the kids advice about the importance of education, following their dreams and to not judge a book by its cover. High school kids usually don’t listen to adults.  But for some reason, the children listened to the seniors.

The students learned firsthand about segregation.  They learned it both from seniors who had to be at the back of the bus, and from the ones that could only play with friends who were white. The students were amazed that segregation was really a part of history. It was a very moving experience for both generations.

The relationship between the residents and the students is continuing to grow. We are involved with them once a week and many other times during the month.  New schools continually want to be a part of this program. The kids also come and visit my residents all the time outside of school. They bake for them, pen-pal with them and come to all of our dances.

The hugs and kisses are never ending.

My residents’ faces light up when they see the kids. And the kids cannot run fast enough through the door to hug and kiss my residents. This program will continue for years to come for a simple reason: as much as the kids brighten the residents’ days, the residents have enriched the lives of the children in the very same way. It is very important for children to step back in time and learn about life before the comforts of today. We want to teach them to not be afraid of growing old but to appreciate the lessons they’ve learned.  We want them to understand that life as we know it now was pioneered by those who lived before us.

It is our responsibility to teach children to respect and appreciate the elderly, and I will continue to do my part to bring the generations together.

About the Author: Terri Glimcher is a Contributing Writer at Inside Assisted Living and the Activity Director for Summerville at Oak Park Assisted Living, an Emeritus Senior Living property in Clermont, Florida.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Why Retirees Move Out Of Maryland, The Land of Taxes

Think taxes matter to the mature market? Maryland’s government-based economy draws many migrants seeking employment. However, the State’s relatively high cost of living is a factor influencing retirees and near-retirees to migrate to states with lower living costs. Measured as the share of state and local taxes paid by individuals, Maryland has the highest share of any of the 50 states (i.e. the share of business taxes is the lowest). States that attract the majority of Maryland’s elderly migrants have tax policies that are more favorable to retirees than Maryland’s.


Source: The Dynamics of Elderly and Retiree Migration into and out of Maryland, Task Force Report

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: California


The mature market has limited transportation options in the Bay Area.

The mature market has limited transportation options in the Bay Area.

Looking to make money serving the mature market? Head west, young man! America’s largest elderly population lives in California. (California Department of Aging)

Approximately 3.3 million California residents are age 65 or over. (California Department of Aging)

10.6% of California’s population is 65 years old or over, and 42.2% of California’s elderly population suffers from a disability. (US Census Bureau)

Growth Statistics: California’s Elderly Population

California’s fastest growing population group is 85 years old and over. (California Department of Aging)

Individuals in the oldest old age group often experience severe health problems and require special attention. (California Department of Aging)

California’s elderly population is expected to grow more than twice as fast as the state’s total population. (California Department of Aging)

Within the next 40 years, the number of Californian residents, age 60 and over, will grow 154%. (California Department of Aging) By 2010, 1 in 5 Californians will be 60 years old or over. (California Department of Aging)

By 2040, California’s elderly population is expected to reach 12.5 million (California Department of Aging)

Currently, 1 in 77 (1.3%) Californians are 85 years old and over. That number will increase to 1 in 62 (1.6%) by 2010 and 1 in 34 (2.9%) by 2040. (California Department of Aging)

Between 1990 and 2040, California’s total population is expected to double in size. During this same period, the oldest old will undergo a 6-fold increase. (California Department of Aging)

The oldest old age group is expected to increase at a faster rate than the total elderly population. In 1990, 7% of the elderly population was in the oldest old age group – by 2040, that percentage will reach 14%. (California Department of Aging)

Life Expectancy

In California, the current life expectancy is 78.8 years. (California Policy Research Center – The Growth and Aging of California’s Population: Demographic and Fiscal Projections, Characteristics and Service Needs)

By 2050, life expectancy is expected to reach 84.2 years in California. (California Policy Research Center – The Growth and Aging of California’s Population: Demographic and Fiscal Projections, Characteristics and Service Needs)


Currently, more than one-third of California adults over age 55 identify themselves as non-Caucasian. (California Commission on Aging, Planning/System Design, April 2003)

By 2050, Latinos will be the largest ethnic group among seniors in California. (California Commission on Aging, Planning/System Design, April 2003)

Elderly Hispanics will be the fastest growing ethnic group in California, tripling over the next 20 years. Non-Hispanic whites will be the slowest growing ethnic group. (California Policy Research Center – The Growth and Aging of California’s Population: Demographic and Fiscal Projections, Characteristics and Service Needs)

Impact on California’s Counties

The elderly population is expected to increase by over 100% in more than half of California’s counties. Eleven California counties will experience growth rates of over 150%. (California Department of Aging)

The number of individuals 85 years old and over will increase by more than 150% in 38 counties, more than 200% in 26 counties, and more than 300% in 11 counties. (California Department of Aging)


In California, the percentage of trips taken by people age 85 and over as drivers has increased from 49% to 54% since 1995. (California Commission on Aging, Senior Related Transportation Issues, April 2003)

In California, the percentage of seniors who are limited in their ability to use public transit or cannot use it due to impairment increases from 7% for people ages 69 to 74 to 35% for people age 85 and over. (California Commission on Aging, Senior Related Transportation Issues, April 2003)

In California, among seniors that have stopped driving due to impairment or health problems, 54% are not able to use public transit either. (California Commission on Aging, Senior Related Transportation Issues, April 2003)

A study of the San Francisco Bay Area (CA) indicated that between 2000 and 2050, 65% of the growth in the elderly population will occur in places that now have no or only basic access to public transit. (California Commission on Aging, Senior Related Transportation Issues, April 2003)

Disability Issues and Statistics

Among California seniors living in housing communities, about 17% need help with 2 or more activities of daily living. (California Commission on Aging, Senior Related Housing Issues, April 2003)

In 2000, over half a million Californian seniors had functional limitations. (California Commission on Aging, Senior Related Housing Issues, April 2003).

The percentage of Californians with mild disabilities is expected to decrease from 4% to 2% by 2030. (California Policy Research Center – The Growth and Aging of California’s Population: Demographic and Fiscal Projections, Characteristics and Service Needs).


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: China

The Olympics reminded us of the wonders of China. This enormous country also represents an enormous mature market opportunity.

China’s population includes 88 million elderly individuals, making it the world’s “oldest” country.

Source: AAHSA, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Pets and Seniors

For many seniors, pets are a part of the family.

For many seniors, pets are a part of the family.

A 1999 study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that owning a cat or dog helped seniors (study’s average age – 73) maintain or even slightly enhance their Activities of Daily Living (ADL) score.

Another study of coronary disease patients (Our Pets, Our Health,” Pet Information Bureau, 1987) by Drs. Aaron Katcher and Erika Friedmann shows that pet ownership is conducive to a higher survival rate. In a study of the mature market, seniors who had suffered heart attacks, the mortality rate among people with pets was one third that of patients without animal companionship. Further research indicates that having a pet decreases the heart attack mortality rate by about 3 percent.


A year after an acute heart attack, dog owners are significantly less likely to have died than non dog owners…Studies also show that pet owners:

• Visit their GPs less often and use less medicine
• Recover faster from surgery and illness
• Deal better with stressful situations
• Are less likely to feel lonely

Source: The Lake Veterinary Hospitals, November, 1997, Newsletter


Surveyed Attitudes of the Elderly Regarding the Benefits of Pets:

• Talk to their pet 95%
• Pet helps when they feel sad 82%
• Pet helps when they physically feel bad 71%
• Touching their pet makes them feel better 65%
• Confides in their pet 57%

Source: “How Community-Based Elderly People Perceive Pet Ownership,”
New J., Wilson C., Netting F., 1986


After tracking pet industry statistics for more than a decade, The American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association (APPMA) announced figures demonstrating a continued rise in pet expenditures. Pet spending has more than doubled from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $38.4 billion in 2006.

In 2006, Americans’ spending on pets is projected to be higher than ever:

·         $15.2 billion for food

·         $9.3 billion for supplies and over-the-counter medications

·         $9.4 billion for veterinarian care

·         $1.8 billion for live animal purchases

·         $2.7 billion for other services

Total pet spending in 2005 (all ages) was $36.3 billion. And when examined by individual segment, the numbers are even more revealing. Both veterinary care and other services had stronger than anticipated performances in 2005.New and expanded veterinary services such as joint replacement surgeries, delicate eye procedures, and senior health care helped increase total spending by almost 8 percent over 2004.Other innovative new services continue to increase market penetration with pet spas and hotels, grooming, pet therapy and related services.

According to the APPMA 2005-2006 National Pet Owners Survey, current basic annual expenses for dog and cat owners in dollars include:

                                             Dogs                       Cats

Surgical Vet Visits                  574                          337

Food                                      241                          185

Kennel/Boarding                     202                           119

Routine Vet Visits                   211                           179

Groomer/Grooming Aids          107                            24

Vitamins                                 123                           32

Treats                                     68                              43

Toys                                       45                              29


As it is becoming widely recognized, pet owners’ spending is not limited to the basics. APPMA’s National Pet Owners Survey shows 27 percent of dog owners and 13 percent of cat owners buy their pets birthday presents, and 55 percent of dog owners and 37 percent of cat owners buy their pet holiday presents.

Why do people pamper their pets to the tune of billions of dollars a year? Pet owners report in APPMA’s National Pet Owners Survey it because they have a special bond with their pets and consider them a best friend, a companion or like a child or member of their family.

Source: The American Pet Products Manufacturer’s Association (APPMA)


Bottom line: Pets are important to the American public, particularly the mature market.  Is your marketing in tune with this? Does your lifestyle or health care option acknowledge this?


Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Living Alone

Of the 57 million American women 45 and up, nearly half—25 million—are unmarried (outnumbering entire populations of countries such as North Korea, Taiwan, and Australia). There are several reasons for this: American women marry later, their divorce rate is high, and, not to put too fine a point on it, those who are married are likely to outlive their mates. As a result, American women are now likely to spend more years of their lives single than with a significant other (Source: AARP)

Note from Tom Mann: Time to start a dating service?

Of all the elderly people living alone, the percentage of women will raise to 85% by 2020 (Source: AARP)