Americans Over 50 Drive Economic Growth, AARP and Triple-I Agree

For immediate releaseNew York Press Office: Loretta Worters, 917-208-8842; lorettaw@iii.org
 

NEW YORK, March 29, 2022— Americans aged 50-plus play a significant role in the U.S. economy as workers and consumers yet their collective impact is often overlooked, according to AARP and the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).Dr. Jean Accius, Senior Vice President, Global Thought Leadership, AARP, and Laura Favinger, Chief of Staff, Triple-I, in an informative 25-minute video released this week, discussed the demographic changes reshaping the U.S. economy based in part on the findings of AARP’s The Longevity Economic Outlook.“There are 10,000 people turning 65 each and every day. By 2032, for the first time in history, the number of people over the age of 65 will outnumber those of children,” Dr. Accius said, referring to the U.S. population. “How do we ensure that consumers have the tools, the resources, and the means to match their life’s aspirations?”“The AARP and Triple-I have missions that overlap,” said Favinger. “Folks in the 50-plus category have the need to be able to go out and procure auto, home and life insurance and that contributes to their ability to function well as they age.”Living and Working LongerThe number of U.S. workers aged 50-plus increased by 80% over a period of 20 years (1998-2018), more than four times faster than overall workforce growth. AARP estimates 38 percent of the combined workforce in insurance, financial services, and real estate is aged 50-plus. Moreover, the number of workers aged 65-plus have nearly tripled over that same 20-year timeframe.“As people live longer, they will either want to or need to continue working,” said Dr. Accius. “The idea of a multi-generational workforce is a reality. Each generation brings a unique set of skills and when you’re able to leverage the skills in a way that advances the organizational goals and taps into that diversity of age, wisdom and insights, you are more likely to be more productive as an organization with higher levels of creativity, greater innovation and greater return on investment.”Americans aged 50-plus contributed $8.3 trillion to the U.S. economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018 yet a potential $850 billion in additional GDP growth was lost that year because those aged 50-plus who wished to remain in or re-enter the labor force, switch jobs, or be promoted within their existing company, were not given that opportunity, the AARP found.“Age discrimination actually stifles economic growth,” Dr. Accius said, citing an AARP report released last year about how discriminating against older workers could cost the U.S. economy $850 billion.“There is some concern about age discrimination and that’s impacting how long people are working and what opportunities they are being given,” said Favinger. “If we can keep people working longer, in good jobs, there are all kinds of benefits that come from that, not the least of which is the impact to the economy.” Keeping Up with Technological AdvancesDuring the conversation, Favinger said Americans aged 50-plus are much savvier with technology than they are generally given credit for. “This was very apparent during the pandemic. Technology literacy is becoming an important feature of how we age, and it can help support us as we age,” she stated.“Over the last two years we’ve seen older adults on TikTok, on social media platforms, they have connected with their families across the country as they have been physically disconnected,” Dr. Accius said. “They are online and utilizing different forms of technology. Older adults are spending a significant amount of resources, too: $140 billion on technology in 2018 and by 2050 that amount of resources will be close to $640 billion*. The pandemic has drastically demonstrated that older adults are nimble, that they are not fearful of technology, and are able to utilize it in a very meaningful and intentional way.”*The amount older Americans are expected to spend on technology was $640 billion before adjusting for the economic impact of Covid. According to the Longevity Economy Outlook report, the updated expectation is $623 billion.


The Triple-I has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about Triple-I mobile apps can be found here.

 

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