It has finally happened. The capital markets and big financial players have discovered that there's gold in aging. The smart money is staking a claim on the aging space as the economic impact and implications of an aging Baby Boom generation are becoming more apparent everyday. Leading edge investors -- the ones who have that uncanny ability to locate the next big thing -- see clearly what so many others have overlooked: enormous potential for fast growth in global aging.
Aging was a central topic of conversation at the recent Milken Institute Global Conference -- where some of the smartest and most forward-thinking people in the world gathered to discuss potent mega-trends. According to these thought leaders, global aging presents significant investment opportunity for those with the vision to understand its implications.
While global aging as a demographic trend has been underway for some time, it is only now being recognized as a business priority. For the past several decades, most of the smart money has fixated on emerging technologies and geographical expansion as the most fertile sources of un-mined wealth. Today we see that these markets have become crowded, and that fast growth -- in the BRIC regions for instance -- is actually slowing. For the first time in a long time the place for fast growth is demographic, not geographic.
The fact that aging is now a big-time investment opportunity comes as no surprise to experts who have been tracking the phenomenon. Milken Conference panelis, and AARP's thought-leadership SVP, Jody Holzman estimated that the global aging population accounts for $7.1 trillion in economic activity and continues to be a primary driver of economic growth. Moreover, according to the Census Bureau, aging is on the upswing. The most recent projections indicate that the number of people in the U.S. age 65 and over will increase approximately 110 percent between now and 2060, while those 85 and over will grow by more than 200 percent.
It's important to note that the emerging cohort of aging adults will be working longer -- and consequently earning more -- than any generation in history. Transamerica's Center for Retirement Studies reveals that 65 percent of U.S. Boomers either plan to work past age 65 or don't plan to retire at all. So, is the word retirement even appropriate anymore? Clearly it isn't.
The main takeaway from all of these data points is that aging is big, and it's a trend that is here to stay. While the youth-driven marketing community sees silver hair and looks the other way, the investment community sees nothing but gold... and lots of it. 2014 is a critical year: the last of the Baby Boomers and the first of the Gen-Xers will turn 50. We live in the Age of Aging, and leading-edge investment capital is now finding its way to new products and services that will meet the evolving needs of the world's wealthiest consumers. Creating wealth by targeting the wealthiest generation? This is simple logic that smart money gets.