Throughout 99% of human history, the average life expectancy was under 18 years. Dramatic breakthroughs in medicine, public health, and lifestyle management have caused two unprecedented trends: declining fertility and increasing longevity. The average life expectancy has vaulted from 47 in 1900 to around 78 today (albeit with some temporary backsliding during COVID-19) and a new, uncharted longevity is emerging. Together with increasing numbers of older adults due to the aging of the massive Baby Boomer generation, and declining fertility in all the modernized nations of the world, a longevity revolution is underway. In fact, two thirds of all the people that have ever lived past 65 in the entire history of the world are alive today!
Indeed, tomorrow’s biggest untapped opportunity is hiding in plain sight. In the U.S. alone, the 50+ population’s economic fortitude is stronger than ever – and growing moreso every day. 79% of the total net worth is controlled by people 50+. They represent the purchase of 51% of all groceries, 52% of adult apparel, 52% of all personal care and beauty products, 56% of travel, 61% of housewares, two thirds of all the books, 68% of all OTC drugs, 71% of all the money in banks, 74% of all vitamins and supplements and 77% of all prescription drugs.
At Age Wave, we feel it’s our job to help companies and governments break free of their ageism and envision the new solutions required to meet the needs of this unprecedented longevity revolution. For example, in the years ahead, watch for growth in products, services and industries such as the following:
- therapeutically cloned and/or 3d-printed kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts, skin, blood, and bones for tune-ups or replacements;
- nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals engineered with macro- and micronutrients to fight or even reverse aging;
- health optimizing homes, complete with next-level air purification systems and toilet-based biometric labs;
- high-tech exercise gear and equipment programmed to precisely train users to build stronger, healthier, and more youthful bodies;
- smart acoustic systems in telephones, radios, land TVs that customize signals to accommodate the auditory range of each user’s ears;
- lifelong learning and reinvention programs at colleges, universities, churches, community centers and online;
- mature employment and retirement transition coordinators/guides;
- experience agents – next level travel agents – who can be commissioned to orchestrate any type of request, whether it’s a party, learning program, psychotherapy, sabbatical, travel adventure, spiritual retreat, or introduction to new friends or housemates;
- intergenerational communes;
- longevity insurance that, rather than paying an individual’s family in case of early death, provides financial support for people who live very long lives;
- paycheck-for-life annuities to provide a steady and secure stream of financial support for folks during their post-working years; and
- legacy videography services for folks who want to express and memorialize their treasured memories and life lessons.
I firmly believe that this “age wave” is a powerful and unprecedented demographic engine that will drive the marketplace for the rest of our lives. Seizing this massive growth opportunity is going to require a respectful and fresh appreciation for today’s and tomorrow’s older adults: what they’ll want to feel, eat, drive, wear, and buy; and how they’ll want to enjoy their longer lives and find purpose in their newfound time affluence.
If you’re interested in learning more about our presentation, “The Rise of History’s Biggest Untapped Market Hiding in Plain Sight,” for your business or association, please click here.