What an 80 year old workforce means for organizations and innovation opportunities

Working till you are 80 years old is not a happy thought, particularly if you want to retire  at 65 or 67. But 25% Americans think that they might have no other alternative.  From an older worker's point of view not being able to retire is hard as is dealing with the stereotype of being old and incompetent. In addition, older people are also perceived as blocking the chances of entry and growth for younger workers. In a knowledge economy however, the older worker (65 or 67+) has some clear advantages:

  • Dependability of the older worker is huge simply because the person knows the job, may not be able to perform at super-speed  but you know it'll get done.
  • Informal organization knowledge. Although this cuts both ways – in a positive sense the older worker can help organizations innovate  and change because…
    • Of a legacy mindset. You want your organization to do better after you !

The innovation opportunities on the supply side change radically if the older worker does not retire but instead continues to work. These innovation opportunities could be:

  • Wellness services like gyms and training equipment for the elderly
  • More segmented wellness OTC products like vitamins and supplements
  • Leisure activities that are shorter duration than the 21 day cruise for the retired market
  • Electronics and computer screens that are more age-friendly for the working old
  • Re-training services for the older worker
  • Better safety products from railings,  boots that prevent falls and injury for the aged in the workplace.
  • Low cost retirement options 

Low cost retirement options might be  an idea worth pushing for low cost locations within the US and abroad.

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