America’s aging population holds the promise of getting back the economy’s mojo.
Purpose and a Paycheck
Finding Meaning, Money, and Happiness in the Second Half of Life
Roughly 10,000 baby boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday every single day until 2030. The Census Bureau predicts the number of people over 65 years of age will outnumber children age 18 and under by 2035–for the first time in U.S. history. How will this rise in older Americans impact our economy, communities and culture?
Many economic and social prognosticators worry that an aging population will erode the economy’s underlying dynamism. Too few young workers will support too many dependent elderly.
Wrong. Very wrong. Purpose And A Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money, and Happiness in the Second Half of Life (HarperCollins Leadership, 2019), I combine scholarly research with firsthand reporting to debunk the popular myth that an aging population is a burden on the economy. An impressive body of research suggests that, given the opportunity, people in the second half of life can be as creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial as their younger peers, if not more so.
More than a quarter of all new businesses launched in recent years were started by the 55-to-64-year-old age group, up from nearly 15 percent two decades ago. These experienced entrepreneurs are in the vanguard of rethinking and reimagining the second half of life. Experienced workers are working well into the traditional retirement years. They’re breaking down ageist barriers.
Forging connections to keep people engaged in the economy in the second half of life—rather than labeling them unproductive and uncreative—is a recipe in the twenty-first century for fueling creativity, encouraging innovation, and boosting economic growth.
America’s aging workforce holds the promise of getting back the economy’s mojo.