The Longevity Economy - the New Silver Rush

The Longevity Economy – the New Silver Rush

An Economic Opportunity for Entrepreneurs, Inventors and Innovators

Written By Karen Brown, Aging2.0 Denver Chapter Ambassador

Colorado has a fascinating and prosperous past, most notably during the mid-1800’s Gold Rush when prospectors came west to take advantage of the riches to be made in gold. Miners cashed in on the lucrative, but lesser known, silver bonanza, as well. Now, a new Silver Rush is emerging for entrepreneurs looking to cash in on the Longevity Economy created by older, dynamic, sometimes silver-haired, people.*

Defined by the AARP as, “…the collective economic contributions made by those people ages 50 and older,” the Longevity Economy highlights the economic purchasing power of those aged 50-plus in the U.S. valued at approximately $7.6 trillion dollars in 2015. During that same year, the total economic contribution of the Longevity Economy in Colorado accounted for 42 percent of the state’s GDP ($134.9 billion), despite being just 32 percent of the population.** The number of older Americans aged 65-plus is expected to double by 2050, and spending by those 50 and older is predicted to increase by almost 60 percent in the next two decades. This demographic and spending shift is an opportunity for entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses looking to fill the specific needs of this older population.

Many of the current, successful startups are led by folks who have experienced first-hand the lack of resources targeted at the needs of older people and their caregivers. Others are led by younger entrepreneurs who realize the economic potential in solving real problems, with an understanding that devising products and services for older people is both a compassionate endeavor and a shrewd business decision.

Like gold and silver mines that dotted the landscape of the Old West, the number of startups focused on serving the needs of this growing population are increasing in Colorado and across the U.S. These homegrown startups range from innovative housing options, as developed by companies like Silvernest, to creative healthcare opportunities, such as Dispatch Health, both Colorado-based companies.

The Aging2.0 Denver Chapter is deeply engaged in Denver Startup Week, and we hope you were able to join us there. Discussions at Denver Startup Week included the Longevity Economy and entrepreneurship as they relate to technology, design, manufacturing, business, and more. Click here for more information and be sure to attend in 2019. Denver Startup Week, founded in 2012, is a celebration of everything entrepreneurial in Denver. The weeklong event is intended to unite the entrepreneurial community in Denver and celebrate the great companies, innovation and ideas happening in the city and the people and inspiration behind them. Denver Startup Week Title Sponsors are Aging2.0 Denver Chapter, Chase for Business, Colorado State University, and the Downtown Denver.

* Washington Post, Aug. 31, 2018

** AARP Economic State Reports 2017

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Note: Chapters are an extension of the Aging2.0 HQ team. Innovation is happening all around the world, and we rely on Ambassadors to report back from the front lines of innovation to strengthen our community.