According to Forbes, Americans over 50 account for $7.6 trillion in direct spending and related economic activity annually and control more than 80% of household wealth.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch notes that the global spending power of those over 60 will reach $15 trillion annually by 2020. That’s a lot of green in that grey market. Boomer spending spans many product categories. Health is an obvious area but, in addition to pharmaceuticals, it also includes biotechnology, devices and services.
Forbes notes that “when it comes to housing, transportation, entertainment, food and alcohol, older people already have their checkbooks out. Americans 60-plus are expected to account for at least 40% of consumption growth in those areas between 2015 and 2030.”
And let’s not forget finance and automotive, where older Americans have the money and the interest to spend heavily.
Boomers are hardly technophobes, having lived through a period of great technological advancements from the advent of mobile phones (the size of shoeboxes) to viewers’ choice (with remotes, cable TV and VCRs). The embracing of new technology continues. Today, “the greatest consumer group for Apple products is men over the age of 65,” noted David Harry Stewart, Founder, AGEIST.
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While this has been argued before, it bears repeating. According to economic trends, today’s older consumers command much greater buying power compared to current and previous generations.
Boomers alone represent 70% of the total net worth in America and account for 40% of total consumer demand. It is time for the media metrics to keep pace with economic realities.
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But in a lacerating speech on Friday, Madonna — the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time, who in March wrapped up a tour that took in $170 million — resisted the notion that all was well and fair for women entertainers, particularly as they get older.
Accepting a Woman of the Year award at the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event, the 58-year-old musician brought a hush over the crowd as she spoke in deeply personal terms.
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I HIRED a candidate with 30 yrs experience. You wouldn't believe the opposition I got!
The HR Manager said he is "too old" and won’t 'fit into our culture.' She was not impressed. This guy had been laid off by his previous employer due to restructuring at the age of 53 years. He kept applying for jobs but was rejected for being 'Overqualified' which led to his 'Employment Gap' reaching almost 1 year.
Everyone is looking for that 18 year old with 20 years experience. This guy brought an abundance of experience and taught me a lot that I never learned from all my years in the industry. You can’t Google Experience!
Employers if you want the best talent, you need to be considering the 'OVERQUALIFIED' candidates. The truth is 'Overqualified' is really the code word for age discrimination. AGEISM in the workplace is very real and sadly quite acceptable. Our society needs to change. All that should matter is if the candidate has the right skills and attitude to do the job. It’s time to STOP discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.
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A lawyer known for battling tech giants over the treatment of workers has set her sights on International Business Machines Corp.
Shannon Liss-Riordan on Monday filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of three former IBM employees who say the tech giant discriminated against them based on their age when it fired them. Liss-Riordan, a partner at Lichten & Liss-Riordan in Boston, has represented workers against Amazon, Uber and Google and has styled her firm as the premier champion for employees left behind by powerful tech companies.
“Over the last several years, IBM has been in the process of systematically laying off older employees in order to build a younger workforce,” the former employees claim in the suit, which draws heavily on a ProPublica report published in March that said the company has fired more than 20,000 employees older than 40 in the last six years.
The lawsuit comes as IBM faces questions about its firing practices. In exhaustive detail, the ProPublica report made the case that IBM systematically broke age-discrimination rules. Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has consolidated complaints against IBM into a single, targeted investigation, according to a person familiar with it. A spokeswoman for the EEOC declined to comment.
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As an award-winning investigative reporter for CBS4, Michele Gillen used to shine a spotlight on misconduct in South Florida.
Now, after she was let go two years ago, Gillen has sued her former employer and accused ex-colleagues of age and gender discrimination along with bullying and harassment.
Gillen, 63, who joined WFOR-TV as a news reporter in 1997 after working for another CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, says in a lawsuit that the culture of the newsroom was “toxic” toward women.
Her suit, filed Friday in Miami federal court, says it was “CBS’ practice that news beats and projects developed by Ms. Gillen were ignored or taken from her to be worked on by younger reporters or male reporters, while she, in turn, was assigned less desirable projects and was given little to no support in producing the assigned projects.”
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More than a third of adults over 45 are lonely, according to a new report from the AARP Foundation. While that percentage (35%) remains unchanged from a 2010 version of the survey, the over-45 population has increased substantially during those eight years — meaning about 5 million more adults, almost 48 million in total, can now be considered lonely.
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The number of households in the United States grew by 1.4 million between 2017 and 2018, according to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. Household growth appears to be back on track after anemic growth between 2016 and 2017.
Since 2010, the nation's households have expanded by 10 million, rising from 118 million to 128 million. But only one age group accounts for most of the increase. The number of householders aged 65 to 74 grew by an enormous 44 percent between 2010 and 2018, accounting for 58 percent of total household growth during those years..
Households by age of householder (and % change, 2010-18)
Total households: 127,586,000 (+8.5%)
Consumers 65+ are a force to be reckoned with:
Average household spending, 2017 (and % change since 2006; in 2017 dollars)
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In recognition that good work is not the province of youth, this year Advertising Age is debuting its first 7-over-70 list. Our honorees not only have great accomplishments in their past, they're still deeply engaged in their work, proving that age really is just a number.
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I was lucky enough to work directly with one (David), meet another (Billet) and make the acquaintance of one of the most influential Hispanic professionals (the Orcis). Here are their bios.
David Bell, Senior adviser, Dentsu Aegis Network
David Bell is an Advertising Hall of Famer with a resume littered with accomplishments. For starters, he led two holding companies, first as CEO of True North and then as CEO of Interpublic Group of Companies in 2001 after it acquired True North. He helped create b-to-b agency Gyro. He advised AOL and Google. He was once chairman of several industry groups, including the American Association of Advertising Agencies, now known as the 4A's.
But slowing down is not in Bell's blood. "I try to go where the heat is," he says. Today, Bell is a senior adviser to Dentsu Aegis Network, visiting the holding company's offices multiple times a month. He's also a senior adviser to several startups. "I love being part of the lives of young people that are making a difference in an industry that I love," he says.
Nick Brien, CEO of the Americas at Dentsu Aegis Network, says that Bell, who declined to give his actual age, is one of a kind. "I've never met a person with the wisdom of a 70-year-old, the energy of a 50-year-old and the curiosity of a 20-year-old," he says. "I want to grow up to be just like David Bell." —E.J. Schultz
John Billet, Non-executive director, ID Comms
Known as an inventor of media auditing, John Billett, 74, says bringing the practice to the U.S. is one of his most memorable achievements. A native of Exeter, England, Billett has had a long history in the media agency industry, from his start in Unilever's media department to the founding of the media-auditing business Billetts International, which he eventually sold (and was rebranded as Ebiquity).
Billett, who says he has "banished the word retirement," from his vocabulary, is non-executive director of the media consultancy ID Comms, which ran major media reviews this year for HSBC and LVMH and recently opened an office in New York. He and his wife, Glynis Billett, also run the music management company JBGB Events, which manages and presents live jazz and classical performances.
Reflecting on his career, he mentions the song "I'm Still Here" from Stephen Sondheim's musical "Follies." "'I'm still here' is the best thing I can say about my life at the moment," he says. "I'm still doing something, I'm still making a difference, I'm still having a ball." —Megan Graham
Hector And Norma Orcí, Chairman, Orcí, Vice chairwoman, Orcí
Hector and Norma Orcí have been working together since McCann-Erickson recruited them in 1982 to open a Hispanic agency in Los Angeles. Even then, the Mexican immigrants, who had been married 18 years, were seasoned executives: He got his start at Procter & Gamble and went on to run DDB in Mexico. She was a copywriter at a Mexican agency and before that an anchor at a Mexican radio station.
In 1986, the couple negotiated a spinoff from McCann, forming what is now known as Orcí. Norma oversaw creative and Hector led accounts. "I was a creative that liked account executives—a very rare person," she jokes. "And Hector was a guy who got along with creatives, so it was an easy fit."
Orcí put itself on the map early by winning an assignment from the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service to promote an immigration reform law signed by President Reagan. Today, clients include Honda and Dole. Hector, 76, and Norma, 74, handed the agency reins to their son, Andrew, in 2011 but are still active in the company. "We are involved more than in charge," says Norma. —E.S.
Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60.
By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth.
With this in mind, enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required. Just as important, however, is the essential contribution the majority of older men and women can continue to make to the functioning of society if adequate guarantees are in place. Human rights lie at the core of all efforts in this regard.
Living up to the Secretary-General’s guiding principle of “Leaving No-One Behind” necessitates the understanding that demography matters for sustainable development and that population dynamics will shape the key developmental challenges that the world in confronting in the 21st century. If our ambition is to “Build the Future We Want”, we must address the population over 60 which is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2030.
The 2018 theme aims to:
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Mr. Ochisor was one of six professional drivers to commit suicide in New York in the last year — a crisis that has prompted a flurry of legislation to address the despair plaguing the industry. Most were men in their 50s and 60s anguished about their finances and feeling hopeless about being able to retire.
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Suit contends dismissal was part of a pattern of 'systematically eliminating older employees.
Hernandez’s lawyer claims Landor exhibited “the same ageism that is standard in the industry,” citing several publications’ reports on the allegedly widespread nature of ageism in advertising, including a 2016 AgencySpy story, a Digiday story from the same year, a Forbes story asking if “ageism” is the ugliest “ism” in the industry and a recent Wall Street Journal story about AARP enlisting former advertising executive Cindy Gallop to take on ageism.
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Laura Bensman has worked in the advertising industry for more than three decades, but in all those years she has only attended one retirement party. There's a reason for that: In advertising, and at agencies in particular, it's rare employees ever reach retirement age. They're often squeezed out long before.
If you are in marketing, advertising or any of the creative industries: what's your story? Share!
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Like all pioneer settlements, Margaritaville is not just a place but an idea — an imagined utopia, in this case inspired by a Jimmy Buffett song’s reference to a frozen cocktail.
To be sure, Margaritaville is not representative of how most of us will spend our retirement years. Fewer than 14 percent of Americans 75 and older occupy some form of senior housing today. Three-quarters of those over 50 say they would prefer not to move at all.
And untold numbers of seniors who might need or want to enter an age-restricted or assisted-living community won’t be able to afford to do so; 30 percent of those 65 and older have an annual income below $23,000, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The least-expensive homes in Margaritaville are more than 10 times that, before the monthly association fee of roughly $200 — and those sums don’t include meals or care. (For statewide comparison, a private room in a skilled-nursing facility has a median cost of $9,000 per month, and in an assisted-living residence, $3,500 per month, according to LeadingAge Florida, an association of elder-care organizations.
Continuing-care communities that guarantee all levels of lifetime care on-site have charges that range from $2,500 to $5,400 per month, plus substantial entry fees.)
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Starbucks has opened a new café staffed entirely by senior citizens in Mexico City, teaming up with the National Institute for the Elderly (INAPAM) to promote a programme of labour inclusion. To accommodate the special needs of its older employees, Starbucks adapted its outlets, making sure branches are one floor, and lowering the shelves. The senior staff enjoy additional benefits to those provided to younger employees, such as two days off, a working day of 6.5 hours, and health insurance that covers their medical needs.
“According to 2017 data from the INEGI, Mexico is home to 12 million senior citizens, which represents 10.5% of the national population. Companies are starting to see the benefits of targeting seniors with employment opportunities and services that will help them get the financial or emotional support they need. Singapore’s National Library Board, for example, is to launch a suite of digital readiness services targeted at adults and seniors. While Chinese online shopping platform Taobao has posted a job vacancy online to recruit over-60s influencers, who will be responsible for assessing new products aimed at middle-aged and senior consumers.”
Trends Analyst, Latin America
He sold his company for $1.4 billion. Now this Miami legend is starting over again. Read Manny Medina's story and see how age, yes, it's an important number, but grit wins every time.
The resumé of one of the city’s most storied entrepreneurs reads like a history of the city’s last 40 years: boom, bust and reemergence. Immigrant. Accountant. Real estate tycoon. Failure. Billion-dollar success. Tech cheerleader. Startup entrepreneur.
And though he’s in his seventh decade, Medina is no more finished reinventing himself than the city itself.
In May 2017, Medina created Cyxtera, a Coral Gables firm whose mission is to help companies better protect their data, whether it sits in a server or in the cloud. It has already grown to more than 1,300 employees spread across the globe, with more than 100 located in Miami.
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Americans 55 and older are the fastest-growing group of electronic wearable users in the US, according to eMarketer’s latest wearables forecast, largely due to the devices’ enhanced health features.
In 2019, 8.2 million Americans age 55 and older will use a wearable device, up more than 15% over this year. While the group still represents a small share of users, it has the highest growth rate among all age groups. In fact, eMarketer has increased its projections for older Americans due to faster-than-expected adoption of wearable devices.
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Age discrimination, which every year forces hundreds of thousands of people out of their jobs and, for many, into forming their own companies, is also the #1 problem among these startups.
Verizon is among dozens of the nation’s leading employers — including Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Target and Facebook itself — that placed recruitment ads limited to particular age groups, an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times has found.
The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers.
Several experts questioned whether the practice is in keeping with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits bias against people 40 or older in hiring or employment. Many jurisdictions make it unlawful to “aid” or “abet” age discrimination, a provision that could apply to companies like Facebook that distribute job ads.
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