As Baby Boomers grow older, experts have started to evaluate the impact that they exert on the economy. As of 2015, older adults, those who are 50 and over, accounted for 37 percent of Puerto Rico’s population and is expected to account for 47 percent by 2040.
Research by the local AARP has determined that this population strongly influences the economy. The data uncovered by the AARP may be useful in determining business and consumer opportunities tailored to this population’s needs.
According to the study, titled “Economic Impact of The Longevity Economy”, in 2015, older adults contributed $20.7 billion in consumer spending to Puerto Rico’s economy and generated 371,000 jobs, which accounted for 41 percent of jobs created. The report also goes on to state that the total income earned by the employees of these older adults was $14.3 billion and that the amount they paid in local and municipal taxes was $2.3 billion.
The information provided by the AARP may serve to help change the way we view older adults in Puerto Rico. Instead of stigmatizing this population, the local government and the private sector should develop appropriate ways to meet the consumer demands of these people while at the same time fostering their entrepreneurship so that they may continue contributing to the labor force.
When affronted with the inevitable reality that the aging population is rapidly becoming the largest group in our society, one realizes that it is time to shift focus and change the way we view this group of people. Recent studies have demonstrated that people over 50 are more careful with their money and wealth management than younger adults. With this in mind, we must begin to break down the barriers that impede the creation of public policies which would maximize the contributions of this age group and turn them into an asset for Puerto Rico. The data provided by the AARP should serve as the starting point to incorporating those over 50 to the task of rebuilding Puerto Rico.