I was stumped at a recent career Lunch and Learn at the Central Library when career practitioners in the audience asked a great question:
What is the upside of an aging population, and where are the growth opportunities for Canadian industries?
While there is much written about the negative economic implications of a retiring boomer generation, we had a lively discussion over the potential positive aspects. Well, there's nothing Library staff love more than a good research challenge, so we set off to find out more.
In her Financial Post article "Boomers a Booming Investment," Patricia Lovett-Reid identified a list of key sectors that might well benefit from an aging population. She argues that companies who concentrate on providing services in health care, anti-aging and assisted living facilities might fare well.
Health care is no surprise, but what's interesting is that in the United States, companies have figured out that they need to deliver health care services in new ways, as many seniors want to manage and direct their care and have high expectations for service. According to the authors of Serving Aging Baby Boomers, clinics for education and care programs are appearing in retail locations such as supermarkets.
Big changes are coming to senior living as well. Boutique senior living is making headway, including onsite services such as travel agents, learning courses and even spas. Living the Boutique Lifestyle, by Alicia Jones, overviews a new type of services model and highlights opportunities for operators.
Today's seniors are also living more independent and healthier golden years that their predecessors, realizing that aging can be a positive, constructive and exciting journey. As a result, leisure and travel sectors are also poised to grow, given that this age group is also consuming and spending more than their grandparents did. As well, Lovett-Reid also predicts that companies that cater to the specific financial and investment needs of older clients will be able to take advantage of growing portfolios.
The opportunities for senior-related businesses are ripe for those with a little imagination and who know how to do their research. For help researching your business questions, contact our reference team at 403-260-2782 or centralinformationservices @ calgarypubliclibrary.com for help with your research, including details about accessing our many relevant online journals.