The Economy of Aging

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As we get older, things change. From food to fitness to fashion choices, we make different decisions as consumers. After many years in adulthood, we tend to accumulate more things — meaning we have more things to fix, maintain and insure. Many folks also have more people in their lives for whom they are responsible.

These changes also affect our national economy. As a large demographic group grows older, such as the baby boomers, we see a drop in some of the products and services they typically purchased and a step-up in others. In addition to purchasing habits, here are a few other changes we might recognize as we age:1

  • We are more protective of our time.
  • We pay less attention to what others think and more attention to what we value.
  • We see the cause and effect between how today’s decisions affect our lives tomorrow.
  • We are more focused on what is important in our lives and let the “noise” of life drift away.
  • We no longer care about becoming wealthy but care more about having a more balanced life.
  • We listen more to our head and our heart, and less to our “gut.”
  • We stop thinking we know everything and recognize how much we don’t know — and never will.
  • We’re no longer focused on making our mark in the world but rather on the lives of loved ones.

Each of these insights leads to decisions that inform how we spend our money, what we eat, where we go and with whom we spend our time. Ultimately, the economy we pursue in our personal life is reflected on a national scale.

1 Jonathan Clements. Next Avenue. Aug. 13, 2018. “11 Ways Our Views About Money Change in Our 50s and 60s.” Accessed Sept. 4, 2018.


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