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The power of the Silver Pound

UK society has often failed to appreciate the needs of, and contributions from, Britain’s older generations.

But a shift in attitudes is emerging, moving away from this trend. As millennials struggle with ever-increasing housing costs and the burden of student debt, the spending powers of the older demographic are increasingly being recognised.

Businesses favour the young – 63% focus their campaigns and attention on the younger demographic, even though baby boomers currently outspend their younger counterparts across the spectrum. For example, those born after World War II spend £4.3 billion more on utilities each year than those who came of age around 2000, according to the Institute of Customer Service. This nods towards the fact that the former are owners of bigger family homes, rather than renting or sharing bills.

What’s more, many people, particularly younger generations, are still subject to effects from the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Since the financial crash, wages for younger generations have risen at a slower rate than their older counterparts. For instance, for those aged 30-49, wages have risen by 11% vs. a 30% rise for 50-64 year olds, according to the Government’s family spending report. This means older generations will, in general, have significantly less debt and more assets. This elder demographic, in economic terms, are clearly in a comparatively privileged position.

And it’s not just their spending power that is the story here; we are also seeing a rise in ‘encore careers’. This is when one is at or near retiring from their established career and opt to start afresh, entering an area that combines greater personal meaning with positive social impact. The Guardian recently cited the example of the former associate editor of the Financial Times, who gave up her high-flying career to train to become a maths teacher and devote more time towards her charitable endeavours.

Those individuals in the ‘later stages’ of their career but are looking to move can be supported by the organisation Encore.org, who connect the older generation with opportunities that embrace their skills and wisdom to the benefit of society.

It is clear that Britain’s older generations are making an important contribution and this should be neither forgotten nor ignored. Their spending power and life experience mean both the economy and society have the potential to benefit enormously from them.   

This is a guest post from Stannah Stairlifts, for more information on the brand please read here

 

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