The issue of ageing tends to focus on the final stages of life, such as retirement, pensions, and ill-health, so is largely viewed in terms of its economic burden to society. The cost implications of ageing are important, but provided the needs of an ageing population are properly managed, the benefits of this demographic shift could outweigh the costs. For example:
Longer working lives: Globally, labour force participation growth is expected to slow from 1.8% pa over the past 50 years to 0.3% pa in the next 504. “Improving healthy life expectancy could justify delaying retirement age across many economies”
Increased consumption: Increasing preventative health spending by 0.1 percentage points has been associated with a 9% increase in annual consumption by people aged 60+5.
Productivity gains: Rising life expectancy correlates to increased output6 – thanks to the formal, technical and tacit skills that older workers have accumulated.
One study concludes the economic benefits from health improvements leading to fewer early deaths and higher labour market participation could add $12trn or 8% to global GDP in 2040.