3880 Milken CFA Report cover

Silver to Gold: The Business of Aging

Feb 22, 2018

By Paul Irving with Rita Beamish and Arielle Burstein

Opportunities presented by an aging population will not be fully realized unless business leaders act now to prepare for this irreversible shift in demography. To discuss the significance of population aging for the business sector and society at large, the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, with the collaboration and support of the M Center of Excellence at The American College of Financial Services, convened the 2017 Summit on Business and the Future of Aging in Los Angeles.  

This report includes commentary from the summit’s participants, as well as data and insights from multiple sources and identifies opportunities, innovations, human capital strategies, and forward-looking policies and practices to realize the upside of aging. It offers thoughtful, fact-filled assessments of the growing economic power of older adults, the underutilized resource of mature workers, advances that can dramatically extend lifespan, health and productivity, and a call to action. 

Key Insights 

  • By the end of this decade, annual consumer spending by age 60-and-over adults globally will reach $15 trillion (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)
  • Americans over 50 account for $7.6 trillion in direct spending and related economic activity (Oxford Economics/AARP)
  • Older adults in the U.S. dominate 119 out of 123 consumer packaged-goods categories (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)
  • The proportion of people in the working-age population worldwide who are 50 or older will grow from 20 percent in 2010 to 30 percent by 2050. (The Boston Consulting Group)
  • Older workers in the U.S. have similar or lower injury and illness rates than younger counterparts (CDC)
  • Fewer than half of companies worldwide factor longevity into their strategic planning (The Economist)

In “The Business of Aging” essay series, prominent thought leaders discuss solutions for longevity in conjunction with innovation, finance, and health.


Read the Essay Series →