Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Consider these facts:

Fact 1: Everyone ages. This is indisputable.
Fact 2: Both the birth rate and the elderly mortality rate are slowing down, resulting in a net gain of older people. For the first time in history, adults aged 60 and above outnumber the young.
Conclusion: The world is ageing, and the trend is likely to be irreversable.

So what does this mean? It depends on whom you pose this question to.

To the individual, it means you must be prepared to have the financial means and good health to live an extra 20 years after you retire.

To the government, it means policies must be implemented and action taken to make the towns and cities age-friendly.

To welfare organizations and charities, it means they must expect to look after large numbers of elderly folks who may need shelter, food and counselling among others. This would be a tremendous drain on their resources.

To the corporate sector, it means they must be ready to absorb older workers as the pool of young workers may be in short supply.

The above is only a small fraction of what needs to be done to be ready for the silver tsunami.

But there's also this other side of the coin. Not all is doom and gloom as the above letter from a Straits Times reader suggests.

If you are an entrepreneur who is quick to see the huge potential in the emerging silver-haired market, you stand to reap huge profits by catering to the needs and demands of this growing segment of the population. Apply the blue ocean strategy.

According to United Nations figures, Malaysia will be an ageing country by 2035 when 15% of the population is aged 60 and above. Singapore is now the fastest ageing country in Asia, and the percentage of people above 65 will increase from the present 7% to 19% in 2030.

How prepared are we to face the challenges of an ageing population?

Click on the link for more details of the upcoming 3rd Ageing Asia Investment Forum.

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