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  • Writer's pictureDeep Knowledge Group

Fortune Arabia: Seniors are the wealthiest age group in the world

By Dmitry Kaminskiy, General Partner of Deep Knowledge Group

Consumer spending among the middle and upper class of people aged 65 and over is expected to reach $15 trillion by 2030, compared to $8.7 trillion in 2020, according to Deep Knowledge Analytics and Deep Knowledge Group.

The elderly are the richest age group in the world, along with professionals between the ages of 45 and 64, and the reason for this phenomenon is not that the elderly are naturally richer, but rather In most cases, and with some exceptions, rich countries tend to have older populations, while poorer countries tend to have younger populations.

The longevity industry is an emerging sector new to the MENA region, and lies at the intersection of several vital sub-sectors, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, FinTech, InsurTech and more.

The longevity industry focuses on healthy aging, and includes technologies and programs that aim to improve a healthy life span and extend longevity. Its solutions are based on the prevention, detection, control, and treatment of chronic diseases.

In 2006, the World Health Organization developed the concept of age-friendly cities, which are cities that use modern technologies and adopt life-sustaining policies to support their population in retirement age, thus increasing life expectancy and promoting healthy aging.

These cities are seen as prime destinations for people who want to live comfortably during their golden years. The WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities includes 1,114 urban centers in 44 countries, serving more than 262 million people worldwide.

While age-friendly cities can be considered good places to retire, "sustainability valleys" appear, a natural evolution of age-friendly cities, according to the life sustainability sector periodical recently launched by Longevity.International andAging Analytics Agency as ideal sites for seniors, these valleys allow seniors to maintain their professional, mental, social and economic activity for as long as possible. This is called "practical longevity". Instead of focusing only on healthy aging, the next step is to create favorable conditions for accelerating the pace of practical longevity, with the aim of focusing on prolonging the period of wealth for citizens, in addition to extending their healthy life span (Healthspan) with age.

Age-friendly cities are places where seniors can enjoy better health, and practical sustainability valleys are places for young people who want to live longer, or for seniors who want to stay physically and financially active.

Healthy aging also requires changes driven by state policies to make life easier and more comfortable for people of all ages, especially the elderly. As cities grow in size due to urbanization and an aging population, governments must adapt and create new infrastructure to keep pace with these developments and accommodate the needs of this growing demographic.

In recent years, we have seen many governments adopting longevity policies, including the UAE government, where the formation of ad hoc legislative groups and the inclusion of the longevity issue in political policies are essential factors that contribute to the advancement of countries to adopt them. Government initiatives that benefit from longevity sustainability seek to reshape the political, social and economic landscape of countries around the world.

Today, there is an urgent need to change government attitudes towards aging, as it should shift from the curative approach, that is, the attempt to avoid the economic burden of the growing proportion of the population aged 60 years or over, to the preventive and proactive approach, that is, to support ways to extend the level of healthy life of the population, through the development of social and economic opportunities within the longevity sector, such as extending the period of labor force participation in the labor market and its productivity, reducing the burden of health care for the elderly, and achieving economic growth as a result of the advancement of this sector, as well as related sub-sectors.

Healthy aging not only contributes to an increase in life expectancy, but also plays a major role in increasing the participation rate of older people in the workforce. Healthy aging is influenced by many factors such as economic growth, government health care policies, the quality of health care providers and the extent to which people have access to all of these, as well as other social and environmental factors that influence healthy aging such as air quality and pollution levels.

Income, work, and social protection are examples of economic conditions affecting healthy aging, as well as lifestyle, healthy eating habits, physical activity, and the extent to which medications are used to prevent diseases and their treatment.

The surrounding environment in which we live, such as transportation, housing, and nature, are added to these factors, as well as genetic susceptibility and prior tendencies for a longer life within some population groups. Some ethnic groups are historically known to have higher life expectancies than other ethnic groups. For example, the life expectancy of Asians is higher, according to Deep Knowledge Analytics.

Age-friendly cities combine multiple aspects of the life sustainability sector, including wealth technology, life technology, insurance technology and many more. The goal is to maintain an optimal state of wealth and health in the later years of life, and to enable the elderly and middle-aged to continue their physical, mental and financial activities in the best way and for the longest possible period.

Ultimately, the spread of sustainable longevity valleys is expected to lead to a higher number of practical sustainable longevity countries around the world.

Read the original Arabic version in Fortune Arabia here.

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