Older households in the UK spend more
In new reports published by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), it’s found that longer lives could be crucial in European pandemic recovery and highlight the economic opportunities of longer lives across Europe.
According to the reports, older people’s contributions across the European region are significant, and growing:
- In Germany, 77% of people aged between 50 and 64 are in employment
- In France, nearly 1 in 3 workers are aged 50 and over.
- By 2035, almost 3 in 5 (59%) of workers could be aged 50 and over in Italy
- Over 6 out of every 10 euros in the Spanish economy were spent by households led by those aged 50+ in 2015
- By 2040, 63p in every pound in the UK economy will be spent by older households.
According to the report, however, there is a key barrier to realising these opportunities and that is poor health which limits people’s ability to stay active as they get older.
Comparing countries across the G2o, the “Health equals wealth” reports highlight that:
In countries that spend more on health, older people work, spend and volunteer more.
Increasing preventative health spending by just 0.1 percentage can unlock a 9% increase in annual spending by older people and an additional 10 hours of volunteering each year.
In a recent story published by TALiNT International, it’s believed the key to unlocking the skills shortage crisis is to upskill the older workforce.
The reports reveal the need for countries to better support older people’s economic contributions, particularly through greater investment in preventative health measures that support healthy ageing. It’s proposed that governments invest at least 6% of their health budgets on interventions, such as vaccines, screenings, early detection and management of disease.
Earlier this year, the European Commission adopted its Green Paper on Ageing, which set out a vision for countries to adapt to their ageing populations, including how to support healthy ageing.
However, to date, there have been no announcements of an intended White Paper or binding commitments. An open letter sent last week by the ILC Europe Network, a pan-European network on longevity, called on the Commission to ensure this is followed up by concrete and meaningful action.
“It’s vital that this Green Paper should not be put on a shelf to gather dust, but instead be a step towards a concerted European response to ageing. [We are] calling for an EU White Paper on Ageing that commits to making European policy and practice work for all ages”, call the signatories.