Business Opportunities for an Older Niche

Have you ever seen a "candlestick graph"? Its name gives a hint to its shape; it's a demographic chart showing the age of people who make up a population. Economists look at those charts and wonder how pension checks will be covered in the future. Entrepreneurs look at those charts and see opportunity: the population is aging and has more money than ever!

The population is aging: baby boomers are getting older and many are at or near retirement. In the next decade, we’ll see many more people retire than enter the workforce. The result? There will be innumerable job opportunities, which mean a demand for higher wages, and the potential for a strong economic boom. There will also be a need for greater automation and even unskilled labor since the new workforce will be highly skilled and highly technical.

But what about all those newly retired people? That demographic should spell unlimited opportunity to the entrepreneur looking to start a new business or to direct a current business into new waters.

With advancements in health care, diet, and wellness, people are living longer; most people will live as long in their retirement years as they did while they were working. Many investment advisors make their financial planning calculations from a base age of 100 years old, and there’s talk that it may have to go up!

People are living longer and they have money. A lot of money.

How do you position your business to take advantage of this opportunity?

Although it seems like a stereotype, the reality is that older niches like certain things: these include meaningful relationships, appropriate travel, and reminiscing. But unlike retired people of yesteryear, this niche will be far more active and will be enjoying it for much longer.

Here are three primary activities that the newly retiring demographic will be doing:

Appropriate travel experiences. This demographic now has money and time; earlier in their life – during family and career – they had neither. They are ready to see the world but they want to do it in comfort and style. It’s not an accident that successful cruise lines market to that niche. They won’t be white-water rafting down the Amazon; instead, they’ll be looking at the beauty of nature and sight-seeing historic buildings.

Some insightful entrepreneurs will provide a unique, appropriate travel experience for a healthy, active, luxury-minded population. Other entrepreneurs might consider starting a business that allows travelers to have the peace of mind that their homes are looked after while they are away.

Relationship building opportunities. If you ever compared a letter sent from a busy professional and a letter sent from a grandmother, what would you notice? The older person has a greater focus on building and maintaining meaningful relationships. They realize that people matter, success doesn’t (and now they have the success that will allow them to spend time with people!).

Visionary entrepreneurs will create opportunities that allow an aging population to get together and interact. They will look for ways that help people meet people just like themselves in a safe, entertaining environment.

Nostalgia. Nearly a decade ago, a study discovered that the average age in college towns was going up and not just as a result of the general population aging. It was rising because retired people were moving back to their old college towns because of the good feelings and fond memories they have of the place: for most of us, college years remain a highlight of our lives: the last carefree, “I-own-the-world” mentality before real life responsibilities reared its ugly head. Seniors are moving back to enjoy the memory and possibly re-live it once more.

The forward-looking entrepreneur will find ways to help an aging population relive their glory years.

The opportunity is just around the corner. Are you ready for it?

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