The Silver Tsunami of the Workforce

The “Silver Tsunami” of the Workforce

Last year during National Skilled Nursing Care Week, we wrote about the coming “Silver Tsunami” in our blog post from May 15, 2018. We wrote how the entrance of millions of baby boomers who would be retiring from the work force into the silver tsunami might result in millions of seniors who would not be able to receive the care they deserve. The impact from so many seniors retiring from the workforce at the same time would make a tremendous drain on healthcare, pensions and long-term care. However, according to the AARP, a different kind of silver tsunami has arrived showing that many seniors have remained in the workforce rather than leaving it. See also our blog post from October 3, 2018, about seniors over the age of 85 returning to the work force.

National Skilled Nursing Care Week 2019

Next week from May 12-18, 2019 the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing will be participating in the National Skilled Nursing care Week (NSNCW). The NSNCW 2019 theme, “Live Soulfully,” will celebrate skilled nursing centers, and their residents and staff, by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls. Established as an annual, week-long observance by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in 1967, NSNCW provides an opportunity to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.  Whether it’s planting, cooking, reading or listening to music, these centers help individuals find their own happiness to improve quality of life.

The “Silver Dollar”

Rather than seeing seniors as draining the economy, a report by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch published June 6, 2014 suggests that the longevity economy has three places for investors wishing to play the ”silver dollar” theme:

  • Pharma & Healthcare (including tackling age-related diseases and conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, as well as medical devices, hearing aids, orthopedic appliances, dental and vision care, and incontinence);
  • Financials (including insurance, asset and wealth management)
  • Consumer (including senior living, care, managed care, healthcare real estate investment trusts (REITs), aging in place, death care, pharmacies and drug stores, anti-aging, travel and leisure, retail, VMS, and technology).

Consumers in the Longevity Economy

According to the report, the Longevity Economy published September 2016 by the AARP, the longer seniors age 50+ remain in the workforce, the more money they have to spend and 83% of US household wealth is held by people over age 50. Access to credit and assets allows this group to spend more on goods, services and investments than the younger population. In turn, this spending by people age 50 and over in turn leads to the creation of more jobs. Four groups of generations are included in this longevity economy:

  1. The GI Generation, born between 1901 and 1926
  2. The Silent Generation, born between 1927 and 1945
  3. Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964
  4. Generation X (Gen X), born between 1965 and 1980—the youngest of whom turned 50 years old in 2015

The longevity economy of seniors age 50 and over made up about 35% of the US population in 2015 and is projected to rise to 40% by 2050, when those in Generation X and Millennials join this 50+ longevity economy.

The Longevity Economy and the Workforce

Americans age 50 and over who remain in the workforce tend to be more educated than younger people in the workforce. About 19 percent of employed workers over age 65 have a graduate degree, compared with about 13.5 percent of employed workers under 65. This higher level of education plus the fact that the work by older Americans is less physically demanding allows those over age 50 to remain longer in the workforce.

The Longevity Economy and Taxes

About $1.8 trillion in federal, state and local taxes were contributed by the Longevity Economy in 2015 as follows:

About 34% of federal tax revenue

About 41% of state and local tax revenue

The Longevity Economy and Entrepreneurs

Over the last 10 years people ages 55-64 made up the highest rate of entrepreneurs in the United States and one in three new businesses was started by an entrepreneur age 50 or more.

The Longevity Economy and Philanthropy

Baby Boomers and those age 50 and over give a lot of philanthropic, charitable and volunteer contributions. Those over age 65 were found to donate the largest amount averaging $1672 a month. This also pays off for them health-wise, as research has shown that people who do volunteer work and donate to charitable causes have a lower rate of depression, blood pressure and death.

When there is a Need for Short-term Rehabilitation or Long-term Skilled Nursing Care

If you or your loved one are in need of short-term rehabilitation or long-term skilled nursing care, the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York offers skilled nursing care at its best combined with a fantastic array of recreational activities.


As long as one has their health, they can remain in the workforce or even if they decide to enjoy the fruits of retirement, they will be able to hold on to their assets. The financial problems can arise with health issues and some chronic illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s can quickly drain a nest egg.



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