Clients are living longer—and healthier—than their predecessors, because of advancements in nutrition, medicine, public health, and sanitation during the last century. And now, thanks to innovation in technology, we’re transforming growing older into a more vibrant period of life that’s about living better as much as it is about living longer.
With the advent of smartphones and constant connectedness, a new peer-to-peer, on-demand economy has emerged. With a simple swipe or tap of an app, information and services are available at our fingertips. And because it’s all based on the internet, there’s a low barrier to entry. Smartphones used to be associated with younger generations, but now 68% of older Baby Boomers are smartphone users.1
Living Longer, Fuller Lives
This new economy of connections is what will enable clients to live fuller lives as they age, and it touches five important aspects of their lives:
Lots of Possibilities, but also lots of questions
In short, retirement for today’s aging generations will look nothing like the ones that came before it. With these technological advancements and innovations, many aging Americans have the opportunity to live independently, in their own homes, for many more years.
There is, however, a learning curve attached to this new economy. For example, a Pew Research study found that while usage of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft is high in younger generations, only 24% of Americans over 50 say they've ever used them.4 It’s unclear whether that low usage is due to lack of awareness or hesitation within older age brackets due to payment and privacy concerns, but it represents both a challenge and an opportunity for growth.
In addition, tech innovation may raise important questions about how clients plan for longevity from a financial standpoint. For example, what financial implications might there be for continuing to live at home instead of moving to an assisted care facility? Or when it comes to driving, is there a monetary trade off of giving up their car and relying on ride-hailing services like Uber? There might not be one definitive answer, but it’s important to consider the impacts with your clients.
How You Can Help
With these considerations in mind, it’s critical to try some of the apps, sites and devices yourself, and to educate your clients about the benefits of this on-demand, digital economy. Because many of these apps are available with a simple tap of a finger, it’s easy to give them a try. Whether it’s for clients' own use or for an aging relative, help them do some research to see which apps offer services in their area. Ultimately, as you help clients experience the potential of these apps, you’ll deepen client relationships and develop a reputation as someone who goes beyond the numbers to help people live better.
|1||Download or order the workbook|
|2||View or email a client version of this web page to clients. Consider posting a link on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. (Prior to using posting articles on LinkedIn, please consult with your firm’s legal and compliance teams, social media policy, and required participation in social media programs.)|
|3||Make a list of your favorite apps and determine if they fit into any of the five categories listed above. If you don’t have any favorite apps, try some of the apps listed in the workbook. Identify three clients who could benefit from using these apps. Discuss the apps with them and offer to help them experience them, e.g. take them for an Uber ride, or show them how to sign up for an EdX class.|
1Millennials stand out for their technology use, but older generations also embrace digital life, Pew Research Center, 9/9/19
2Unretirement Survey, TD Ameritrade, 11/19
32018 Home and Community Preferences: A National Survey of Adults Age 18-Plus, AARP, 7/19
4More Americans are using ride-hailing apps, Pew Research Center, 1/4/19
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