Although the Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest demographic in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, older adults are not being shut out of an increasingly tech-driven economy. In fact, almost 25 percent of all new entrepreneurs are over the age of 50 and it’s anticipated that this trend will continue.
While older adults from the Boomer generation didn’t grow up with the technology we have today at our fingertips, they are quickly mastering the latest digital tools that help them stay relevant in an economy that utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT) to create business opportunities. This technology is everywhere, from our phones to our cars, even embedded in our appliances and the over-50 crowd is largely embracing this shift both inside and out of the workplace.
Nearly 70 percent of Baby Boomers own a smartphone today and more than half have bought tablets and use social media. The Pew Research Center shows that 83 percent of older adults are online, and are rapidly becoming comfortable and skilled at navigating technology for a digital world.
And whether it’s starting a second-act career later in life or continuing to remain in the workforce past retirement age, Boomers have experience and a depth of knowledge that when combined with being tech-savvy, is helping this generation stay competitive in a changing economy. Older adults are living longer and in better health and many, who enjoy their job, are staying in the workforce well past age 65.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of working people over 65 is the highest it’s been in more than 50 years and by 2024, it is expected that 36 percent of workers between the ages of 65 and 69 will still be part of the labor force. Some may continue to work to support their lifestyle, meet rising health care costs or pay off debt. Others find that flexible hours or working remotely suits an empty-nester who wants to stay engaged and both mentally and socially connected with others through a work environment.