Contributing to the Globe and Mail’s current editorial series on how Zoomers’ spending, investing and living habits may effect Canada’s economy over the next few decades, ZoomerMedia founder and CARP president/chairman Moses Znaimer asserts that aging Canadians are not a threat to our economy. In fact, they are saving it.
Citing the facts that Canadians over 45 years of age are over 15.3 million-strong and make up 44% of our total population, Znaimer points out that Zoomers hold 78% of our overall wealth and account for over 57% of all consumer spending in Canada. While certainly not everyone in the Zoomer age range has major purchasing power, those figures do represent a lot of spending on homes, cars, travel, appliances, electronics and entertainment, along with a sizeable chunk of charitable giving and tax paying.
Additionally, Zoomers are not only paying for all of this with their retirement savings, many are also staying in the workforce beyond usual retirement age because it’s a must for their livelihoods. Although the first impetus to work beyond 65 is likely financial need that an already existing job will most quickly fulfill, many Zoomers are getting involved in entrepreneurial ventures and start up companies that require time and personal investment. A 2012 CIBC study found that 50% of the approximately 500,000 Canadians involved in start up companies were aged 50 and older.
“The greatest gift is the opportunity to continue to make a (significant) contribution at a time in life when we’re expected to see ourselves as a evolutionary fifth wheels,” Znaimer says.
Read Moses’ full Globe and Mail editorial here.