The New York Times article Baby Boomers Look to Senior Concierge Services to Raise Income nicely covers where these two intersect – older Americans earning money by helping other older Americans.
Elder concierge, as the industry is known, is a way for the semi- and fully retired to continue to work, and, from a business standpoint, the opportunities look as if they will keep growing. Around 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the United States, and by 2030, there will be 72 million people over 65 nationwide.
Elder concierges provide a wide range of services.
Everything from “driving older clients to doctor’s appointments, playing cards, running errands or just acting as an extra set of eyes and ears for family members who aren’t able to be around but worry about their older relatives being isolated and alone.”
An interesting quote comes from Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy officer:
“Everyone assumed the on-demand economy was a millennial thing. But it is really a boomer thing.”
Ms. LeaMond noted that while people like the extra cash, they also appreciate the “extra engagement.”
AARP sees the advantages of working the on-demand economy for aging boomers. They even have a partnership with Uber.
The data from the 2017 Intuit On-Demand Economy (ODE) study certainly supports the view that boomers are active in the economy.
About 25% of all on-demand economy workers are aged 52 or older. This equals about 1 million Americans.
The top reason older Americans are working in the on-demand economy is to supplement their income. But it’s not just about income.
Of those 55 and over, 32 percent cited “like being around interesting people” as a motivating factor, compared with only 15 percent for the population at large. And 35 percent of those over 55 cited “doing what I love” as a reason.
For aging boomers working in the ODE, it’s about staying engaged, doing work they enjoy and/or is meaningful to them and supplementing their income.
For aging boomers and seniors accessing ODE services, it’s about aging in place and having easy access to support services.
The ODE is win-win for aging boomers and for the relatives and friends helping with their care.