15 November 2022
The silver economy grows and does not stop. For years, the economic and financial segment dedicated to the over-65s has known no downturn, so much so that this market segment represents the fourth largest economy in the world in terms of both investments and turnover. Numbers compiled by the United Nations tell us that in 2020 we will have reached the threshold of 727 million people over 65 globally. Current forecasts indicate that the increase will continue, with the number of over-65s expected to reach 1.5 billion in 2050.
SILVER ECONOMY ENGINE OF DEVELOPMENT
Advanced economic societies are aware of the strategic importance of the silver social segment, which has become one of the main drivers of economic development. In this context, target markets and policies designed for the large segment of the silver population that spends, actively participates in the well-being of society and demands adequate and stable measures for special needs are increasing. The huge increase of the senior population on the one hand, combined with the growing demand for services and opportunities dedicated to their needs and desires, make the Silver Economy a great market and economic growth opportunity. As it is now well known, the Silver Economy is the economy of the private consumption of the over-65 population and of the public expenditure dedicated to the senior segment. Consumption and expenditure increase the value generated by companies targeting products and services at this cluster. Moreover, the senior population acts as a driver for the economy as a whole due to the value generated along the chain of enterprises providing services and products for the elderly and the generation of income for the staff working for these enterprises. Not only that: the interconnections between products and services of different industries also increase the value generated by this economy. Just think of the purchase of technology for the home, as well as online entertainment services, online education, telemedicine and the whole range of products designed for seniors.
PNRR FOR THE SENIOR MARKET
The Covid-19 pandemic has generated radical changes in global habits, forcing us to rethink all areas of the social sphere and also consider new needs of citizens. Europe has created the Next Generation EU and Italy, with European funds, has created its Pnrr. Among the major objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Plan is undoubtedly that of establishing a new healthcare model that correlates the hospital and the territory, also encouraging eHealth. Citizens who wish to be treated at home, close to home or travelling to easily accessible hubs that meet their complex needs, must be able to enjoy these services. These specific needs find in the senior population the segment of the market most interested and involved. In Italy, the value of the impact of direct consumption by the over 50s is 180 billion euros, 620 billion taking into account also the indirect and induced impact. We are talking about one third of the national gross domestic product. With these numbers, it is clear that the objective of offering a more efficient and effective proximity healthcare can only be counted among the strategic assets of the NRP.
RESILIENT HEALTHCARE AND INVESTMENT
The national health problem is at the centre of a lively public debate that has set as its priorities the creation of a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure network and the redefinition of the urban planning of cities in a sustainable and social key, in order to guarantee individuals. The funds envisaged in the new NRP are primarily aimed at technological advancement and infrastructure improvement. The community house, as well as low-intensity outpatient clinics, together with community hospitals are the challenges of the future and in some contexts are already functioning realities, capable of linking the needs of the citizen with the public and private healthcare offer.
Alongside the rethinking of urban and territorial spaces, the NRP of the ‘health pillar’ envisages the establishment of a territorial operations centre that will play a strategic role from an organisational point of view, ensuring the coordination of patient care and collaboration between services and professionals involved in different territorial, health, social and hospital activities.
SILVER ECONOMY GLOBAL ECONOMIC TREND
According to an estimate by Oxford Economics and Technopolis Group, by 2025 in Europe alone the silver economy will be worth EUR 5.7 trillion, a sum equal to almost one third of the Union’s GDP. With this in mind, the market and industry are investing in products and services aimed at the Third Age and its needs. At the top of the sectors identified for ‘premium’ investments by companies are health and finance as well as pharmaceuticals and new technologies, but also the insurance sector. The experts emphasise: ‘Thematic equity investment funds are useful tools, because they invest specifically in companies that have been identified as beneficiaries of the ageing trend and for which growth in their turnover and profits is expected to be sustained over time’.