Second Acts to Profit From the Longevity Economy

Meet boomers who launched them and see how you can, too. Are you looking for a second act in a growth field? Consider the longevity market — services and products targeting people over 50.

The opportunity is enormous. According to AARP, the economic activity of Americans 50+ is the equivalent of the third largest economy in the world. And by 2040, one out of every five Americans will be over 65. In fact, the demand for professionals is growing so rapidly that this is Careers in Aging Week. Created by the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) it’s designed to bring greater awareness and visibility to career opportunities in the field of aging.

So how can you launch a second act career like this?

Traditionally, caregiving and health care providers have dominated this space. But since boomers (generally speaking) are healthier, better educated and more active than previous generations, a wider variety of services and products will be needed — and wanted — by them as they age.

If you think you’d enjoy working around people in your age group (give or take a few years), below are four examples to inspire your next act. And for more ideas about careers in the aging space, check out the AGHE site’s resources area.

Personal Historian

Back when Nancy Kessler worked as a therapeutic recreation director at an independent living facility, she loved hearing the residents share their life stories. So, after getting laid off during the economic downturn of 2008, Kessler decided to turn her enthusiasm into a memoir-writing business based in the New York City area, Memoirs Plus.

Kessler works with clients ranging in age from 65 to 100+ to turn their stories into one-of-a-kind keepsake books they can then share with families, friends and future generations.

“I’ve always had a penchant for my elders and now that I have a few grey hairs myself, I find older seniors open up easily to me,” Kessler said.

Recommended resources to get started: Kessler recommends SCORE, a U.S. Small Business Administration-affiliated national group of retired executives for free advice on launching and managing a small business. Many colleges and continuing education programs offer memoir writing classes, too.