April 29, 2016
Two powerful demographic forces are colliding — rising life expectancies and falling birth rates. Huge numbers of people — the baby boom generation — are beginning to reach retirement age, and they are expected to live longer than any previous generation. Due to this demographic “tidal wave,” for the first time in recorded history, there will be more older people in the world than children.
Life expectancies have been on the rise for hundreds of years and aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The global population of people 85 and older is expected to grow 351 percent during the next 35 years, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Just as significant, middle classes are expanding globally, and with that expansion, family sizes are shrinking, said Tom Hainlin, National Investment Strategist of Ascent Private
of U.S. Bank. “The inflection point for these changes is already behind us,” he said.
One of the most notable resulting trends is the “beanpole” family structure, he said. Families are becoming multigenerational units with fewer siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Baby boomers in this structure will help care for