Silver, the new gold: Longer lives offer opportunities to tap, instead of problems to solve

As the number of people aged 65 years and older increases, the fear is a falling old-age support ratio - the number of working population, aged 20-64 years, supporting people aged 65 years and above.
As the number of people aged 65 years and older increases, the fear is a falling old-age support ratio - the number of working population, aged 20-64 years, supporting people aged 65 years and above.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Seniors increasingly make up a larger share of the population, and countries, including Singapore, are making adjustments for an ageing society. But longer lives provide opportunities to be tapped rather than problems to be solved.

Singapore will have the oldest population in the world by 2100, with a median age of 56.4 years, the United Nations has predicted.

While Singapore has been preparing for an ageing population for years, the figures pointing to such a new world ranking may, at first, not seem so desirable. Some might view the increasing number of older people as a problem to be solved.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 01, 2019, with the headline 'Silver, the new gold'. Print Edition | Subscribe