Health equals wealth: The global longevity dividend
Source: International Longevity Centre, UK
By Sophia Dimitriadis and Patrick Swain
We’ve become accustomed to our ageing population being presented as a bad thing. Dangerous rhetoric painting older people as disposable has become far too common, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of ageing is portrayed as being overwhelmingly negative for our economy and society. Policy makers are so fixated on the direct costs of ageing that they fail to notice the significant and growing contributions that older people make.
This prevents them from fully realising the social and economic potential of older people – and from appreciating the potential longevity dividend. In countries that spend more in health, older people work, volunteer and spend more. Increasing preventative health spend by just 0.1% can unlock a 9% increase in annual spending by people aged 60+ and an additional 10 hours of volunteering.
In a recent Guest Voices column we learned that 60, 65, and 70+ year-olds can keep getting hired. This brief article from a UK longevity think tank explains why it’s good for companies to hire older workers and why keeping them healthy generates big bucks for nations in the G20. Don’t miss the more detailed report that you can download from the ILC website. Taking care of older workers pays off.
Do healthy older workers pay off in your world? What rhetoric have you encountered about the “costs” of hiring older people? Can you share an example of how aging employees pay off?
At age 55, the age my grandfather retired in the early 1970’s from the federal government, I am nowhere near ready to retire. For one thing, I can’t afford to, and for another, I like working. Also, people are living longer – so delaying retirement is a logical step. I might do a different kind of work, but I plan to work as long as I can.
You have a great attitude. That, along with your experience can make a powerful combination, especially to an employer who is risk adverse.
If you are in an interview and feeling that your age may be an issue, remember that employers are not permitted to ask you about your age. But, if you can sense that this could be a detriment, you can take hold of the messaging if you bring it up first. It’s crucial that if you do this, you do it in the first part of your interview rather towards the end. You might allude to the fact that it’s obvious that this would not be my first or even second job job right out of school. (Then you MUST say “BUT”) What goes after that “BUT” are the strengths you now have because of your age….and experience. I would also encourage you to include here that you are very healthy and will not have child-care issues.
With this techniques, you have done 4 important things.
1. you’ve admitted a weakness in your case. This really amps up your honesty and credibility.
2. If you do this towards the beginning of your interview, the rest of what you say will be seen in a much more credible light.
3. If you immediately say “BUT” and them insert your strengths to counteract your admission, the listener will listen more closely to everything else you have to say after the “BUT”.
4. After the “BUT” would also be a good time to insert how very healthy you are, reducing considerable uncertainty.
5. By using this approach, YOU get to control the message around what some might think of as a negative. Because if YOU don’t control that narrative, someone or something else will.
Now, go get ’em.