Economic Multipliers (146)

Do you know what these are?

They help CREATE wealth in systems.

Learning about and possibly partnering with AARP could be an economic multiplier for many young people.


AARP is the American Association for Retired People. Although you need to be over 50 years old to join (and you don’t need to be retired), if you were younger and looking for ideas on products and services that could fill niche needs in communities (for retired and older individuals who have disposable income or businesses and organizations that help service the older generations), their magazines and web site have lots of ideas.

As an example, when individuals mention that people have problems standing stationary or sitting for long periods of time on jobs, I wonder whether some sort of partial seating Segway with a minimalist stairstepper built in wouldn’t alleviate any possible foot, knee, hip and/or back problems: An AARP magazine clip recently noted that approximately 6000 steps a day help keep joints lubricated and help prevent pain in individuals prone to arthritis.

Individuals who read AARP publications may be more likely to use computers and assistive technology and the articles feature an array of issues those individuals face with aging parents and grandparents along with their own challenges tied to family, finances and community support.

Young people should be aware that AARP is a political organization and on average, retired people have a LOT more free time than they do. Many community issues that older people face are the same community issues that younger people face: access to affordable quality housing, the ability to pay bills such as water, power and property taxes, the ability to afford necessities such as food and clothing and access to affordable and quality health care.

The available (and limited) resources that older people draw upon are the same resources that younger people also need available. It’s good to partner with (and even learn from) individuals who also have the ability to be YOUR voice.

An individual who designs an APP that solves some problem has the ability to change the lives of countless people (if the APP is used). Voice technology alone has not only opened up vast banks of knowledge for individuals who have problems with vision, it has altered the landscape for individuals who might never have had a voice.

An individual who designs a product that helps keep people more mobile or healthier has the ability to change the lives of millions of interconnected individuals who have less extra work to do or less extra resources to create when they deal with health and mobility issues. Chair lifts, raised seats in bathrooms and a whole host of new products are now helping keep more people mobile and in their homes.

An individual who develops a service which helps individuals and communities maximize available and easily obtainable resources has the ability to help retain and increase the bases of wealth throughout communities. Numerous communities have set up ride sharing and food delivery programs and have resource centers for individuals who are aging. Keep in mind: EVERYONE is aging.

Older people, retired people and people who are preparing for retirement are as diverse as any of the other generations.

  • Some individuals retire and spend the greater percentage of their time and money on leisure activities (travel, sports, etc.). They help fuel jobs and the economy.

  • Others retire and spend almost all their time volunteering and figuring out how they can use any excess resources or knowledge to solve social issues (such as gardeners who drop off fresh produce at food banks, individuals who volunteer at schools or neighbors who run errands for or help out aging or less healthy neighbors).

  • Some retirees spend the bulk of their time helping their children and grandchildren get well grounded financially and educationally (babysitting, setting aside money for education, thrift shopping at rummage and estate sales, etc.).

  • Many never fully retire (from paid work) and always are picking up odd jobs while balancing family, leisure and volunteer activities.

The more that younger individuals recognize that the American and global populations are aging and aging quite differently than individuals in prior generations, the easier it will be to capitalize on opportunities.

Technological advances in medicine and raised expectations for quality of life and care are changing many landscapes. When the changes accommodate all the generations in positive ways, society (and the individuals who are able to capitalize on those changes) benefit greatly.

Can you see the lay of the land?



  • AARP supports many kinds of programs that probably already exist in your local community. Look around. You might be surprised about who is already doing what. Many times communities just need technologically savvy younger people to help older individuals in their local communities and service organizations connect all the dots … making it easier to get things done. And, if your community lacks some of the technological skills (or doesn’t believe it’s necessary to reinvent the wheel … a worthy thing sometimes anyway if you want local people to learn skills), it’s highly likely that a partner/mentor community could help provide a ‘jump start.’

  • When I write articles related to older individuals, I have a bias in that I think business, creative and/or just, in general, hardworking people never really retire. The greater percentage of people in the world always think there is something else that needs to be done and that there is something that they need to do.

  • Likewise, I never think it’s good to expect young people to volunteer too much. I believe they need to get paid for their work so they can get well grounded.