“Young old” are the people aged between 65 and 75 years who still have the characteristics of young people
As the usual age of retirement is 65, and 2020-2025 is that many years after the post-World War II "baby boom" period, many expected baby boomers to have retired by now.
On the contrary, baby boomers are continuing to work and staying socially engaged and are also more numerous, healthier and wealthier than previous generations of senior citizens.
According to The Economist, from 1955-60, birth rates increased massively as people started to get settled in more comfortable economic positions. This allowed families to have a place to live, be educated, and start having babies.
With the population of these baby boomers reaching 134 million in well-off nations at the end of this year, 2020 will mark the beginning of the decade of the "young old."
The young old are also resisting the decline in health better than most, with 3.7 years of increased life expectancy in rich countries between 2000 and 2015, according to the World Health Organization. Of the additional 3.7 years, 3.2 years were enjoyed in "good health."
The tendency for the young old to continue working has been rising rapidly since 2016 – when just over a fifth of people aged 65-69 still worked in rich countries.
A German study claims that this might be the fountain of youth helping baby boomers stay strong.
The study revealed that people who keep working after the normal retirement age manage to slow the cognitive decline that are associated with old age. They also have a cognitive capacity of someone a year and a half younger.
The young old are set to disrupt consumer, service and financial markets.
For instance, they are changing the education sector. By now, Harvard has more students at its Division for Continuing Education than it does at the university itself. This division is focused on mature and retired students who want to continue their education at later stages of their lives.
The young old are also challenging pre-existing social norms.
"While many bosses and HR departments think productivity falls with age, but studies of truckmaking and insurance firms in Germany suggest older workers have, if anything, slightly above-average productivity – and that teams of workers from multiple generations are the most productive of all," reports the Economist.
Meanwhile, societies will also better off with young olds not retiring because public spending on health and pension will remain way lower than expected, as people continuing to work will need comparatively less medical care.
Young olds, remaining active, are also contributing to the global economy as a whole. According to the Economist, the over-60s are currently one of the fastest-growing groups of customers of the airline business.
They are vital to the tourism industry as they spend much more while travelling to a foreign land, comparing to younger adults.
These baby boomers, in their new guise as the young old, may change the world – as they have done several times before at different stages of their lives.