God Bless Mildred Heath.

Mildred works at a newspaper that her family owned until June of this year. What is so remarkable about Mildred is that she has been working at the Beacon Observer in Overton, Nebraska for 86 years. She still puts in 30 hour weeks and turned 101 in January. Mildred is an active member of the community working with many town committees.

When asked about the future of newspapers, she believes small town papers will hang in there for a long time and that the dailies are having a struggle because "you can get the news every day on television".

And while the Internet may not yet (or ever) impact Mildred's daily life, it's safe to say that she's right. Local weeklies will survive.

Mildred is among the lucky ones. She wants to work. For the millions of Americans that have come of retirement age, many need to work and have little hope of enjoying their golden years.

Thank you Bernie Madoff and a battered economy.

Millions in their 70s, 80s and even 90s have changed the picture of retirement. Workers over 65 are increasing at a faster rate than any other age group.... waking up to a dream that has faded, bending to financial fear and replaced by the harsh reality of lost pensions, inadequate savings and escalating medical costs.

Health Care reform, a reset on the way we save, an overhaul of the Social Security System and a serious clamp down on bank loan and credit card practices require a massive shakeup.

For marketers willing to grasp and understand the impact of this seismic shift in demographic profiling, there are fortunes to be made while catering to the needs of a new league of American Gray workers.


MJ Romeo said...

I hear you loud and clear but I think many older people want to contribute - whether they get paid for it or not. We're all living longer and healthier lives and that has a huge impact that goes beyond the current economy. My mom works 20 hours a week volunteering and she loves it! It's great to have something to do and that companies will hire you in your golden years.

Paul Benjou said...

Yes! There are many in their golden years that want to work, keeping themselves active and healthy in the process.
We should only retire if we want to ... not have to.

Karen said...

We at Silver Planet, embrace positive aging, and honor those like Mildred with all of her accomplishments. She is one of several amazing Silver Stars, amazing seniors living amazing lives: http://www.silverplanet.com/lifestyles/silver-stars Check out many Silver Stars, including our founder, 75 year old Florence Klein!