It is becoming more and more difficult to ignore the benefits that technology brings for senior citizens. Unfortunately, the elderly sometimes fall prey to their own outdated expectations about aging; and overlook the opportunities that can allow them to live not just longer, but better. Until recently technology developers and manufacturers have targeted most of their activity toward young folks. Now, however, technology companies are recognizing that senior citizens are starting to control a larger portion of disposable cash, and they are rushing to meet their needs and wishes.

In 2010 the 50-and-over-crowd will make up one-third of the population of the United States and will spend more than younger shoppers by about $1 trillion. When I first read this data I thought, "They are referring to other senior citizen, not me!" However, I soon realized that all of us can rake in the advantages of this phenomenon if we keep our eyes open. As President John Kennedy said, "The rising tide lifts everbody's boat."

Senior citizens should be interested in the emergence of a senior technology economy for two reasons:

  1. It will mean a better quality of life for us. When we look optimistically at our present circumstances, we will notice a much different picture for aging than our parents saw. For instance, the Internet is pretty much free. Optimistic and entrepreneurial people are going to use this affordable resource to engage in exciting and profitable lives.
  2. Seniors can make money longer and with less effort that they could before new technology arrived. Income can be earned working from home by way of personal computers and the Internet. Moreover, as the population ages, increasingly more of the business economy is controlled by senior citizens.
I am familiar with a man who retired from a "9 to 5" business when he was about 60 years of age. For the last 20 years of his career he had been involved in purchasing and managing a certain type of specialized equipment for his employer. As soon as he "retired" he was approached by one of the vendors of that kind of equipment and offered a very rewarding position selling it, on his own schedule, with a corporate car and all other expenditures paid. He traveled with his wife (when they chose to do so). Most of the travel expenses were paid by his new employer. When he wanted to stay home he used the telephone and Internet to communicate and do paperwork. Why did that vendor pay him so well to jump from being a customer to being a seller? They told him forthrightly that it was because the majority of the big buying decision-makers for their equipment were his peers, older folks or approaching senior citizenship, and they trusted him and his experience.

The potentials for making money while working in your pajamas are abundant and potentially lucrative. The opportunities are springing up much faster than we can explore them. The key to taking advantage of these opportunities is to move beyond our outmoded mindset and expectations about aging and start surfing the web!