Good morning, Asheville. As I’ve watched my parents age and become senior citizens, I’ve become acutely aware that there are unique issues facing aging populations — like health, hobbies, retirement + employment — to name a few.
According to the AARP, more than 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 nationwide were either working or looking for work as of Feb. of last year — and that’s up from 10 percent in 1985. The org also noted that more seniors are working after retirement, in part because many can’t afford to retire and/or have insufficient retirement funds.
And while there have been predictions that the Tarheel State has a promising outlook for job opportunities for 2020 and we come in at No. 12 for job opportunities for senior citizens, the cities presumed to see the most growth (e.g., Charlotte, Winston Salem, Greensboro + Raleigh) aren’t in the mountains.
North Carolina ranks 9th nationwide in population of people over 65. Asheville is unique in that it’s a silver city, a.k.a. a fast-growing destination for retired folks. According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) — which looked at 300+ cities to identify the ways automation is changing the landscape of local labor markets — employment in silver cities could grow by 15 percent as senior citizens both continue to work past retirement age and increase demand for health care + additional services. + Census data shows that as of July 2018, people 65 comprise 18.4 percent of Asheville’s population, and 20 percent of Buncombe County’s.
That got us wondering: what can older folks in Western North Carolina do for work? We wanna hear from y’all, Asheville. If you’re retired but still working, what are you doing and how do you like it? Do you work for an organization that could benefit from someone with decades of life experience on the team? Do you have to work past retirement age out of economic necessity?