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Prospects for the silver market

27 March 2013
NNA

Prospects for the silver market

How healthy is the silver market today? Research shows that the travel industry will benefit from the older generation’s spending patterns, but the outlook for product launches in Singapore is grim, according to the leading Japanese language business daily in Singapore.

Over the years, there has been increasingly more hype about the potential of this silver market. What is the reality?

One of the industries that might stand to benefit from the Silver generation (65 years and above) is the travel industry. A recent survey of the older generation’s travel patterns revealed great demand growth from this age group. For those over the age of 55, travel was most commonly for leisure. This demographic has more disposable time, as their children are mostly grown up and have their own families to take care of. Research suggests that Asia is the most favored region for leisure travel, after Europe.

Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, shared his views on the expenditure of the silver market in Singapore. He highlighted that the factor crimping silver spending power is the real estate situation. Many in the silver population have a huge proportion of their net assets locked up in illiquid property. This means that they have little in the way of disposable income or liquid assets to spend on themselves. Furthermore, this generation is generally less affluent because of lesser exposure to education in their prime years; leaving them with even less disposable income or liquid assets. As a result, campaigns aimed at the silver market in Singapore, from consumer goods to services for the elderly, have not always succeeded, except in the field of healthcare where spending is less price-elastic and helped by co-payment schemes.

However, this market might see better growth in a few decades’ time, when the current generation of working Singaporeans reaches the age of 65 and above. It is forecasted that expenditure will rise considerably because of the greater affluence of this generation compared to the baby boomers, although the property issue will still pose challenges.

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