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Korea's Fastly Aging Population Rising as New Business Opportunity Updated: 2012-12-01 00:00:00 KST

At first glance, this place looks like an ordinary gym.
But there is one major difference, the instructors are the only people below retirement age and the people exercising are well into their sixties.
Sixty-nine-year-old Lee Mun-ho is one of them.
He starts his day with a workout in the gym, which is located within the retirement community where he lives.


[Interview : Lee Mun-ho, Retiree] "This complex has many facilities like a gym, library, billiard room and nice restaurants that are perfectly suited to the lives of people like me. It's very pleasant to live here."

And with the baby-boomer generation now approaching retirement age, there will be more and more people like Mr. Lee in the years to come.
Korea's 13.2 million baby boomers, who represent more than one-fourth of the total population, will start entering the over-65 age group in 2020.
These baby boomers are the generation that fueled the nation's powerful post-war growth.
Naturally, they have accrued much higher levels of assets and savings than previous generations, breaking the stereotype that elderly people are poor.
In fact, enrollment in the nation's pension program for this group is higher than in previous generations.
The national pension fund currently covers 91-percent of the first group of baby boomers, and covers more than 95 percent of the second group.
That's a huge contrast to the 75-percent enrollment rate of the previous generation.
A recent report by the Samsung Economic Research Institute forecasts that five industries targeting the elderly population will get a boost in the coming years, based on the consumption patterns of the elderly population now and the lives and interests of the country's baby boomers.
The industries include those that provide physical and mental health services, services that help people care for elderly parents even if they don't live in the same city, leisure activities, apps and devices for health and living and opportunities or local community participation.
Experts say that Korean companies and the government should get ready to target the silver age spenders that are expected to enter their golden years in the near future.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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