Silver economy a technology gold mine

The nbn network is expecting baby boomers of the ‘silver economy’ to start around 14,000 businesses each year, doubling those initiated by their Gen Y counterparts, thanks to increased connectivity to online resources.

The nbn Silver Economy report showed seniors to be highly adept at utilising technology to start new business ventures, with many seniors switching to technology-based options to earn extra dollars in retirement.

A total of 67 per cent have gone online to earn an income, with 58 per cent also using the internet to pursue passion projects from home, and 27 per cent working online to connect with volunteering communities.

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La Trobe University Professor of entrepreneurship, Dr Alex Martin, said resources powered by the nbn had redefined retirement.

“With the digital boom and growing access to fast broadband, many older Australians are now turning online to start passion projects, set up new business ventures or use their time differently,” he said.

“Many retirees are not ready to hang up their boots. Instead, they are jumping online to explore their passions, give back to society and start new business ventures in the hope of bolstering their retirement earnings and stay active.”

A third of Australians aged 50-65 spend 3-4 hours online each day, with 58 per cent considering starting a businesses. Close to two thirds (61 per cent) would also head online to learn new skills, while over a quarter (28 per cent) would look online to study a professional course.

“Australians are living a lot longer than we were 30-40 years ago; we’ve traditionally seen hobbies like golfing, gardening and holidaying to occupy our retirement but…many older Australians are now turning online,” Dr Martin said.

“I expect this number will continue to climb as more Aussie seniors become aware of the online resources and opportunities at their disposal.”

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