Pensioners are the backbone of the family and the Spanish economy

Since the 2008 crisis, pensioners have become an even greater support for their families, alleviating the economic and social difficulties faced by their children and grandchildren.

The aging of the population is one of the main social transformations that no developed country can avoid. The increase in life expectancy, presents the public system with a major challenge: to cover the increase in health care costs and, above all, pensions.

In Spain, different housing concepts have been developed for retirees. One of them is reverse housing, which consists in the fact that the bank purchases the property and the owner deducts from it an amount equivalent to the rent for the time that, according to calculations, the pensioner will live according to his life expectancy. If he or she lives longer, he or she will only be responsible for the cost of maintaining the home.

Another option is a reverse mortgage in which the bank offers the owner a monthly amount until his death, after which the property is taken over by the bank. There is another option called a naked sale, in which the owner no longer owns the property in exchange for a certain amount, but can use it until death. This option is similar to a reverse home sale, but the amount will obviously be less.

The nursing home sector is also set to grow despite the reluctance of retirees to leave home, as in many cases it is impractical to care for such people at home. However, there is currently a shortage of places. In Spain, there are 4.4 places in residences for every 100 people over the age of 64, which is below the five recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). This means a shortage of 66,000 places at present and the need to create 785,000 places by 2050.

Mikel Perdiger, co-founder of Pensium, a company specializing in care payment solutions, believes that, given the difficulty of finding a place, it is necessary to look for solutions that allow citizens to assume the costs of private housing. In this context, services such as the one offered by ResiRent, which allows citizens to obtain funds to pay for a place in a nursing home by renting out their home, without jeopardizing their property or taking out any mortgages or guarantees, are becoming relevant.

According to the document Envejecimiento en Red ("Aging on the Net"), prepared by the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC), only 27% of the places created are public. This means that three out of every four people in nursing homes have to shoulder the costs, which averages about 2,000 euros a month, a major expense that many families cannot afford.

But this change in the composition of the population pyramid is not only good news in terms of increased life expectancy, it also generates unprecedented business opportunities that give rise to a new economy.

The European Commission's Silver Economy report reflects that in 2015, this age segment, which includes people over 50, comprised 199 million citizens (39% of the population) and contributed €4.2 trillion to the gross domestic product (GDP) of all member states, equivalent to 29% of the European Union (EU). Moreover, if the oldest members of society formed a state, they would constitute the third largest economy in the world, behind only the United States and China. Experts predict that these numbers will continue to grow.

One of the main reasons for this change is that the elderly are no longer just people in need of care, immersed in passive old age. Today they are independent, some living alone or divorced. The United Nations (UN) states that the population over 65 is growing at a faster rate than other segments. It estimates that in 2050, one in six people in the world (16%) will be over 65. The International Center on Aging (Cenie) estimates that this population group in Spain will grow to 17.5 million by 2050. This year, the number of Spaniards over 80 years old will reach 6.5 million people (in 2020 there were almost three million).


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