They are foreign retirees ― mainly Australians, Europeans and North Americans fleeing cold winters and the prospect of spending their twilight years in a nursing home. Although small in number, they are a growing minority in a region ―stretching from Japan to India ― where retirement has become big business.
As Asia’s economic prosperity has grown, so too has its ageing population.The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated that Asia’s elderly population will reach 922.7 million by the middle of this century. The United Nations estimates that in India the number of people aged 60 and above will rise from the current level of around 8% to more than 18% by 2050. In Southeast Asia, the number will rise from 8% to 22% and in China from 12% to over 33 per cent.
According to the ADB, Asia is on track to become the oldest region in the world within the space of just a few decades. The multilateral lender says the “policies and systems of governments in Asia are hardly prepared for this vast demographic shift.” Even so, some governments ― those of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines ― are cashing in on retirement, or the “silver economy” as it is now being called.
According to Singapore-based Ageing Asia, a marketing consultant that specializes in ageing in the Asia-Pacific region, by 2017 there will be more than 118 million people aged over 60 in India, 30 million in Japan, 217 million in China and 24 million in Indonesia.
Read the full report here, Korea Herald