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Sharing Economy Attracts Older Adults

As the stock market seesaws and many retirees struggle to supplement inadequate savings and investments, more older Americans are turning to a variety of methods to earn extra money, keep in touch socially, and find ways to enjoy experiences that might not be affordable otherwise.

A report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers in April estimated that 7 percent of Americans consider themselves providers in the so-called sharing economy. Of those over age 55, 25 percent do. A separate PricewaterhouseCoopers report estimated that the sharing economy, which totaled about $15 billion in 2014, could grow to $335 billion by 2025. “To participate in the sharing economy, one must have something to share,” Linda Barrington, executive director of the Institute for Compensation Studies in the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University, wrote in an email. “The assets that older people accumulated and used intensively when first purchased (a large home because they had children) come to have excess capacity over time (the children move out and the car is not needed for so many errands). For example, after retiring with a small amount in savings and insurance, Robert Blunier, 79, of Palm Beach County in Florida looked to supplement his Social Security payments. He ruled out positions like Walmart greeter and supermarket packer, which involves bagging and loading groceries. Instead he decided to rent his 2005 Mustang convertible through RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car rental service based in San Francisco. He charges $39 a day, which includes 200 free miles, and ferries those who rent his car to local airports, charging an additional $25 to $35 depending on distance. “I do enjoy driving back and forth to the airport and we part on friendly terms,” he said.

Source/more: New York Times


David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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