Shared Economy on the Rise

Even if you’re not familiar with the shared economy, you’ve likely heard of one of its many names, such as upcycling, on-demand, peer-to-peer lending or crowdsourcing.

Some shared business models include on demand access to goods and services (Uber,Airbnb), shared products or expertise (Adobe Reader, Wikipedia) and shared information on a collaborative platform (Facebook, Twitter).

Millennials have helped drive the concept of a shared economy over the past decade. Airbnb was conceived by two young adult roommates who rented out a place with air mattresses.1 What these entrepreneurs saw was demand and plenty of untapped supply.

The majority of shared service users are under age 45, college educated and earn relatively high incomes.2 However, these services have the potential to help address some of the problems experienced by older generations.

Unfortunately, 44 percent of Americans age 50 and older, and 56 percent of those 65 and older, have never used these types of resources.3 While millennials have helped drive the concept of a shared economy, it’s an untapped resource for retirees that may help ease some of the challenges they face.

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1 Anna Vital. Funders and Founders. April 10, 2014. “How Airbnb Started.” Accessed Oct. 24, 2016.
2Kara Swisher. Vanity Fair. December 2014. “Man and Uber Man.” Accessed Oct. 24, 2016.
3Ibid

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