Publications

- February 1, 2019: Vol. 13, Number 2

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The grey factor: Europe’s senior living sector is fast catching up with its American and antipodean counterparts

by Marek Handzel

It was Peter Peterson, the co-founder of the Blackstone Group, who first sounded the alarm bells about global population ageing. Back in 1999, his book, Gray Dawn: How the coming age wave will transform America — and the world, warned that the number of retirees in the developed world was growing much faster than its collective workforce. 14 times faster, to be precise.

Our ageing societies have led to some of the largest fiscal and financial dilemmas of the 21st century. With birth rates plummeting in the West, defined benefit pension funds have been forced to close, state retirement ages have been pushed back and higher taxes have been introduced to deal with Europe’s creaking healthcare systems.

For real estate investors, however, improvements in life expectancy have led to the emergence of a niche sector that could deliver a new source of long-term stable income, as Indraneel Karlekar, senior managing director, global research and strategy at Principal

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