Aussie Baby Boomers Optimistic
10 April 2007 at 10:44 am
The mood amongst Australia’s baby boomers is mostly optimistic, according to new research.
People over 50 believe they are lucky to be living in Australia. They are proud of their Nation and its achievements.
Many of their views are consistent whether they are in their early 50s or late 70s.
These are the findings of a major national survey of over 2500 people aged 50 to 75 selected randomly across Australia conducted for Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency (APIA).
It is part of a major research effort to understand issues of interest and concern to people aged over 50 and not working full time.
The big issues for over 50s are climate change, health, time spent with their families and education.
Over 90 percent of those surveyed “strongly agreed” that Australia should explore “all types of energy”. Health is another big issue for over 50s. They believe they already pay much more attention to their health than their parents.
Many are still worried about the quality of medical care. Others are willing to try different approaches to health care. Over 30 percent “believe in alternative therapies and medicine”.
Golf, lawn bowls and tennis are the top three sports they say they most like to play.
When it comes to trying something new it is arts, crafts and dancing for women. Golf, water-sports and fishing for men.
Many are keen to try “extreme sports” as they are golf or dancing. Diving with sharks has an odd fascination. Family issues are very important. Spending time with families is what they say they most like doing.
Yet over 60 percent strongly agree there is “too much pressure” on today’s families to quickly acquire homes, cars and other possessions. A trend they describe as “needing to have it all”.
A growing number are rediscovering religion and more traditional forms of spirituality.
One of the key findings of the research is the strong interest over 50s have in adult education. They want to continue learning. They are confident about their ability to take on new courses, particularly computing, languages and trades.
Over 84 per cent strongly agreed they could and should “learn new things”.
The study found that over 50s are clear they want to make the choice about when to retire. They do not believe the official retirement age should be raised or older workers made to retire earlier than they want.
When pressed to list the issues that concerned them they mostly nominated health, terrorism and crime.
Most surveyed say they do not have enough savings to fund their own retirement and will need to rely on the pension and other government assistance.
A large number say “you do not need to be wealthy to enjoy retirement”. Most say they are more careful with their spending. They also take a keen interest in the share-market and learning to invest their money differently and more carefully.
APIA’s General Manager Kevin Pattison says the research project is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies into the attitudes of Australia’s over 50s and confirms that the most rapidly growing sector of our population are mostly confident about their future.