What does ageing having in common with the zombie apocalypse? As it turns out, more than you may think.
Much like an apocalypse, the world just doesn’t seem to be ready for the onslaught of the older population. As we get better at looking after our health and wellbeing, by learning the proper pronunciation of things like ‘quinoa’ and getting addicted to CrossFit, we’re living longer – meaning there’s more of a need for culture to embrace the elderly than ever before. According to Pew research, the number of over-65s worldwide was only 128.5 million in 1950. This is predicted to reach about 1.5 billion by 2050
Consumer research group Nielsen took a look at these stats and created a report on global ageing. Here are just some of the highlights showing what’s going on in the world of ageing and retirement.
What are retirees concerned about?
Worldwide, almost half (44 per cent) of people are worried about not having enough money in their retirement fund to live comfortably after they give up work. At 41 per cent, slightly fewer are concerned about having the money to cover their medical bills when they get older.
If you are in that group, consider the ways to make contributions to your super account.
Mostly, however, retirees are worried about what they will lose. Just over half (51 per cent) are concerned about the decline of their mental agility, while 57 per cent have their physical ability on their minds.
But the number one concern about old age? Losing the self reliance to care for basic needs, coming in with 58 per cent.
How is the world reacting to our ageing population?
There’s a surprising variety of findings in the Nielsen report – right down to the basics. Do you ever struggle to read or open modern-day packaging, for example? Imagine what this could be like in another 50 years. As it stands, this is a daily struggle for more than half of the ageing population in Latin America.
And despite the large chunk of society represented by retirees worldwide, one in three of those retirees say retailers fail to provide product aisles dedicated to products for the older market. Meanwhile, 51 per cent believe advertising doesn’t reflect the older market either.
Here in Australia, the retirement age is currently 65. Around the world, just 23 per cent of people plan to retire past this age, compared to 41 per cent of North Americans. Once they reach retirement age, over half of Europeans (56 per cent) think they will have less money than their parents.
Will the world keep up with the millions upon millions of retirees eagerly looking forward to their years of no more 9-to-5s? With a few decades before we reach the predicted 1.5 billion mark, there’s at least time to take action.
In the mean time, individuals can prepare for this time by making a start on their own retirement plans.
What clever steps are you taking to be ‘retirement ready’?