The over-50 crowd of today is nothing like previous generations. Retirees and boomers right now are far more active, more involved, and better with technology than their parents or grandparents were and business and service providers are moving to keep up with them. If your idea of a pensioner is a grey-haired woman sitting in a rocking chair, you need an update. She and her friends are getting involved in all types of activities and they have interests that would surprise you.
Retirement is a great time to do the things you have always wanted to do, and for many that means travelling. Over 50s are hitting the road, air, and sea in record numbers to take those trips of a lifetime. Some are purchasing caravans and taking cross-country journeys, others are hiring boats to sail around the world, and others are flying to foreign destinations for great adventures.
The typical caravanning or beach holiday is not for all boomers. What many may find surprising is that one in ten over 50 adults is yearning for a backpacking holiday. The trip that brings to mind young people taking a year off from university is now a major type of holiday for boomers. Getting fit and taking active holidays are priorities for today’s over 50s.
Even when not travelling, boomers are more interested than ever in being physically fit. They are cycling, walking, hiking, swimming, and getting involved in active hobbies. They are joining gyms and fitness centres and joining up with recreational sporting leagues.
Getting older is no reason to stop learning and the over 50 crowd in Australia agrees. Older Australians are continuing with their education with training programs for new work as well as by taking university courses simply for enrichment. They are learning new skills, hobbies, and activities, and enjoying stretching their brains.
Perhaps the biggest myth about over 50s is that they are resistant to using technology, but this could not be further from the truth. They are using the internet for banking, communicating, shopping, and even for connecting with others through social media. The majority of over 50s, 88 percent* in fact, believe that it is important to keep up with technological innovations and that using the internet and other resources is one of the best ways they have for keeping up with friends and with family members. Of the over 50 population, 75 percent* use the internet on a regular basis.
The majority of retirees in Australia are giving of their time to help others. Life after work is viewed as a time of fun and celebration and as a chance to live out dreams. Boomers also want that time to be meaningful. When their working lives are over, over 50s still want to be contributors to society and volunteering is a great way to do that. With years of experience in the work force, these civic-minded members of society have plenty to offer. They are volunteering their services towards environmental work, by teaching, by serving food to the needy, and by fundraising for charitable organizations.
Life Begins at 50 report.
*Apia’s research is based on an independent telephone survey conducted by Newspoll of 2060 Australians aged 50 years and over across all states and territories in 2011.