Saturday, 9 May 2009
How old is 'old'?
When are you actually old? A recent survey in Ireland found that eight out of 10 maintained that they would regard old age as starting at 80. One-fifth said old age began at 65. Interestingly, the people in that latter group were 23 per cent more likely to be male than female.
A significant proportion of respondents in the survey, conducted by Ask Chili for the website, who are still at work see the recession affecting their retirement date, with almost half (47 per cent) saying they expect to postpone their retirement due to the recession. Just over half of those who are already retired believe their income will fall over the next five years. Of these, half expect a fall of up to 25 per cent.
In the survey, 59 per cent believed that 50-somethings are down-ageing (engaging in activities which are traditionally seen as pursuits of younger people) by taking exotic holidays, buying sports cars or motorbikes, taking gap years abroad and so on.
Today’s over-55s are definitely interested in how they look. Putting effort into one’s appearance, they agreed, is a sign of continuing to engage with the world and maintaining a sense of dignity and self respect.
A huge 98 per cent agree that the internet is “fantastic – it has revolutionised my life”. They use the internet primarily for shopping and staying in touch with family.
Sex and relationships remain especially important to the over-55s. Just under half have suffered a loss of libido. Nine out of 10 believe sex is part of a healthy relationship. Only 10 per cent have ever used prescribed drugs to increase their sex drive.
Among those who live on their own, just over half are hoping to meet a new partner. Of these, one in five use online dating while others rely on more traditional methods such as social contact and meeting people through friends.