People in their 60s and 70s are the foundations upon which nations depend, argues the recently relea...
People in their 60s and 70s are the foundations upon which nations depend, argues the recently released HSBC Future of Retirement Study.
The biggest study of older people ever undertaken destroys the myth that they are a burden on society, according Ian Martin, head of pensions and retirement incomes at HSBC.
Martin said old age represented fantastic opportunities for businesses, particularly in the financial services sector. He said: "75% of global wealth is held by those over 55 and, in the UK, there is £1000bn tied up in the homes of those over 65. The need for financial advice is unprecedented and this represents an exciting opportunity for financial advisers.
"Through taxation, volunteer work and provision of care for family members, older people contribute far more to society than they take out."
The UN has identified ageing as one of its top three issues and by 2050 it is expected that almost two billion, or 22% of the world's population, will be over the age of 60. The number of people aged over 60 has tripled over the last 100 years and is expected to triple again over the next 45 years.
Clive Bannister, group managing director of HSBC Insurance, said: "The ageing of the world's population over the next half-century will bring fundamental change to societies. It is clear that we need to rethink our approach to later life and to understand and appreciate the value of the work older people do every day."
The study found, globally, a greater number of older people provide financial support than receive it: 16% of those in their 60s and nearly 33% of those in their 70s provide financial support to their grandchildren.
According to the study, people are also working longer. Martin said: "10% of those over the age of 70 are in paid employment, and 75% of those are doing it not out of financial necessity but because they want to. It's clear that older people want to remain engaged in society. It's a win-win situation as the economy will benefit from people staying in the workplace."
Kevin Morgan, managing director of IFA firm EZI UK, said: "The study has confirmed what we've known for years: there has been a seismic shift in the population. With us all living longer, it's quite clear if individuals do not plan for their future, they do so at their peril."
The study, which examined 21,000 people in 21 countries, was conducted with the Oxford Institute of Ageing.
In the case of the UK, the report noted the birth rate has dropped and half of girls born in UK will live to be 100 or more.
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