The Golden Years Survey 2017 – The Australian Seniors Series

You could be forgiven for associating tattoos, skinny jeans and quirky hobbies with generations ending in X and Y, but it appears these traits can now be considered hallmarks of those born decades prior. It seems today’s Aussie seniors are risk-taking, trend-following and adventure-seeking, and are replacing knitting and bowls with motorbikes and the World Wide Web.

Embracing the mantra “60s are the new 40s”, Baby Boomers and their predecessors are taking their golden years by the golden horns, proving to be the most radical senior generation to date.

In the sixth instalment of ‘The Australian Seniors Series’ we explore how Australia’s over 50s are living the best years of their lives and redefining ‘growing old’.

Golden years [infographic]

Living life to the full

Age is no limitation for today’s seniors, but rather an invitation to live life to the fullest with almost all seniors agreeing that you only have one life so it is best to enjoy it now (94.7%). It appears pushing boundaries and keeping an open mind are traits acquired with age as the majority of those aged over 50 say that you are never too old to take risks and emphasise the importance of trying new experiences (77.3% and 64.2%, respectively).

Young-at-heart seniors

Aussie seniors are outwardly demonstrating a ‘You Only Live Once’ (YOLO) mentality, with a remarkable number of people aged over 50 happily agreeing that they dress and speak in a manner which is younger than what is typically expected by society. Our findings show that close to three in 10 (28.7%) seniors say they tend to dress similarly to people younger than them, and one quarter of seniors openly use phrases or slang spearheaded by younger generations, #YOLO.

And it doesn’t stop there; seniors have adopted behaviours that would more commonly be associated with their younger counterparts, with one in ten (11.4%) experimenting with tattoos.

Revolutionising the ‘Fountain of Youth’

According to seniors, drinking from the fountain of youth is well and truly accessible to those who stay committed to their health and fitness, as according to eight in 10 seniors keeping fit is the answer to an everlasting feeling of youth (83.4%). Staying physically active is a significant component to feeling youthful for three in five seniors (58.4%) and, extraordinarily, one in five seniors (17.5%) are ‘somewhat’ or ‘much’ more physically active than they were in younger years.

Tech-savvy seniors

As technology becomes more prominent in our everyday life, so does our ability to use it, and Aussie seniors are no longer relying on IT proficient grandchildren or neighbours to teach them the ways of technology. In fact, more than half of seniors (54.6%) claim to be ‘very technically savvy’, and almost two thirds (63.1%) admit to spending a considerable amount of time online. It seems that age doesn’t have anything to do with knowing megabytes from terabytes, or using apps successfully to enhance our golden years.

Redefining ‘getting older’

The overarching finding from the sixth instalment of ‘The Australian Seniors’ is the emergence of a new meaning for ‘growing old’. People in the ‘senior’ age group are progressive and open-minded risk-takers and are fully embracing the mentality that 60 is indeed the new 40.

Modern day seniors are not confined to activities that may historically be associated with them; they are comfortable in the modern world, experiencing everything life has to offer. Seniors are passionate about staying physically active, and are eager to learn new things and discover new hobbies. In essence, Australia’s older generations are redefining what it is to be a senior.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of the Australian Seniors Series… A report for seniors, by Seniors.


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The Golden Years Survey [pdf]