It’s official – 60 is the new 50, with feisty older Australians feeling at least a decade younger than their actual age, a survey has revealed.
In fact, more than 7000 Australians aged over 50 polled for the YourLifeChoices wellbeing index say life is actually pretty good.
The overwhelming majority of 70 per cent of those surveyed felt younger than their chronological age, with one in five claiming to feel at least 10 years younger.
Strong financial wellbeing associated with owning their home was the main catalyst for safety and security feelings, with 73 per cent confident handling their finances.
The results “fly in the face” of the common perception most people have of older Australians, says Leon Della Bosca from YourLifeChoices, a digital publication aimed at people aged over 50.
“The data proves that older Australians are not as mentally and physically fragile as we may otherwise be lead to believe,” he said.
Old as they feel
“Many are feeling relatively positive about their finances too.”
Older Australians hold an estimated 50 per cent of the country’s wealth and 46 per cent of its disposable income, but still have a lack of understanding of government pensions, allowances and pension entitlements.
Alarmingly, only half claimed to have a good understanding of superannuation.
One of the biggest risks to wellbeing was age discrimination, with 72 per cent of older Australians experiencing discrimination either in a professional or personal setting, the survey showed.
Other risk factors considered to have a negative impact were the effects of recreational drug use (32 per cent) and alcohol consumption (15 per cent).
The data revealed that the mental health of older Australians suffered during 2020, especially during lockdown periods.
“Much like large portions of society last year, it’s not surprising that COVID-19 also took a mental toll on this demographic,” Mr Della Bosca said.
“Social isolation is a serious concern, so it will be interesting to see how this pattern evolves in future indexes as the vaccine rolls out across the country.”