Some country for old men
Yeats may have got it all wrong: a study to be published today suggests that this might be a country for old men – and women – after all.
Most respondents to the survey of the over-50s (and yes, I know that that does not make you old) claim to be happy, relatively affluent and upbeat about their personal futures while more than two-thirds say the recession has not had a major impact on their lives.
It coincides with a Business of Aging conference. It found that while 71 per cent said they had seen their income decrease significantly over the past 12 months, 67 per cent claimed the recession had not had a strong impact on their lives and a similar number said they had not made any drastic changes to their spending throughout the downturn.
According to the survey, the State’s 1.2 million people over 50 are far more likely to splash out on holidays, new cars, restaurants and home improvements than any other section of the population.
When it comes to shopping, the over-50s are very clear where their loyalties lie: just 10 per cent said they would consider switching from a premium brand of tea to an own-label brand tea, but 50 per cent said they would be happy to dump branded toiletries in favour of own-brand alternatives.
The survey suggests that people over 50 are less brand-conscious than other groupings and the brand most readily identified was Guinness, with 6 per cent selecting it as the single product they were most familiar with. A further 4 per cent said Aldi was the most recognisable brand and Dunnes, Lidl, Toyota, and Apple were all mentioned by 3 per cent of those polled.
Some 77 per cent of those polled believed the media was quick to portray them as vulnerable but despite this perceived vulnerability, the over-50s are confident and enthusiastic consumers.
It found that 40 per cent are active online with most of that number falling into the 50-to-64 age bracket. Google is by far the most popular website and 38 per cent say they use it most frequently. Facebook finishes in second place at 19 per cent, while Ryanair comes third on 13 per cent. Of those who use the web, 37 per cent have a Skype account while 29 per cent are active on Facebook.