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Blog · Community & Lifestyle

Revealed: What baby boomers want and what would they change

Australia’s largest ever generation of retirees have declared what they want in a new survey – and their advice for younger generations. 

"Exclusive: Baby Boomers have thrown down the gauntlet to the other generations declaring they’re done with the shackles of family and work commitments and are all about “doing what they want, when they want”. 

Australia’s largest ever generation of retirees have declared they are fiercely independent, want to focus on their personal development, and perhaps surprisingly, while they like to be around family, they don’t necessarily want to be tied down with grandkid duties. 

They are also younger in their outlook than retirees that have gone before them, and don’t like being told what to do. 

Insights on the views of this generation, who are now aged 58 to 77, were captured in the Ageing Australia Study, commissioned by retirement living providers Aveo. It found eight in 10 valued independence and freedom in their retirement, while 76 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that this time of their life was about “doing what you want when you want to”. 

Nearly seven in 10 had forged intergenerational friendships and felt they had plenty of good advice for them including: “Travel earlier, marry later, don’t smoke, drink less, stay active and buy land”. 

Social researcher Craig Hunter, who conducted the study, said Boomers, who makes up one in five Aussies, remember a carefree childhood, where they learnt respect and inherited a sense of frugality from their parents who lived through the Great Depression and world wars." 

“Baby Boomers are at pains to say it is not about retirement it’s about the next stage of life, which is why they’re being called ‘Generation Next’,” Mr Hunter said.

“They feel they’ve told their family everything they can and now want to focus on themselves.” 

“Unlike their parents’ generation, who only socialised with people of their age, 68 per cent of those surveyed said they encourage and enjoy friendships with others younger than themselves.” 

Sarah and Paul Barnes, both 73, living in a Sydney retirement village live a healthy, active lifestyle – with trips to the theatre, cinema and “lots of meals out”. 

Their diary is busy looking after the grandchildren, 10 and eight, twice a week, in between socialising with both friends their age and younger. 

“We mix in varied age groups and go on holiday with my son’s friends,” Mrs Barnes said. 

“We go to our grandsons’ weekend sport and chat to the other parents. “Unlike my grandparents who always seemed very old, I think we are much younger in outlook. We are also more active; we have a gym and pool where we live. We also have healthier diets. 

“In my grandparents’ time no-one thought of drinking water for their health, they would have thought it a ridiculous idea.” 

Aveo’s CEO Tony Randello said the study’s findings would help shape its retirement communities of the future, with Boomers saying they wanted to enjoy “a high standard of living, entertainment, health and wellness facilities”. 

“They are a generation who revelled in their independence, were self-sufficient, adventurous, enjoyed a higher standard of living than their parents and they demand to continue living this way,” Mr Randello said.

 

WHAT BOOMERS WANT 

  • Eight in 10 want independence and freedom 
  • Three quarters say this is their time to do ‘what you want, when you want’ 
  • More than half long for that sense of community they had as children 
  • The majority want to focus on healthy diet and exercise 
  • 68% enjoy intergenerational friendships with younger generations 
  • Four in 10 say they’re happy with their finances, compared to one in three who are not. 
  • More than 70% believe for their generation growing up, nothing was impossible 

Source: The Australian Ageing Study, commissioned by Aveo

 

Original article by Julie Cross, national social affairs reporter for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail and Adelaide Advertiser.

To read more on The Australian Ageing Study, download your free copy of the latest Aveo Chapter Magazine.

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