Resources for Older People's Organisations in London
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An ageing society presents both opportunities and challenges to businesses. The past stereotypes of older people’s purchasing patterns are becoming outdated as our marketplaces become increasingly sophisticated and diverse. Social change, globalisation, de-regulation and technological advances have changed the commercial landscape. Many older consumers feel left out or at least, left behind. Old values such as loyalty and personal relationships appear no longer to have currency. Our high streets are changing and the fast moving on-line market place, whilst comfortable for the younger consumer, may not be as welcoming to older consumers.

South East Age UKs and SEEFA – the South East England Forum on Ageing – have joined forces to examine:

  • How older consumers are disadvantaged and what barriers they face.
  • Why, given the scale of demographic change, older consumers don’t appear to be a high priority for business.
  • What does an ‘age friendly’ future look like? What may need to change?

Culminating in a Symposium at the Palace of Westminster, this high profile debate is intended to make a real difference to the way older people are viewed as consumers. The project will bring together experts with experience of later life, policy makers, stakeholders in the business world and research. We will make suggestions to policy makers and influencers for encouraging ‘all age friendly’ multi generational business approaches.

We’ll be starting things off with a joint South East Age UKs and SEEFA Policy Panel event on 31st October 2016 to develop the key issues to put to policy makers.

For further information please contact: Julia Pride: juliapride@gmail.com 07771941290

A new report “Generation Stuck”  from the International Longevity Centre – UK looks at the benefits of and obstacles to older people downsizing to a smaller home. It is partly intended to counteract some reports suggesting older people are harming younger generations by selfishly “hoarding” housing. The title “Generation Stuck” refers to many older popele being essentially stuck in their present home because of various obstacles to downsizing which the report discusses.

While previous research has explored the extent to which older people live in under-occupied properties, this report informs the debate on downsizing in later life by providing new survey research on older homeowners’ actual experiences and expectations in this respect. Amongst the key findings are:

  • One in three homeowners aged 55+ (32.6%) are considering or expect to consider downsizing. This figure rises to nearly one in two of all homeowners aged 55+ (48.2%) when factoring in those who have already downsized (15.6%). This is therefore an area worthy of greater policy focus, while the current policy debate is focused almost completely on first time buyers and starter homes.
  • Lower maintenance was the most important reason people downsized or would consider it (56.0%).
  • Close to a third (29.3%) of those who had downsized or are considering it did or expect to to release more than £100,000 in equity. Purchases from one specialist retirement housing provider, McCarthy & Stone, allowed its customers to release almost £60,000 on average from each move, with 19% releasing more than £100,000.2 Together, these figures show that releasing substantial equity can be a reality when downsizing.
  • The most prevalent way that people did or will use the equity released from downsizing is to put it into a savings account (35.2% overall) or, for those aged 55-59, to put it towards a pension (34.0%).
  • Specialist retirement housing could have a major impact on freeing up a larger housing market, with nearly 3.5 million older people interested in downsizing and buying a retirement property.

The report calls for a number of policy reforms to encourage downsizing and moving in later life, focused on the categories of adequacy, affordability and awareness, and contributes to the growing public debate on the state of the housing market in the UK.

You can download the full report from the ILC-UK website

A new report by the Ready for Ageing Alliance, a group of major charities interested in our ageing society, seeks to bust the widely touted myth that there is a uniform group of older people in the UK – so called baby boomers – who have benefitted at the expense of younger age groups.

The report presents compelling evidence that baby boomers (in this report defined as between the ages of 55-70) are in fact a diverse group of people in virtually every aspect of their lives. Inequality affects them similarly to other people in our society leading to a wide range of outcomes in their lives. You can read the report here.