Tuesday, March 20, 2007

De Kijk van Van Dyck: 'The youthing of age'

Population is getting older in Belgium and beyond. By 2020 there will be 50% more workers employed on the labour market aged over fifty (Adecco). The 'greying' of society is high on political agendas, but also on a lot of marketer's agendas.

However, there are a lot of misconceptions about the over fifties of today and tomorrow. Today's and tomorrow's over fities are:

1. More active. The have a very busy life. A very active leisure life increases their subjective feeling of time pressure.

2. More able-bodied. More and longer than 30 years ago they are able to take care of themselves.

3. Less lonesome. Feelings of loneliness have decreased compared to thirty years ago. A possible explanation can be in an increased engagement in social activities.

4. Richer. This is a generation that accumulated a lot of wealth over the past decades. And they are not afraid to spend their money.

Fysioligically and psychologically the over fifties are redefining the definition of 'getting older'. The British sociologist Anthony Giddens, in his Europe in the Global Age, calls it 'the youthing of age'.

Read all about it in this week's column.

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