I am feeling ambivalent today. It is seven years to the day since I started Starts at 60 as a personal interest that I hoped I might be able to pursue full-time one day. It has grown wildly and I am overjoyed at what we, the Starts at 60 team, have achieved in bringing you the largest, most trusted media company in Australia specifically for over-60s and a growing travel company focused on serving over-60s.
But I am worried for our community right now.
With coronavirus, we’re looking at the most significant health crisis to face older generations in recent years. Over-60s are the group that appears most likely to be affected by COVID-19 and those with pre-existing conditions are particularly susceptible. More worrying is the fact that health services can treat the symptoms of coronavirus but can’t yet offer a vaccine or cure.
We are taking this situation seriously at Starts at 60, and our mission is to help you help yourself by bringing you all the facts and none of the melodrama offered by sensationalist media. We want you to know that we’ll be here with trustworthy information in what are likely to be some challenging months ahead. We refuse to use coronavirus fears as clickbait; instead, we are working with facts, experts and authoritative health information.
It has been an enormous privilege to serve the over-60s of Australia for the past seven years and our birthday wish is that we can continue to do so for many more years ahead.
Did you know that with your support, Starts at 60 and Travel at 60 have grown to provide jobs for 32 staff across our offices in Brisbane and Sydney, who serve more than 1.4 million users of our site with 4.5 million pages of stories and other information every month?
It seems amazing to me that it’s been seven years today since I started Starts at 60 from my basement with a single laptop. Over those seven years, the growing Starts at 60 and Travel at 60 teams and I have repeatedly chosen the harder road of quality, integrity and trust over what would have been an easier, but less authentic, path.
We do this because I started Starts at 60 with the most precious generation in mind – my own parents – and the feeling that we owe older Australians respect, truth and good service has never gone away.
Being part of the Starts at 60 community is really about being a member of Australia’s group of digital-savvy over-60s, and what we offer in return for membership of Starts at 60 is going to get a whole lot bigger in 2020.
So watch this space because our partners are keen to bring you great value! (If you are not already a member, sign up here. It’s free and means you can comment on the stories on our website, as well as choose to receive some of our daily or weekly news, health, money and travel deal emails.)
Our newsroom works seven days a week to bring our community breaking news on the personalities, events and topics over-60s love. Our stories (and much more!) are available by email, on our website and on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Members of the Starts at 60 community write tens of thousands of comments each week as they discuss the big issues of the day. You can join the conversation on our site or our Facebook page. And don’t forget to read our blogs, which are real-life stories and opinions written by our amazing over-60s bloggers. We publish more than 10 blogs every week, which you can find here.
We’ve worked hard in 2019 and 2020 to build a widely respected Reinventing Retirement program of retirement-related news, views and information designed to help you tackle the big life stages experienced by most over-60s From pre-retirement to end-of-life, there are times in our later years when most of us are faced with once-in-a-lifetime decisions – and have to make them with very little information easily available.
We’ve made it our job to change that by providing a trustworthy platform and we’re doing more to bring it to life every day.
We coordinate more than 87 monthly meet-ups around the country, hosted by volunteers, all of whom are fantastic! Our hosts and meet-up community members are very special to us, and we’re saddened that for the next two months we will not be able to coordinate these events due to the risks presented by COVID-19.
We’ve taken this decision following the World Health Organization’s declaration on Thursday that the virus now constitutes a pandemic, and in light of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s advice on Friday that large gatherings should not be held (we know that individual meet-up don’t involve 500 people but we’re acting in an abundance of caution because we value your health.)
We will communicate with our hosts over the coming days and provide more information in our next Community email newsletter, which we’ll send on March 18.
But please rest assured that we’re reviewing the situation constantly, ensuring we’re abreast of the most up-to-date official guidance and meet-ups will be back as soon as the risk has subsided.
We know you love to travel and love a great deal on cruises, tours, custom-curated and package holidays. That’s why we’re extraordinarily proud to have built a travel marketplace at travelat60.com and a full-service travel team over the past 18 months.
Over the next weeks we’ll introduce complete end-to-end online booking capability across airlines, cruises, packages, hotels and hire cars, and continue to work with the biggest travel operators and brands to bring you even more, even better offers on bucket-list destinations and more.
I’m incredibly proud of our community, our team and our partners. That’s why we’re celebrating, even though we know the days that lie ahead will be challenging for all of us. Thank you for supporting us for the past seven years – I hope we’ll spend the next seven enjoying each other’s company even more.