There once was a time when women “of a certain age” felt invisible: ignored by the media, overlooked by policy makers and passed over by employers. As far as the rest of the world was concerned there came a point where you were expected to hang your usefulness in a corner and fade into the background.
Fortunately this is no longer the case. As Start at 60 readers and contributors prove every day, the over-sixties have plenty more to give. Here are four reasons everyone wants a piece of you.
They want your money
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, baby boomers are “travel-happy, meaningful spenders”. You hold a third of Australia’s consumer dollars and have probably paid off your home, meaning you’re likely to have access to more disposable income. On top of this, you have more time, more interests and are more active than many of your younger counterparts. In other words, you’re a marketer’s dream come true.
Somehow, brands are only just starting to realise this, but they’re cottoning on fast. Louis Vuitton, NARS cosmetics, L’Oreal and American Apparel are some of the brands reaching out with models and spokespeople who represent over-sixties consumers.
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They need your skills
Dr Kathleen Brasher, from Council on the Ageing Victoria, values the volunteering efforts of older Australians at $74 billion per annum. That’s a lot of unpaid work this country relies on. And it’s not just here at home; the world needs your expertise.
Australian Business Volunteers’ Patrick Reeder says the organisation relies heavily on the skills and life experiences of older volunteers to create real impact in developing countries. Almost half of all volunteers registered with ABV are retired or semi-retired and pack a wealth of knowledge in their suitcases. “ABV is an effective organisation because of the passion and experience of our volunteers,” says Mr Reeder.
Register your interest and explore fully funded volunteering assignments with ABV here.
They’re after your vote
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If this past week has shown us anything, it’s that politicians are keen to keep older Australians onside. After dumping the unpopular pension-indexing scheme, the government has proposed changes that will keep the majority of pensioners happy. Read more about those changes here.
And then there’s the child-minding…
A recent op-ed in the Irish Independent newspaper said if grandparents went on strike, the country would be sunk. We know that feeling! The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found grandparents provide childcare to almost a third of children with working parents.
You told us here you really don’t mind looking after the grandkids, but never forget the importance of the contribution you’re making, not only to your grandchildren and children’s lives but to the economy, which keeps on rolling with a lot of help from Nanna.
Tell us, do you feel valued by society? What makes your contribution special?