Four reasons everyone wants you! 19



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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.

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

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?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I think generally we are less valued in society an often overlooked , with the exception of the Government who thinks we are leaners and a drain on society , and that concept seem to be catching on with our youth who I think would gladly have us all euthanased.. judging by the comments I have read on facebook

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  2. Couple of weeks ago we were reading articles dealing with how over sixties are ignored and feeling isolated from society. In general the comments supported the writers opinion.
    Now it seems over 60s are in great demand if we are to believe the above. What happened? Did someone wave a magic wand?

  3. It is so funny we are like all groups not to be lumped in a you are this or that. When will people realise if you want to be treated as just a person do the same for others Example all young people are not useless – all unemployed people are not bludgers – all homeless people are not drunks – all this all that the time has come when we are all just people Humans managing the best we can and not too be lumped into a preset basket. All Bikies are not drug pushers all Muslims are not evil all the groups that are judged by the other groups it takes away from the person and from humanity.

  4. In many ways I would rather be overlooked by society. Some of the heartache, discontent, selfishness and just plain laziness and evil are not something I would like to live with. My value as a person is to those who I have deliberately surrounded myself with. I am unemployable but that has nothing to do with age or skills, so that has no bearing on why society thinks I am invisible. My worth as a grandmother is very much appreciated, which these days is all the work I need to keep me happy. All in all I think I like being invisible because those who would use me for their own gain cannot see me therefore I can get on with living my life the way I want and not how society thinks I should.

  5. Apart from voting none of those things apply to me. I’m a marketer’s nightmare because I rarely buy anything unless it’s something I really need or is a bargain of the century.

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    • The same goes for me. Shoes don’t fit and make my feet hurt and goe out of shape,cloths all look the same go out and several have the same things on. Other times they are to big for your or two small, discolour in the wash and after a couple of washes they fall apart. And we have to part with our money which a lot of people begrudge us.

  6. I only partly agreed with your article. Women are still very much second class citizens in many ways. It is not true that all older women can afford to travel either. Many, like,myself, single and on the aged pension cannot save for holidays. It’s only those with a partner or who are self funded can afford to travel.

  7. In the main people over sixty do become invisible, especially to the younger generation. Only natural I suppose, but it can be annoying at times, especially when standing in a queue, then the young male assistant forgets you’re there and asks the attractive young lady if he can help her! This is when I find my voice and make sure he hears me even if he chooses not to see me!

  8. On my 73rd birthday on September the 8th last year, I started teaching English through songs, nursery rhymes and stories in three local schools. I was asked to do this by the vilage mayor as, here, in France, a new ruling has it that village councils have to arrange for after-school care for children who cannot be fetched at the new school finishing time of 4 pm. Our local councils thought it would be good if the children were given useful activities to do from 4 to 5 pm., so besides ‘Initiation d’anglais’ (English Initiation) there are guitar lessons, drawing, theatre, yoga, gardening and help with homework. I teach in three schools, with ages from two and half to 5 years and a class of 8 and 9 year olds. I have assistants to help with discipline which enable me to concentrate on teaching. I’m just about to start the last tern of this school year (2014/15) and am impressed by how many songs and rhymes the children remember and they love joining in with the “I’m a troll, fol-dee-rol,” of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. To me, on a basic pension, the money I earn is a fortune!

  9. I love my children and will help if they need me. The same I can proudly say my children and grand children are at all times here for me. A different picture is when you go into some shops we oldies are invisible ,but they still are greedy for our money otherwise some would be broke .

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