We are already being held responsible for the gloom and doom being predicted in the IGR,40yrs down the track, due to the large ageing population – presuming we all live well into our 90’s and some even reaching 100+yrs.
The report goes on about Baby Boomers needing to stay in the work force well into their 70’s to save our country from financial crisis. Perhaps our present and future Federal & State Governments need to take a hard look at how they can cut back on huge debts, spend more wisely and plan better budgets. This can help to reduce the deficit, instead of putting the pressure on the ageing population as a means of culling back on government spending.
It’s okay to say in the Report that people need to work longer, but businesses need to be more flexible with their work arrangements for older workers. Few organisations have job share arrangements in place, shorter working hours, reducing physical duties, mentoring younger workers. Bunnings is one of the businesses that does this so well.
In many businesses today, being over 45yrs is considered, ‘over the hill’. Employers don’t want to pay older workers more. How many local industries are closing down and people losing their jobs because businesses are going off-shore to save money. Our rural industries are suffering because they cannot sell quality products as our country is importing cheap,inferior food products.
Because the IGR is mainly focussed on the long term costs of an ageing population, it fails to recognise the contribution made by Baby Boomers in the workplace and in their communities. Seniors in their 60’s – 70’s in particular, including both men and women, have had many years of meaningful work and don’t want to sit around having a meaningless life.
The perception of today’s Seniors has changed a lot from previous generations. Today’s Seniors want to live independently for as long as they can. They want to remain productive and use their skills and talents in the workplace with more flexible work arrangements and to help others in a volunteer role. They want to develop a hobby into a small business. They want to travel. They want to enjoy time with their grandchildren. They want to stay healthy and happy and enjoy their senior years.
Those who choose to keep working and enjoy their work, do so. Some people start having health problems in their 70’s and may not be able to keep working. Some people keep working just to earn more money, but have no plan for their life after full-time work. Studies have shown that only about 47% of the workforce retire when they planned to, due to redundancy, work places closing down and health problems. Is the answer really to make older people keep working till they are worn out and cannot enjoy a new stage of their life after all those years of full-time work?
The earth is changing all the time. Who can really predict what the world is going to be like in 40 years time and how we will be living. Instead of filling people’s minds with all these dire predictions and statistics about the woes of an ageing population, why not live in the present, enjoy life, spend wisely, stay healthy, reduce unnecessary worry about what might happen in the future and slow down the ageing process.
In many countries, elders are respected for their wisdom and knowledge. Enough of this gloom and
doom. Instead of putting us in the sterile statistics basket, please recognise the humane aspect of our ageing population.