Investment - Articles - Ageism starts at 57


The age we begin to feel society is turning its back on us is 57, according to a new study by over 50s experts SunLife.

 In its Retiring Ageism Report, SunLife asked 2,000 people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s if they feel their age is negatively affecting their lives, and more than a quarter (27%) said they have felt ‘neglected’ because of their age, while almost a third (31%) said their age has made them feel invisible in society.
  
 Overall, 36% said they had felt either neglected or invisible, rising to 38% for women. More than one in three said they began feeling this way at 50, one in seven said 60, but the average was 57.
  
 Misrepresentation in the media
 SunLife’s report also found that over 50s feel misrepresentation of their age bracket is one of the major contributors to feelings of neglect and being invisible. More than three quarters (78%) of people aged 50+ said they hadn’t seen an accurate representation of their age bracket by companies or celebrity personalities within the past year, and just 40% saying they think over 50s are represented well.
  
 More than a third (36%) of those surveyed said they don’t feel as though brands bother to advertise or market to people in their age bracket, citing the fashion and sports industries as the worst culprits: more than half of those surveyed said they felt both failed to represent their age well.
  
 Depressed and anxious
 SunLife’s research found that more than two thirds (67%) of those surveyed said ageism causes them to feel underappreciated, let down (39%) and depressed or anxious (36%). And for almost a third, these feelings mean they are less inclined to try new things, while a quarter (26%) say it makes them stay home and miss events (26%).
  
 These feelings also influenced over 50s’ career decisions, with over a third (35%) admitting they have not applied for jobs they wantedbecause of their age.
  
 Commenting on SunLife’s findings, Claire Turner, Director of Evidence, Centre for Ageing Better says that ageism has a hugely devastating impact on people and that SunLife’s report highlights the scale of the issue.
  
 “Too many people are made to feel invisible because of their age. Ageism affects people at work, it affects people’s health, and it can affect the way they see themselves.”
  
 Ian Atkinson, director of marketing at SunLife, added: “We want to keep shining a spotlight on the issue of ageism – specifically, on the misrepresentation of the over 50s in society.
  
 “Unsurprisingly, ageism can have lasting effects on the mental and physical health of those over 50 who feel misrepresented, causing them to alienate themselves from family and friends. By raising the profile of this problem, we want to continue our ambition of retiring ageism once and for all and encourage brands to cater to this age bracket who deserve to be recognised.”

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