70 is the new 50 as Canada grows up
11:58 EST Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Older citizens – 60 and up – are not the drain on society that they are often made out to be, according to a report released Tuesday.
Canadians between the ages of 60 and 79 contribute $2.2-billion in tax payments each year and $3.1-billion in volunteer work, HSBC Bank Canada said in issuing the results of a global survey conducted for the bank by Oxford University's Institute of Ageing.
The survey found that there are roughly one million Canadians 60 and older in the paid workforce. Older Canadians also contribute 416-million volunteer hours each year.
“The study explodes the myth that older people are dependents whose care drains vital resources from nations struggling to cope with aging populations,” HSBC said of the Oxford research, conducted in 22 countries.
“In fact, through taxation, volunteer work and the provision of care for family members, HSBC has found that those in their 60s and 70s are the foundations upon which their nations build.”
Globally, the survey found that almost 20 per cent of older citizens perform volunteer work.
The survey also found that “more older people provide financial, practical and, in some cases, personal care, than receive it.
“Of those providing financial support, 16 per cent of those in their 60s and nearly one-third of those in their 70s provide financial support to grandchildren.”
Most economies will face labour shortages if all the employees who are eligible for retirement leave the workforce, the study found.
“It is clear that we need to rethink our approach to later life and to understand and appreciate the value of the work our older people do everyday,” said Clive Bannister, group managing director of HSBC Insurance.
A large proportion of those 60 and older are fit, healthy and able to work, and this expertise could be tapped, according to the study, which concluded that “70 is the new 50” in that people in their 70s are now able to function that way previous generations did in their 50s.
Thanks Win S.