Boom and bust? The last baby boomers and their prospects for later life
This report shows that prospects for people currently in their 50s and 60s have worsened considerably across many key aspects of life – such as health, work, housing and finances – when compared to people who were at the same age at the turn of the millennium.
The generation currently approaching later life is experiencing big societal shifts such as longer working lives and the growth of the gig economy, a crisis of housing supply and quality, and increasing demand to provide care for family and loved ones. These challenges will affect all of us, whatever our age. But people currently approaching later life (approximately aged 50-70) face particular risks associated with these societal shifts that demand urgent attention. And yet little policy focus has been dedicated to this group and anticipating and alleviating these challenges.
This report sheds much-needed light on this ‘forgotten generation’: who they are, the nature and severity of the challenges facing them, and how their lives and prospects differ at this life stage from people of the same age 16 years ago. This report is based on analysed national data from almost 14,000 50-70-year-olds at two timepoints – 16 years apart – and in 97 interviews.
Without greater leadership from government on ageing and the impact of population ageing, the experience of old age is likely to be even worse for future generations. We're calling for:
- The government’s Plan for Growth and Levelling Up proposals to address the age shift underway and the dramatic and growing inequality in the way we experience later life.
- Ethnicity data reporting to be mandatory in all official and statutory statistics and data monitoring
- The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities to prioritise investment in preventative public health measures to reduce risk behaviours in mid-life
- The government to help increase the participation of older workers in the labour market.