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Good Health is the Most Important Thing in Life – it’s in the Research

Three in four over-70s agree (75%) good health is the most important thing in life, followed closely by having good relationships with family and friends (72%), according to new research.

running retirees

Almost half (48%) of Australians aged over 70 have revealed they are yet to pursue their passions or goals and one in three (32%) regret working too hard.

Older Australians aged 70 to 79 were asked about key milestones in their life, what mattered most to them and what advice would they give younger generations.The research was commissioned by St.George Bank to celebrate it’s 75th birthday and took place  between October 25 and 29, 2013.

However, given the opportunity to re-live their youthful years again, there’s a couple of things some would do differently. So, what are the top secrets to lead a fulfilling life?

  • almost half (48%) said they’d be more focused on pursuing their passion in their younger years
  •  a third (32%) of people surveyed say they put too much effort into work during their lifetime
  • 75% of seniors agreed good health was the most important, followed by;
  •  maintaining strong relationships is key to happiness
  •  the majority (70%) of seventies seniors said having travel memories to reflect on was either important or extremely important
  • only 3% valued materialistic possessions as extremely important
  • proving beauty doesn’t become less important with age, almost half of those surveyed (48%) agreed physical appearance remained an important factor in their life
  • around one in five (23%) women aged over 70 said they didn’t marry the love of their life, compared with 16% of men
  •  more than half (51%) said having a pet (such as a cat or dog) was an important part of their life

St.George General Manager Retail Banking , Andy Fell said: “St.George is celebrating 75 years since it first opened its doors. “It’s our view that it’s never too late to get started on the things you’re really passionate about so we’re encouraging Australians to get out there and start turning their dreams into reality,” he said.

Our older population also gave some advice to younger Australians, suggesting people should try hard to own their own home, do as much travelling as possible and importantly, give back to society through volunteer work.

Our over 70s did face hurdles along the way, including 60% who say they did not have enough money, one in three say their partners held them back (33%) and another 30% blaming work commitments. More than one in three (36%) said their career was not important in life.

In good news for those afraid of getting older, 60s is the decade Australians in the over 70 age group agree to be the best years of their lives, ranked equally with their 30s.

In terms of world events, over-70s agree  the introduction of the internet ranked as the most impactful world event for this group. This is followed by World War II, which finished when many in this age group were still under 10 years of age.  The September 11 events in the US and the assassination of President JFK also ranked high in world events of greatest note.



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Alana Lowes

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