Cost of living leaving older Australians behind

Household finances a top concern for older Australians.

A new report has revealed some eye-opening figures about the 7.9 million over-50s in Australia.

The national survey from the Councils on the Aging (COTA) revealed 53% of Australians aged 50 or above are concerned about finances.

COTA Victoria CEO Ronda Held said the report highlighted the need for action to address the rising costs of living.

“The national survey highlights that the rising costs of living are of great concern,” she said.

“One in four older Australians feel insecure about their finances, with 12% of older people struggling with overdue bills, particularly energy bills.”

Ms Held said one in five people surveyed had no money to spend on leisure or social activities after covering their basic living expenses.

“This can lead to social isolation and loneliness, which can also affect people’s physical and mental health,” she said.

Non-working renters were more likely than other older Australians to rate their quality of life as poor, according to the report.

COTA Queensland Chief Executive Mark Tucker-Evans said the report highlighted the need for older people to feel valued in society.

“Whilst the report shows that a high percentage of people rated their quality of life highly, 7% rated their lives as mediocre citing health, financial, and negative emotional issues as the top three contributors,” he said.

“Today most Queenslanders can expect to live into their eighties and some beyond. 

“If people are experiencing these years in good health their ability to do things that matter to them will be little different from that of a younger person. 

“If these added years are dominated by decreases in physical or mental capacity the implications for older people and for society are much more negative.”