Over-50s worried about future due to cost of living

·2-min read

Older Australians are increasingly worried about the future as many grapple with the cost of living crisis.

About 45 per cent of people aged 50 and over believe life is getting worse for them compared to 33 per cent in 2021, according to a new survey.

The report by the Council on the Ageing Australia shows financial stress and difficulties accessing health services are among the top reasons many elderly Australians have a negative outlook on the future.

About 2750 Australians aged 50 and over shared their experiences and while a large proportion reported feeling nearly eight years younger than their actual ages, about one in three has experienced age-related discrimination.

"Ageism is a perverse challenge which permeates the lives of older Australians and sits underlying this wider trend of growing insecurity," COTA chief executive Patricia Sparrow said.

"The reports findings underscore the need for the Australian government to develop a national strategy for older people so policymakers take urgent steps to address the concerns of older Australians to ensure they are more secure and resilient in the future."

Despite the budget offering some relief for older Australians with $36 billion allocated to aged care spending in 2023-24, many are worried about finances, particularly the housing crisis and their risk of homelessness.

About six in 10 said the cost of living was putting a strain on their budget, which is significantly more than the 31 per cent who had the same concerns two years ago.

"Though we are pleased with the outcome of this year's federal budget which provided some relief on the pressures older Australians are facing, there is still more to do," COTA federation chair Joan Hughes said.

"The hip pocket of older Australians especially, older pensioners who rent, are still strained."

She added that increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance and timely increases to the pension would help ease financial stress.