15th August 2017
Finding a new partner, long lost family member or a dream house are just some of the life changing benefits of using the internet for over 55s. Research from pension provider Phoenix shows that the internet is a vital source for connecting people and finding loved ones around the world – 2.2 million over 55s have found love and long lost family members compared to 10.4 million people nationally.
It has also helped 3.8 million people over the age of 55 find a dream job, holiday or house with almost half (47%) saying the internet has been life changing for them. A further 2.2 million over 55s have found a way to treat an illness or significantly improve their health by doing their own online research.
|Benefits of using the internet|
|Region||Found a new partner or long lost family member||Found a dream job, holiday or house||Found a way to treat an illness or significantly improve health/fitness|
|Yorkshire & Humber||16%||39%||11%|
|East of England||20%||31%||10%|
Source: Phoenix Research June 2017
Gee Gillingham, digital project manager at Phoenix Group says: “The internet has always been a powerful and informative resource, and it is really positive to see that it is being used by older people to improve their lives. Whether to find a new partner, a dream house or treat an illness, the internet’s ease of accessibility for all, regardless of age, speaks for itself.
“The stereotype that people over 55 may be too old to be tech savvy is completely false. If anything, we have seen that this age group is fully embracing the internet and its potential to change their lives. They are just as involved in using it for personal reasons as the younger generation and as they consider their retirement, with the continued development of online services the internet allows people to reflect and consider their options in their own time and at their own speed.”
“In the 55+ age group, common uses include social media (51%), lifestyle shopping (54%), online gaming (10%) and managing finances (61%). The internet has clearly opened up a new world for this age group.”
Although for many the internet is a positive force, 10 million people aged 55+ are concerned about online hacking. This is followed by 39% of those over 55 having frustrations dealing with pop ups or links that take them away from the information they were viewing while 38% find it’s hard to tell which sources are legitimate.
Financial management online has traditionally been slow for take up, particularly in the over 55s age group. Yet 78% of people in this age group are managing their finances online; namely managing their banking including current account (71%), to managing credit cards (41%) and to paying supplier bills (38%).
Gillingham adds: “The internet helps all aspects of life, from finding a relationship to financial management. We are encouraged that so many people over 55 years old are managing their finances online and we are developing the Phoenix online presence specifically to support this age group through a new digital portal.”