In Brief: This segment is similar demographically to the Thriving Boomers, but very different in their outlook.
While not the case for all in this segment, these people are likely to be in their 60s, and in a stable relationship. They are well educated, and have had a good career – something which has contributed to their positive financial situation. They’re in good health and participate socially but in spite of all this, they are not as satisfied with their life as others in similar circumstances.
The chart below indicates how the Downbeat Boomers segment perform on a number of key measures that influence wellbeing in later life like health, finances and social connections. While precise figures are shown on the chart, to help you make sense of it at a glance, the greater the area that is shaded in, the better their score. The chart highlights two scores for each measure – those experienced by the segment, and the average for those aged 50 and above as a whole – hover over the axis points on the chart to find out more.
This segment are in reasonable health; three in five (58%) rate their health as at least very good. One in five (18%), however, have a long-standing illness which limits what they are able to do.
She is diligent about keeping up with frequent medical check-ups, including a general check-up with her GP at least once a year, 6 monthly visits to the dentist and 3 monthly visits to the dental hygienist. Though Kate does not have any serious health problems, she has found her eyes getting weaker as she gets older. As a result of this she now tries to avoid driving at night.
While most in this segment have an individual they can rely on in the event that they have a serious problem, this doesn’t necessarily protect some against feelings of loneliness; nearly a quarter lack companionship at least some of the time.
One of her daughters has temporarily moved back in with her following a relationship breakdown. The other daughter has recently had a baby and Kate often visits them in the afternoons.
When her daughter returns to work, Kate plans to help with childcare, looking after the baby once or twice per week. This is something she is looking forward to believing it will provide her with a sense of purpose.
She will often invite her friends over for coffee in the afternoons, or will go to visit her daughter and grandchild. Sometimes she will have friends over for dinner as well.
She is also involved in several voluntary activities such as volunteering at a homeless shelter a few times a month. Not only does Kate gain a sense of purpose from being able to help others, but she also values this as an opportunity to socialise with the others who give their time to this cause.
Compared to the average, this segment are more likely to feel in control at home – however they are less likely to feel in control in comparison with the demographically similar Thriving Boomers.
After her mother died her father was very lonely and it is clear that she fears this loneliness for herself as she gets older.
Although she has strong social networks and she is content with these at the moment, she is worried that as she ages, she will have fewer opportunities for socialising and less control over this too. As a result she feels that her life is getting worse as she gets older.
Compared to her native Czech Republic, she does not feel that older people are valued in Britain and this adds to her apprehension about ageing.
Of all the segments, the Downbeat Boomers are in the best position financially; three in five (58%) never run out of money.
Nevertheless this does not stop her from worrying frequently about the unexpected. For example she worries about the possibility of needing home repairs and worries that if her daughters needed money she would not be able to help them.
Almost all of the downbeat boomers own their own home (99%), and 78% have finished paying off their mortgage. Compared to the average, they are less likely to have problems with their accommodation.
Kate is open to the possibility of downsizing as she gets older, so long as the location fits her requirements and she still has space to host her friends.