Who is considered Old

In case you would ask several people if they would consider them young or old, or the other person young or old, you shall get quite different answers from the different age groups.

A retirement or leaving present of a carriage clock

Men's average retirement age has risen to 64.6 years, in line with the state pension for the first time in 26 years. - The Guardian - Photograph: Martin Godwin

When we look at the key results of the Eurobarometer survey we do find that:

  1.  The majority of Europeans (71%) are aware of the fact that the population is
    getting older, but this is a concern for only 42 % of them.
  2.  Definitions of ‘old’ and ‘young’ differ across countries. On average, Europeans
    believe that people start being considered as old just before 64 years and are no
    longer considered young from the age of 41.8 years.
  3.  Most of Europeans consider that older people play a major role in society and
    especially within their families (82%), in politics (71%), in the local community
    (70%), or in the economy (67%)
  4.  Only one in three Europeans actually believe that the official retirement age will
    have to increase by 2030.
  5.  61% of Europeans support the idea that people should be allowed to continue
    working once they have reached the official retirement age, and 53% reject the
    idea of a compulsory retirement age.
  6.  According to Eurostat, the average exit age from the labour market is 61.5 years.
    However, 42% of Europeans believe that they would be capable of carrying out
    their current work till the age of 65 or beyond, whilst an additional 28% think
    that they would be capable of carrying on their current work until the age of 60-
  7.  One third of Europeans state that they would like to continue working after they
    reach the age when they are entitled to a pension.
  8.  Part-time work combined with a partial pension would be more appealing than full
    retirement, to two thirds of Europeans.
  9.  27% of Europeans aged 55 and over engage in activities and voluntary work in a
    variety of organisations and devote on average 14 hours per month to such
  10.  36% of Europeans aged 55 and over have, over the past 12 months, informally
    provided support to other people not belonging to their household. 15% are currently taking care of an older family member, and another 42% have done so in the past.
  11.  The majority of Europeans believe that their country and local area are ‘agefriendly’.
  12.  Older people‘s organisations and other NGOs, as well as religious organisations and churches, play the most important role in tackling the challenges of ageing populations, according to Europeans.
Eurostat uses SVG

Euro generations - Eurostat uses SVG (Photo credit: mac steve)

So when do people think begins: Being old

  • 63.9 is the average age at which one starts being regarded as old, but there is a difference of more than 10 years between countries – 70.4 years in the Netherlands and 57.7 years in Slovakia.
    Perceptions of old age vary according to the age of the respondents; as the age of an individual increases, so does his/her views about when old age begins.
    Individuals  within the age range of 15-24 believe that old age begins at the age of 59.1 whilst  individuals aged 55 and over consider that old age begins at the age of 67.1.
    Women feel that old age begins slightly later than men (65 years versus 62.7 years).
  • Across the EU citizens believe that a person is no longer regarded as being ‘young’ at the age of 41.8 years.
    There are wide country variations, with over a decade between the highest and lowest national averages. In Malta, Portugal and Sweden a person is no longer regarded as young just under the age of 37, whilst in Greece and Cyprus people would continue to be regarded as young up to almost 51 years.
  • The older the respondents, the higher the ages they would stop considering as young.
    For the 15-24 year olds, 35.1 years is the age at which one would stop being considered
    as young, whereas respondents aged 55 and over believe that it is 46.3.


Notes taken from: SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 378 “Active ageing” pages 7-10


Adding to articles: To Work Longer or Die Younger +

Or in Dutch: Wie wordt beschoud Oud te zijn, Aansluitend op Voorgaande artikelen: Langer Werken of Vroeger Sterven + Waarom een Europees Jaar van actief ouder worden en solidariteit tussen de generaties?


As it turns out, the answer to the above question depends on whether you’re a man or woman.


The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned that the scrapping of the default retirement age could cause additional confusion for employers and their staff.


The DWP’s survey showed a bias towards younger people in senior roles compared to older people. Photograph: Joos Mind/Getty Images

Age discrimination at work remains a problem for those at both extremes of the working population, according to research by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The report, based on analysis from the Office for National Statistics’s opinions survey, looked at factors associated with age discrimination and prejudice, and compared attitudes between people in their 20s and those aged over 70.

Perceptions towards those aged over 70 were more positive than towards those in their 20s, with older peopleviewed as being more friendly, having higher moral standards and as being more competent than their younger counterparts.

  • Average retirement age rises(telegraph.co.uk)

    A report from the Government’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) said that the average age at which people retire has risen from 63.8 years to 64.6 years for men and from 61.2 years to 62.3 years for women between 2004 and 2010. The rise is expected to continue as the state pension age moves upward in line with life expectancy.

    The figures also show that women will see their life expectancy at retirement age drop dramatically over this decade, from 28 years to 24, because of the rise in their state pension age.

  • Retirement age is on the up (guardian.co.uk)
    Although more women than men are working beyond their state pension age (SPA) of 65, a spokeswoman for the ONS pointed out that while the SPA is now rising for women born after 6 December 1953, they still receive their state pension several years before men.


Over the longer term, the estimated average age of withdrawal from the labour market for women has shown a rising trend overall since 1984, and a particularly sharp rise over the past decade. But men’s average pension age dropped in the early 1990s following recession, after which it remained stable until 2002 when it started rising until 2010.


Group Risk Development (GRiD), the trade body for the group risk industry, discovered this in a recent study among business owners and employers.
Whatever small businesses feel about keeping on older workers they may like to ensure they are covered against paying out for health and safety defence costs, court attendance compensation and personal accidents with tradesman insurance.ADNFCR-873-ID-801314020-ADNFCR

  • What Older Workers Don’t Know About Social Security (money.usnews.com)
    Many people on the verge of retirement lack knowledge about how Social Security works. Most older workers can’t identify basic information about the Social Security calculation, including how many years of earnings are factored into their payout and how much their payments will increase due to delayed claiming, according to a recent AARP and Knowledge Networks online survey of 2,053 people ages 52 to 70 who plan to claim Social Security within the next 15 years.
    Social Security payouts grow for each year of delayed claiming up until age 70. After age 70, there is no additional benefit to waiting to sign up. But only 29 percent of those surveyed were able to identify age 70 as the year they would max out their benefit. Many people (41 percent) incorrectly guessed that it was between ages 65 and 67.
  • Retail insurance holders ‘need to rethink retirement age’ (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
    Baroness Margaret Prosser, deputy chair of the commission, said: “Employers with a focus on recruiting and retaining older workers on flexible working arrangements are telling us it makes good business sense.”
  • Average retirement age rises to 65(telegraph.co.uk)

    The pensions industry warned more people approaching state pension age were “stuck at work” as they could not afford to retire.

    However, of those choosing to work longer, more were taking up part-time, rather than permanent, jobs, the ONS said.

  • Bain Retirement Age Raises Eyebrows (myfoxny.com)
  • Bain Retirement Age Raises Eyebrows (myfoxphoenix.com)
    effrey Ashendorf, a pension attorney at Ford & Harrison LLP in New York, said Bain’s allowance is “unusual and may not be consistent with the purpose of a deferred profit-sharing plan, but I can’t say there is anything inherently wrong with it.”
  • ‘We need to get really serious’: Cameron’s warning to leaders at Brussels summit as general strikes bring Belgium to a standstill (dailymail.co.uk)
    because Greece has been in recession for years, some experts fear it could need more rescue loans from its bailout partners – other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund – if it is to remain solvent.
    Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain were all hit, with investors ditching Portugal’s stocks and bonds in the belief it will need a second bailout.

    Demanding action to boost training and apprenticeships, he said: ‘You can see the scale of the problem we face when you realise that youth unemployment is below 10 per cent in only three Member States – our three best performers are Germany, Netherlands and Austria.

    ‘You can also see that the number of young unemployed is close to 1 million in Spain and in the UK… one million unemployed young people is a big problem.’
    Union leaders say they fear the government might be tempted to suspend its system of wage indexation, the linking of pay to inflation criticised by the European Commission and international economic organisations as driving up prices and undermining Belgium’s competitive position.

  • What’s the Greek debt crisis all about? (oyiabrown.wordpress.com)
    the Greek state has tried to soothe its people by creating a big welfare state and generous pay and pensions – including low retirement age and the famous 13th and 14th monthly salaries.
  • The 10 Countries Deepest in Debt (247wallst.com)
    Not all of the countries with extremely high debt relative to their GDPs are doing poorly. Government debt of Germany and Japan is high, but these countries can afford it. Their high debt-to-GDP ratios are balanced by relatively strong economies and wealthy populations. Germany has the highest GDP in Europe and the fourth highest in the world. While Japan’s economy was derailed by the earthquake and resulting nuclear tragedy, it remains the third-largest economy by GDP.

  • Deepening poverty drives people out of eastern Europe (business.financialpost.com)
    hree of Ene’s five children have moved to Spain. It’s not that far, but with everyone feeling the pinch of Europe’s economic downturn,…
  • Government Promises Lead to Economic Dark Age (economicnoise.com)
    The US government believes that the Social Security and Medicare promises are not legal liabilities. The rationale, as stated by the Government, is that the government has the right to alter (or eliminate) these obligations at their sole discretion.
    Two other governmental arrangements represent implicit promises that will be tough to abrogate:

    1. Entitlements, of which welfare is the most important. The government provided most entitlements with few qualifying requirements. A significant portion of society now depends upon them. For some, they represent normalcy; a lifestyle choice that does not involve labor. This “normalcy” has been a way of life for several generations. Such a “life-choice” has left these families relatively vulnerable, at least in terms of having meaningful work skills.
    2. Government employment. Government employees are accustomed to job security, great benefits, high pensions and high wages. Like entitlements, these emoluments are considered normal and sacrosanct. They will not easily be relinquished, especially where public employees have been unionized.
  • Reclaiming tax transparency from the angry right (economist.com)
    Most British voters support big chunks of public spending, from the money spent on universal free healthcare via the National Health Service to free schooling. Many millions of Britons receive welfare, tax credits (a form of wage subsidy) or work directly for the public sector, especially after 13 years of Labour rule during which Gordon Brown used an array of stealth taxes and levies on the profits of the boom years to move Britain in a socially-democratic direction, consciously expanding the pool of voters who were the beneficiaries of state largesse.
  • Ileana Johnson Paugh: DICED is UN’s Environmental Constitution for the World (junkscience.com)
    Control population growth, re-distribute wealth, force social and “economic equity and justice,” economic control, consumption control, land and water use control, and re-settlement control
  • Two Reasons Why the Global Economy Will Slow and Government Promises to Retirees Will be Broken (zerohedge.com)
    The coming years will be marked by a seismic change in the economic landscape in the US. Firstly and most importantly, we are going to see economic growth slow down dramatically. Jeremy Grantham, an asset manager I respect, believes we’ll see global growth at 2% over the next seven years. Personally I believe it could be even lower than that.
    The situation is not quite as profound in the US, though we will be seeing a dramatic increase in the age dependency ratio (the number of people of retired age relative to those of working age) between 2010 and 2030 as the Baby Boomers retire: in 2010 there were 22 people aged 65 and older for every 100 people of working age. By 2030, this number will have grown to 37 people aged 65 and older for every 100 people of working age.


About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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3 Responses to Who is considered Old

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