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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Standard of Living

Over 50s' income did not fall during the recession - ESRI

The think tank say research shows that, although the wealth of over 50s declined, overall income, health and well-being did not.

OLDER PEOPLE ARE as happy, as healthy and have the same levels as income as before the recession according to a report by the Economic Social Research Institute.

The ESRI’s report on the health and well-being of people over-45 found that the average net assets of this age group fell significantly between 2007 and 2013.

Much of this decline was of course due to the fall in property values, with the average net assets in the age group dropping from  €565,000 to €306,000 in the seven years to 2013.

But the report, which used three separate data surveys, found that median income did not appear to fall for over 45s.

In the period between 2005 and 2010, the incomes and expenditures of households headed by those aged over 45-years actually increased while those under 45 declined the report states.

Quality of life was also measured by researchers by asking respondents over 50-years-old about how their life fared in terms of control, autonomy, self-realisation and pleasure. The surveys used by the ESRI were carried out in 2007 and 2011 and found that there was a small increase in how the respondents viewed their quality of life.

The survey also carried out a similar study where people of the same age were asked to rate their health as either excellent, very good, good, fair or poor.

The percentage of respondents who reported that their health was fair or poor was exactly the same in 2007 and 2011 at 21 per cent, but had fallen to 18 per cent in 2013.

“Although the recession led to large falls in wealth for those aged over 50 in Ireland, the data does not show any significant deterioration in either the health or well-being on average among this group,” the report concludes.

This could be related to the fact that median income did not appear to fall. The finding is consistent with other international studies which suggest that any negative impacts of recessions on health and well-being may be overstated in popular discussion.

Read: New project to help older people stay living in their homes >

Read: Association uses new funding approach to redevelop homes for older people >

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