The rise of Super Adults

Not planning to be a daggy old person? You’re not alone. 'Seniors' are a thing of the past – we've entered the era of the Super Adult.

Mature mother and adult daughter having fun taking selfies with ice-cream while on summer vacations

Living longer & larger

Thanks to the miracles of modern times we're living longer, staying sharper and sometimes even working later than ever before.  With age comes wisdom and we're more in tune with our happiness levels, bodies and the people around us. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, life expectancy for someone born today has hit 80 for men and almost 85 for women. We've come a long way from finishing up work at 50 and being lucky to have a good 10 years in retirement. 

Today, the idea of being 'old' doesn't quite resonate anymore– there's still plenty of life to give – and living to do.  In fact a recent survey by National Seniors found that more than half of people aged between 50 and 64 were still working. 

Part of that statistic is 89 year old grandmother Helen Ruth who's also known as Instagram star Baddiewinkle. With more than 3 million followers, "Baddie" has made a name for herself as a grandma that's living her life to the fullest regardless of her age. She's signed multiple sponsorship deals and turned back plenty more.

Having just travelled the world to complete her Bad*ss Bucket List, Baddiewinkle is just one of many older women who are fighting the notion that it's all downhill after 50. 

Older in age no longer equals obsolete

It seems clear that the media is also waking up to the idea the older in age no longer equals obsolete. Australian journalist and television presenter Lisa Wilkinson is another example of the rise of the Super Adult. 

Born in 1959, Lisa recently made a career changing switch from network 9 to network 10 – a bold move in an industry where women were traditionally required to be young and wrinkle free. Retirement doesn't seem to rate high on Lisa's radar – instead at age 58 she's growing the next chapter of her career. This career move is particularly telling of the shift in public attitudes toward older women considering the ruthlessness of the media. 

Integral & active members of society

Where seniors are too old, Super Adults have the experience, maturity and wisdom needed to get the job done right. There's no longer the physical and mental deterioration that we associate with getting old. Old now means 90 and above. At 55 we're planning rendezvous not retirement.

Hardware giant Bunnings deliberately aims to employ older workers – citing the workers as engaging and energising teams, and also ensuring confidence and trust from customers.  

The Government also sees value in keeping older Australians employed, launching a "Restart" program that offers businesses an incentive of up to $10,000 to hire and retain mature age employees. They also appointed Susan Ryan AO as an "Ambassador for Mature Age Employment" to advocate on behalf of mature aged job seekers. To date, the program has secured 14,000 jobs for older workers, of which roughly 8500 were men and 5600 women.

Older workers are boosting workforce participation figures along with the economy, not to mention actively contributing to society. 

What's in a name anyway?

Whether we call ourselves 'mature aged', 'senior' or 'super adult' – you're only as old as you feel right? There's even a term coined by US entrepreneur Gina Pell to describe people with a no-age mindset. 'Perennials' as she calls them are ever-blooming relevant people of all ages who stay current with the world and its developments. A 'perennial' could be 15 or 50 and love Ed Sheeran, Instagram and Orange is the New Black just the same. 

No matter what we prefer to be referred to, as long as our wisdom and experience are treated with respect by the community, it's OK with me.

Make sure your super outlives you

The one drawback of living these amazing lives longer is the need for more savings. Depending on when you finish work, you could live 30+ years now in retirement. That's a long time! Want to see how your super is tracking? Try out our retirement income projector to see what kind of income your super may provide you. If you're not happy with what you see give us a call. TelstraSuper Financial Planning has a team of Advisers who can help you reach your goals. Give them a call on 1300 033 166 or fill in the online form to have someone call you back.