November 26, 2012 Leave a comment
The value of older people’s contribution to society, via unpaid care, charitable and voluntary work has increased by almost £2 billion in the UK over the last 12 months, to a total of £26.8 billion, according to the new 2012 Retirement Nation report by financial services company MGM Advantage.
The report found that each year those approaching and in retirement give society on average 75 hours of charitable work at a value of £5.7 billion and 73 hours of voluntary community work at a value of £5.5 billion. Most significantly, they provide a massive 326 hours in free care for grandchildren, parents and other family members, saving the family economy £15.5 billion in the last year.
Yet despite this contribution, the majority of older people feel undervalued by society. Two-thirds (65%) feel they are treated badly by politicians, while four in ten (42%) feel that society treats them badly. A further third (34%) feel they are poorly portrayed by the media.
Commenting on these findings Aston Goodey, director of MGM Advantage, said: “It seems £27 billion’s worth of unpaid care, voluntary and charity appears to go unnoticed by society, politicians and the media, with millions of retirees experiencing a significant lack of respect.”
The implications of the withdrawal of this input would be huge for society as a whole, and fortunately is unlikely to happen. But taking such a massive contribution for granted is insulting. Is this just another case of what doesn’t cost isn’t valued? How should older people react?
For futher information see The Retirement Nation 2012 report www.retirementnation.co.uk