50+ Years, Fastest Growing Population Segment

November 28, 2012

[Written by Age Concern] The 2010 Census reveals that 22,413 people in Bermuda are fifty years and older, representing almost one third of Bermuda’s ageing population. In a series of articles, Age Concern Bermuda will highlight a few of 22,413 stories of the persons living in this new ageing generation.

13,730 persons in Bermuda are between the working ages of 50-64 years old. Tina [not her real name], is a 53 year old, married, mother of three children. Tina has been made redundant twice in the past twelve months. Her first redundancy came after a decade of gainful employment with a local company.

Tina is an experienced secretary and a graduate of the Whitney Institute and Bermuda College. She reflects positively on her previous employment, which she says was a small but initially a welcoming environment. Tina says about two or three years ago she noticed that the working climate was changing. Several of her colleagues were being made redundant and those who remained were asked to take on more and more responsibility.

She explains, “As employees, we really noticed a shift in management’s attitude toward us. The new attitude became that we should be grateful that we still had a job. I noticed the change but I was grateful for my job so I continued to apply myself so that the company could excel in the declining economic environment.”

Tina explains however that her positive attitude was not enough to save her job. She says, “It came down to me and another employee and the other employee had developed an advantageous relationship with management so I was let go.”

Tina did not let these events discourage her and after several months of being unemployed she managed to find another job that required similar expertise. Unfortunately, however her new employers could not sustain the new post and soon made her redundant as well.

Tina indicates that along with her husband’s modest earnings and a small life savings, her family is managing. Although Tina is 53 years old, she carries a 25 year mortgage that was acquired when she was gainfully employed.

Tina explains that her mother’s home was in need of significant repairs. She says that other than some manageable health issues, her mother is now living comfortably in the family’s renovated dwelling unit.

When asked whether she could have imagined herself to be in the position of being unemployed, Tina responds “No, I was not prepared for the current economy. It is more than not having a job, it is also the concern of being in your 50’s knowing that there are college graduates out there that also need jobs.

I have applied for several jobs and I have not received one response. I called one potential employer and they told me that they have ninety applicants for the post.”

“I wonder sometimes if college graduates seem more appealing to employers because they are willing to work for less. She says that if given the chance for an interview and job she would be willing to work for less, as her mother always told her that half a loaf is better than none!”.

When asked if she had any advice for younger people, Tina said that she would encourage them to save while they can. When asked if as an older adult there was anything that is an important consideration for her in the upcoming election, Tina indicated, “We need to work on the economy.

“We will know it is getting better when there are fewer redundancies and more jobs available for Bermudians like me. Money is not flowing through the economy because the work force is shrinking and therefore there is less spending, it’s a vicious cycle.”

As Tina looks at the current state of the economy she laments that it does not look hopeful for her. Today’s 50 plus year old must live in the era of a new reality. Although full of potential, a positive work ethic and years of experience it seems there are fewer and fewer options within which to be successfully employed.

Tina and the generation between the ages of 50-64 years old, are also voters. It would seem fool hearty for any political representative to ignore the circumstances and perspectives of Tina and her cohorts.

The economy, work, care for extended family members, these are issues that matter. How will we prepare for the future of the ‘new’ ageing generation? Can one voice make a difference?

Read More About

Category: All

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    With $1.5b debt, & growing, plus $300,000.00 interest per day, & growing, where is the money coming from to help these folks keep a roof over their heads & stay healthy?

  2. navin johnson says:

    would someone please ask Zane to read this or have someone read it to him……it explains why the current model of Future Care is not sustainable….

  3. Bullseye says:

    The majority of these persons rejoiced when the PLP got in. Now the Sinking Fund is sunk and the pension fund is raided and contributions have been frozen or delayed so what will they have to look forward to?

  4. Legal Eagle says:

    And ‘laverne’ says 95pcnt of Senoirs (+ near Seniours) are doing ‘just fine’ thanks to the PLP!! What a sad joke!!