Saturday, March 24, 2007

Global Aging and Retirement: AARP Releases Country Surveys of Opinon Leaders

In conjunction with a conference on "Reinventing Retirement Asia: Enhancing The Opportunities of Aging" held in Tokyo March 15-16, AARP released a survey of opinion leaders in Asia and Oceania, which reveals that most believe their countries are ill prepared to deal with the challenges of an aging population. Although the survey report covers several aspects of aging and society, two core focuses were on older workers and retirement.

AARP's report--"Aging in Asia and Oceania: AARP Multinational Survey of Opinion Leaders 2006"--was prepared by Princeton Survey Research Associates International thrugh a survey of opinion leaders in the United States and in seven countries in Asia and Oceania. The survey was designed to increase AARP’s knowledge of aging issues and attitudes in key Asian markets and to compare attitudes and policies towards aging in the US to attitudes and policies in Asian and Oceanian societies.

According to the overall summary, opinion leaders vary as to the age at which a worker becomes an "older" worker:
Averaging 60 years of age among all opinion leaders interviewed, the average age at which opinion leaders would consider someone an older worker varies somewhat from country to country, ranging from a high of age 66 in Japan to a low of age 55 in Australia. Half of opinion leaders say that the transition to becoming an older worker occurs some time between the ages of 60 and 69.
Other key findings show that opinion leaders perceive older workers as wise, respected, and productive, but that "businesses do not see older people as a
potential source of productive labor and employers are not well prepared for a future workforce comprised of more older workers." Opinion leaders also say that it is a responsibility to society to address older worker issues, older workers should be accommodated, the mid-60's is an appropriate time to retire, and that there should not be mandatory retirement.

In addition to the full report, AARP has issued specific country reports for the United States and for these Asian or Oceanian countries:Source: AARP News Release (March 14, 2007)

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