If you thought that your economic contribution to society ends at retirement, think again. A 2015 Business of Ageing report update has found older New Zealanders make an even bigger contribution to the economy than previously thought.
How much? It was $8.5 billion in unpaid and voluntary work in 2011. However, this is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2051. This is in part due to the number of seniors in living in New Zealand almost doubling to 1.2 million over the next 20 years.
Seniors will spend around $65 billion a year in 2051, up from $14 billion in 2011, and pay total tax of $17 billion, up from $3.6 billion.
Given that we’re living and working longer, and that our seniors regularly contribute more of their time to the community, they need to be valued as a positive force for change. Are they retired? Far from it in my view. They are full of energy and commitment to our community.
Sometimes I hear that our ageing population might become a burden. That attitude is objectionable and completely wrong. Our seniors contribute to our communities both economically and by strengthening the social fabric with their voluntary contributions.
So thank you to our seniors – who help make the Bay of Plenty the wonderful region it is.