The Trajectory Trends Breakfast 26.03.15: Ageing in the UK Today

27th Feb, 2015

The Diverse Experiences of Ageing in the UK Today

Exploring the complex realities behind the hyperbole

Thursday 26th March 2015 – 08.30 – 09.30

Happenstance, 1a Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA

The March 2015 Trajectory Trends Breakfast will explore the realities of life for the over 50s in the UK today, exploring the full range of experiences and addressing the extreme representations of the audience.

In this General Election year there is much debate about the importance of the Grey vote in the context of austerity, pensions and other ring-fenced benefits. Indeed some commentators seem to relish the prospect of inter-generational (economic) conflict between the older and the youngest generations.

Politically there is also much debate about the importance of older voters to the rise of UKIP, specifically the appeal of their historic and insular rhetoric in the face of contemporary challenges and socio-economic change. Again an opposition is posited between the generations – this time in relation to diversity.

It is of course important at the outset to recognise the plurality of audiences under consideration; the 50-64 cohort, the 65-79 year olds and those aged 80 and above.

Indeed there is a huge amount of rhetoric surrounding the affluent, healthy over-50s, with high levels of disposable income and adventurous, technology savvy lifestyles. The challenge for brands here is to learn a new language of marketing and to wean themselves away from their obsession with the youth market.

Arguably it is to this affluent and informed older audience that the reforms to pension annuities have been delivered, but how appropriate is this extrapolation and what are the challenges and opportunities ahead? How robust is the guidance being made available, how capable are consumers of navigating the new framework, and what are the chances of (yet) another mis-selling scandal in the years ahead?

Overall, and in keeping with many other advanced economies, especially in Europe, the UK faces a future dominated by an ageing population, as such the pension reforms can be seen as part of an ongoing process of risk transference from the state to the individual (including the shift from final salary to defined contribution pensions). The challenges of health and social care provision and funding are also fundamentally related to ageing and the resulting increase in the dependency ratio.

Here we can see emerging signs of an exciting future for tech mediated health monitoring and independent home living. This has wider implications for society and for urban living – if mobility is at a premium then accessible local services are all the more important.

It’s a fascinating subject to explore and we very much hope that you will join us for what is sure to be a stim-ulating hour of discussion.

To book your place simply mail Michael Brennan @