A surprising number of over 50s still dream of being a rock star
‘thanks to X Factor’


Researchers have found that the majority of Brits in their 50s and 60s have no intention of “growing old gracefully”


Forget the bus pass, pipe and slippers – today’s older generation want limos, microphones and stilettos.

The Mirror reports that nearly a third of Brits in their 50s and 60s want to play out their twilight years in a pop group or rock band, new research reveals. The majority have no intention of “growing old gracefully” – or taking up golf – and hope to realise their musical ambitions in retirement.

Many have been inspired by the growing number of older contestants on TV shows like X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, a survey has found. Others plan to travel the world, run marathons, scale mountains, and volunteer for humanitarian projects in potentially dangerous countries. One-in-10 will use their retirement to scout for a partner or spouse, the poll of nearly 1,000 adults on the verge of retirement shows.

Just 20% are determined to “take it easy” and put their feet up, with almost all aiming to “live life to the max and enjoy every minute”.

The research was carried out by record label Coffee Jingle to mark the release of Dreaming in Public by the ‘older’ art-rock band Leapfrogtown. Label owner Martin Wake said the results of the survey reflect a dramatic shift in society and throw the spotlight on a new generation of “young at heart” senior citizens.

“Our findings smash the ageist stereotype, which until now has often seen pensioners portrayed as has-beens pulling shopping trollies,” he said. “The truth is that today’s OAPs are young at heart go-getters with a thirst for adventure and a lust for creativity. “This is reflected in popular reality TV shows, which appear to accommodate more mature people than ever before.”

Coffee Jingle questioned 990 men and women aged between 50 and 65 about their plans for retirement. The majority (92%) said they had no intention of being part of the ‘pipe and slipper’ generation, with nearly a half (45%) refusing to describe themselves as an ‘OAP’.

While two-thirds (66%) think society still expects pensioners to “take it easy”, some 52% are adamant that there is “no chance” of them doing so. Not surprisingly, a third (27%) said their primary goal in retirement is to spend quality time with family, or to “take it easy” (20%). But the remainder said travelling and adventure (9%), education or re-training (3%), sports and recreation (12%), and “realising a lifetime’s ambition” (29%) were high on their bucket lists.

Of the 287 respondents who intend to achieve a personal ambition, 10% have a romantic goal, 13% harbour an academic objective, and 14% want to get fitter or undertake a physically-demanding challenge. Others hope to fulfil a community or humanitarian objective (7%), make money (3%), join clubs or societies (24%), or fulfil a long-standing creative desire to form a rock band or write a book (29%).

When asked to summarise their plans for retirement, 887 of the 990 respondents said they intend to “live life to the max and enjoy every minute”. Some 68% also hope to recapture their youths, insisting that “you’re only as old as you feel”.

Musician Chris Guard took over as lead singer of his band Leapfrogtown at the age of 60 after a successful career in TV and movies. The singer-songwriter said the development of digital technology means you can now create professional recordings and masters without waiting for a massive investment from a record label.

“Being older and IT savvy is a cool combination,” says Guard, “It gives us the freedom to use our experience in a progressive way. “I’ve made music and art all my life but it’s only now that it feels right fronting a band again. It’s not about age, it’s about timing. “I wrote a song once called ‘Dreams Don’t Grow Up’. Maybe that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy!”

(Article source: The Mirror)

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