Is 70 the new 30?

Is 70 the new 30? With people living longer, working for longer and earning for longer, the older generation may be more with it than many people think.

According to a new study by Nationwide, the average 70-something prefers Elvis to Cliff Richard, reads nine books a year and most likely drives a Ford.

The study of 2,000 people in their 70s found the average respondent had been in a relationship for more than thirty years and rated both The Shawshank Redemption and Only Fools and Horses as the best film and TV.

Regrets include not travelling in more, the ‘one that got away’ where a romantic pursuit didn’t work out and wishing they’d saved more. Indeed, the average yearly income for a person in their seventies was found to be £21,617 – slightly less than the average 30 year old, who pulls in £24,763.

A third of those polled are still employed, while the same number get by living on a private pension. On top of that, the average respondent has £5,227 in savings but just under £27,000 of mortgage debt still and credit card debt of just over £1,500, results showed.

Once bills and other spending is accounted for, the average respondent had £300 of disposable income each month – preferring to spend it on eating out, followed by holidays abroad.

The average 70-year-old manages one trip overseas per year, results showed. They’re also most likely to drive a hatchback and will do five active things per week – most likely the gym or a long walk. And when not being active they’ll watch more than 16 hours of TV per week.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 71, Britain’s most famous explorer, comments: “While getting old can be a pain in the neck, it’s a pleasure to see that it’s not just adventurers of my age who are still active and are actually far better at keeping up with ‘the times’ than younger generations might think.”

Health is the driving worry for people upon reaching their seventies, though a third still worry about saving money day to day and more than a quarter worry about paying their bills each month.

Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, Head of Savings and Mortgage Policy at Nationwide Building Society, says: “Age is just a number – so it’s encouraging to see our latest life stage study breaking some common misconceptions by highlighting the active lifestyle of many 70 year olds, along with their working status and spending habits.”