ESRI: Large fall in wealth for over 50s during recession

By Catherine Shanahan

Average net assets of Ireland's over 50s fell by a massive 45% during the recession, yet they remain upbeat about their health and wellbeing, according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

The large falls in wealth were largely due to the property crash with the value of owner-occupier housing falling from an average of €476,000 in 2006/7 to 224,000 in 2012/13.

Overall, average net assets for this age group fell from €565,000 to €306,000 during the same period.

Despite the loss in net worth, median income for the over 50s did not change over the relevant period, possibly explaining why they remained positive about health and wellbeing.

They do however expect to have to prolong their working life, with two in five reporting in 2009/11 that they expect to work well into their 60s, compared to one third in 2006/7.

The research entitled "Did the Economic Crisis have Impacts on the Health and Well-being of Ireland's Older People?" drew on data from three sources, including the pan-European Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and from the first (2009/11) and second (2012/13) waves of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).

You can view the report here.

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