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25 October 2016, 01:00

Festivals, Facebook and First Dates: The Changing Face of 50-Something Britain

• Six in ten over 50s are on Facebook and a quarter use WhatsApp
• One in eight over 50s have more sex now than they did in their twenties
• 12% of those in the free-spirited South West strip off for a bit of skinny dipping!
• Free digital edition of the new look Saga Magazine available at

From tattoos, regular sex and watching TOWIE, to skinny dipping and going to festivals, today’s older generations are challenging perceptions of what it means to be 50-plus, according to new research by Saga Magazine.

The nationwide poll of more than 1,000 over 50s conducted by the magazine, which re-launches on October 25, found that many older people are living the sort of aspirational, exciting and fun packed lives that you’d expect of people half their age.

Just under half have an active sex life, with one in eight (13%) saying that they have more sex now than they did in their twenties and thirties. Almost a third (29%) said sex was more enjoyable, with women more likely (38%) to say that maturity has had a positive impact on their love life. Despite many believing these improvements are all because you become more comfortable with your partner over time, that is not always the case. A fifth of those surveyed said they had been on a date since turning 50 and 9% have used a dating website.

It’s not just relationships where they’re disproving out-dated stereotypes either – they’re a technically savvy bunch. The survey found that nearly six in ten use Facebook, 37% watch YouTube, 25% communicate with WhatsApp and one in seven (14%) play Candy Crush. Three-fifths use video or music streaming services, with BBC’s iPlayer the most popular at 44%, compared to Spotify (11%) and iTunes (9%).

The poll participants’ TV watching habits included Gogglebox (34%), The Big Bang Theory (27%) and Game of Thrones (24%), with 14% admitting to having seen the supposedly youth-orientated The Only Way is Essex and one in ten tuning in to Made in Chelsea.

Similarly, one in five respondents had been to a nightclub since reaching the big 5-0, one in eight (13%) had donned wellies and wristbands to attend a festival, and 4% had been skinny dipping – rising to 12% in the free-spirited South West.

Being over 50 isn’t just about being risqué. Almost one in ten (8%) poll respondents had started cycling since reaching their half century and 4% had taken up water sports. Around a fifth had learnt a new skill, such as sailing or photography, and a quarter volunteer for charity. One in 25 even plan on getting their first tattoo.

"People in their 50’s, 60’s or older are more connected and adventurous than the world gives them credit for." said Saga director Matt Atkinson, “Our insight shows us that there are now more over 50s in work than ever before, they are likely to work for longer than any previous generation and really want to get the best from their lives. We want the Saga magazine to celebrate this and to inspire and stimulate."

The magazine’s new look November issue, which aims to help people around retirement age make the very best of their lives, includes columns by Jo Brand, Bill Bailey, Dr Mark Porter and sex-and-relationships expert Suzi Godson. There will be other features and advice on money, health, travel, motoring, gardening, technology and property. In its launch edition, Saga, in conjunction with Mrs Robinson management, is launching a modelling competition for women aged over 50. The prize includes a year’s representation and a photo-shoot in the magazine.

Commenting on her new role, Jo Brand said; ‘I'm looking forward to being the agony aunt for Saga Magazine, which will give me a chance to bring out my kindly, wise and caring side which, frankly, doesn't get much of an airing when I'm doing comedy. It also gives me a chance to tick people off if I think they're behaving badly, which, of course, is right up my street.’

The November new look Saga Magazine is available to subscribers from October 25.

Free digital copy of November’s new look magazine available at

Subscription to Saga Magazine costs £24 to subscribe call : 0800 056 5086


Editors notes:

Saga Magazine is the country’s most successful subscription magazine with a paid-for circulation of 326,127 people every month, delivering a mix of news, lively opinion, features and advice rooted in its insight about the lives and desires of the nation’s Saga generations.

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services. These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine.

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