British retirees have become a nation of IAPs – or Internet Aged Pensioners – thanks to their amazing grasp of modern technology, a study has found. Researchers found more than half of adults aged sixty and over are comfortable with downloading new apps, are happy to back up their PC with security software and think nothing of synching their iPhones, or uploading pictures on Facebook.
The survey also found half of pensioners now have tablet devices and 47% have smart phones; additionally, three-quarters own a laptop and 61% have a PC.
The in-depth study by McCarthy & Stone, Britain’s leading builder of retirement housing, also found 78% of the 600 over 60s polled said they use the internet to do their banking online and 72% read news online. Furthermore, a whopping 88% used the internet to research deals and utility quotes, while 82% research days out.
Other activities tackled online include buying clothes, bidding on auction sites, find recipes and watching catch up TV.
Ali Crossley, Executive Director of McCarthy & Stone said:
”There is a perception retirees are less in touch when it comes to technology, but that really isn’t the case anymore.
”Many of the over 60s worked in careers which involved being savvy and up to date with the latest technology.
”You have to keep up with modern modes of communication if you want to keep in touch with the younger generation – many of the respondents used social networking sites to keep tabs on their children and grandchildren.
”The image of Granny struggling to send a text is really a thing of the past, with millions of pensioners logging on to Facebook and Twitter accounts daily.”
The survey also found a massive 96% of the over-60s polled said they are far more savvy with technology than they were five years ago.
And 88% said they would describe themselves as fairly competent when it comes to online communication.
Nearly 40% said they use social media to keep in touch with friends and 35 per cent with family.
Over half said they use Facebook, while YouTube is used by 41%, along with 23% Skyping or instant messaging, 19% use iTunes and 18% use Twitter.
Nearly two thirds of the older generation said their adult children encouraged them to be knowledgeable when it comes to technology to stay ‘with it.’
Around 56% said they were self-taught when it comes to getting to grips with new gadgets, children were the first port of call if the silver surfers had a problem with any of the electronic equipment.
Over half said all their friends are interested in the latest gadgets and technology and older men were said to be the more tech savvy than women.
The study also revealed that 23% of pensioners were planning to buy a new gadget in 2014 with a tablet being the top choice.
But the study revealed that one in ten of the adults polled who were in a couple said they often rowed with their other half about ownership of the laptop or tablet.
Ali Crossley added:
”With so many services, information and social media online the Internet is a fantastic tool for retirees – and a real godsend for anyone who may sometimes struggle to get out and about.
“This survey confirms what we’ve been experiencing amongst our homeowners, with a sharp increase in the use of IT and social media and the receipt of more and more emails and Facebook visits everyday from across a wide age group, anywhere from those in their 60s right through to 90s plus.
”To meet this demand we’re introducing fast, free Wi-Fi access in our homeowners’ lounges and are adding more and more technology to our latest developments.”
TASKS THE OVER 60’s CAN COMPETENTLY CARRY OUT
Read an email
Send an email
Read a text
Send a text
Use a search engine e.g Google
Update your contacts on your phone
Attach a document to an email
Set up an email account
Transfer photos from a digital camera to a computer
Download anti-virus software
Connect to a Wi-FI
Save to a memory stick
Download an App
Send a message on Facebook
Skype / instant message
Transfer photos from a phone to a computer
Switch on airplane mode on a tablet, phone and laptop
Send a picture message
Send an email via a smartphone
Uploading pictures to Facebook
Zip a file
Import numbers from SIM card to another
Back up a Smartphone
PERCENTAGE OF OVER 60’s WHO HAVE TACKLED THE FOLLOWING ONLINE TASKS
Research deals/utility quotes (88%)
Research days out (82%)
Booked a holiday (81%)
Online banking (78%)
Buy clothes (75%)
Read online newspapers (72%)
Get recipes (72%)
Watch catch-up TV (69%)
Bid on auction sites (61%)
Book flights (61%)
Research cars (61%)
Look for properties (60%)
Book train tickets (57%)
Instant messaging (54%)
Grocery Shopping (47%)
Order a repeat prescription (33%)
Booked a hire car (32%)
Booked an appointment (30%)
Book a hairdressers appointment (13%)
Online dating (8%)