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Survey Reveals New Zealanders’ Greatest Worries

News release
29 November 2012

Survey Reveals New Zealanders’ Greatest Worries

• Across all age groups, rising crime rates, insurance costs and being able to retire comfortably are New Zealander’s top three worries
• More than a third worried about their personal health
• Hamiltonians found to be more worried than those living in Christchurch
• Wellington the nation’s least worried city

A new survey on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders has found that retired New Zealanders are more worried than any other group – including those living in Christchurch.

The survey of over 2000 people by Southern Cross Healthcare Group asked respondents to tick issues they were either ‘worried’ about, ‘in between’ on, or ‘not worried’ about from 11 topical issues.

Retired New Zealanders were found to be on average 13% more worried than the typical New Zealander.

Surprisingly, people in Hamilton reported a slightly greater number of worries on average than those living in Christchurch. Wellington was New Zealand’s least worried city.

Rising crime rates, insurance costs and being able to retire comfortably are New Zealander’s top three worries. This is despite Police figures showing reported crime for the year to July being at its lowest level in two decades. Nationwide, home and contents insurance premiums have risen substantially over the last year.

Those aged 40-49 were most worried about their ability to retire comfortably – with 60% worried, compared to 52% of the over 50s and just 36% of the under 30s. Household income did not significantly impact the number of people who were worried about this issue, with those in households earning over $100,000 per annum only slightly less worried (46% worried) than people in households with an annual income of under $50,000 (50% worried).

A large number of New Zealanders also harboured health-related worries. 44% of those surveyed said they were worried about their family’s health, while 36% were worried about their own personal health.

Southern Cross Healthcare Group Chief Executive Officer Ian McPherson said being able to retire comfortably was an issue that would gain in prominence in coming years.

“As the population ages, and demand for healthcare rises, it’s highly likely Kiwis will also need to take more personal responsibility for their elective healthcare costs. When so many New Zealanders have concerns about their own or their family’s health, how we help people to provide for their current and future healthcare needs to be top of the country’s agenda.”

The survey found women were significantly more worried than men, and worry also increased with age.

ends

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