Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Study shows Kiwis get better with age

Young at heart and living well – study shows Kiwis get better with age

Happiness improves with age according to 1000 New Zealanders surveyed for Cigna Insurance’s 360 Wellbeing Score New Zealand report.
The Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey has found New Zealanders aged over 60 feel far happier – and healthier – than their younger counterparts.

More than three quarters of those surveyed said they were in excellent or good health, citing diet and exercise as an important part of their lives.

“It was great to see how active and focused on wholefoods and healthy eating the older respondents were,” says Cigna NZ CEO Lance Walker.

“Some were still going to the gym or running on a regular basis and almost all reported a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Their lifestyles are a model for us all.”

Despite the New Zealand retirement age sitting at 65, the survey found many respondents over 60 were still gainfully, and happily, employed.

“They are also young at heart. We found people’s definition of ‘old’ changes according to their age. Those in their early 20s defined 63 as old, whereas those over 60 considered old age started at 79.”

The Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive health and wellbeing surveys monitoring overall wellbeing across 11 countries and more than 15,000 people. It assesses a population’s health and wellbeing across five key areas: physical, social, family, financial and work.

In New Zealand, 1000 people from around the country were surveyed, with a 50/50 mix of men and women aged 25 and above. Of those surveyed, 125 were in the 60+ age category.

The survey found there were some issues that were entrenched in the New Zealand psyche regardless of age, in particular the importance of family, concern over the cost of living and financial planning, and the need for a work/life balance.

“The survey was an interesting exercise in gauging where we stand internationally, and among different age groups. While we found most New Zealanders were more realistic in their beliefs about societal issues (such as obesity and stress) than those surveyed overseas, we were well off the mark when it came to assessing how many New Zealanders were over 65.

“Those surveyed believed 36% of our population was over the age of 65. Census 2013 figures show it is only 13%.

“However that age group is projected to grow to over 23% in the next 30 years,” Mr Walker says.

“Financial planning was another issue that transcended age with 53% of all respondents reporting worry and stress about finances. Of concern, just 20% of those aged over 60 reported they had sufficient money for retirement, suggesting financial planning is something that really needs to be looked at earlier.

“Perhaps the least surprising result in the survey in this age group was the response around smartphone addiction. Of the respondents who stated ‘they couldn’t live without their smart phone’, 90% were aged between 25 and 49, whereas just 2% were aged over 60,” says Mr Walker.

GrownUps General Manager Richard Poole agrees with the findings.

“Our members continually tell us that life is only just beginning. New Zealanders would rather look forward than in the rear vision mirror when it comes to living life – 50 is seen as halfway,” he says.

“There is no doubt that in many cases, it's about attitude versus anything to do with age, restricted only by our body's ability.”

Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey Top insights – Respondents aged 60 and over:
• 42% of those over 60 rated their overall health and wellbeing as excellent or very good, and a further 35% felt they were in good health. Just 2% reported poor health.
• 96% believed spending time with their spouse was the most important or very important part of life, followed by their children (95%) and parents (82%).
• Dairy was the most reported item in the fridge (98%) followed by fruit and vegetables (95%).
• Almost half the participants reported having frozen foods or microwave meals in their fridge/freezer (45% compared to a total 37% across all ages).
• Those over 60 were less likely to drink alcohol daily than other age groups (35% versus 31%).
• The main social issue concerning those over 60 was the rising cost of healthcare (67% compared to 46% across all ages), perhaps unsurprisingly given they spent on average $700 in the previous 12 months on medical expenses.
• Less than a fifth of all respondents perceived themselves as performing very well or better in being financially secure when unable to work (16%) and having sufficient money for retirement (17%). This was reflected in the 60+ age group with just 17% reporting they had financial security if they were unable to work, and 20% having sufficient money for retirement. Only a quarter of those over 60 believed they were performing well on their current financial situation.
• Those in the workforce reported good relationships with their colleagues (96%) and their supervisors (85%), despite reporting that these issues were not a high priority (51% and 29% respectively).


About the Cigna 360° Wellbeing Score
The Cigna 360° Wellbeing Score is as an annual index which identifies and monitors the factors, motivations, perceptions and attitudes impacting on individual and regional, health, wellness and wellbeing. It is an independent study commissioned by Cigna and conducted by research company Ipsos. It includes participants from Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, New Zealand, Spain and the UK. Data is collected online from a representative random sample of around 1000 people in each country, totalling 15,000 people. The New Zealand survey results provide insightful information that enables Cigna to better meet the needs of Kiwis with relevant products and service solutions at the various stages of their lives.

About Cigna New Zealand
Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Ltd is the place that New Zealanders go to for their health, wellness and sense of security solutions. Cigna has had New Zealanders’ backs for nearly a century, and with in-depth local consumer and industry knowledge protects more than 295,000 New Zealanders with insurance policies. Cigna New Zealand is part of Cigna Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and has an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating which was given by A.M Best Company Inc. Visit for more information and links to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Cigna
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 89 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Reserve Bank: Policy Lessons From A Year Of Covid-19

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua was in a sound position to continue to meet its mandate in the face of the COVID-19 induced economic shock. However, we must continue to transform so as to remain relevant and effective in addressing longer-term challenges, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said... More>>

Transport Industry Association: Feb 2021 New Vehicle Registrations Strongest On Record

Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford says that the February 2021 figures are the strongest for the month of February ever. Registrations of 12,358 were 8.0% up on February 2020. Year to date the market is up 7.1% (1,735 units) compared to the first two months of 2020... More>>

Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

OECD: Annual Inflation Picks Up To 1.5% In January 2021 While Euro Area Records Sharp Increase To 0.9%

Annual inflation in the OECD area picked up to 1.5% in January 2021, compared with 1.2% in December 2020. Following a rebound between December and January, the annual decline in energy prices was less pronounced in January (minus 3.9%) than in December... More>>

Hemp Industries Association: Could The Next Team NZ Boat Be Made Entirely Of Hemp?

With The America’s Cup due to start in a few days’ time, innovators from a very different sphere have been wondering how long it could be before New Zealand could be competing in a boat entirely built from hemp, with the crew eating high-energy, nutritious hemp-infused foods and wearing high-performance hemp kit..? More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>