French confident of a good old age

Most people in France think they are on track to be healthy and active in later life, a survey shows

3 March 2011

THREE QUARTERS of people in France believe they have the right lifestyle to have a “good” old age.

That was one of the headline statistics in an old age survey by Ifop for the insurer Prévoir.

The study showed, however, that being well-off increases people’s confidence: 83 per cent of those in households with at least €4,500 per month think they are well-prepared for this stage of life, compared to 63 per cent of those with €1,500 or less.

Eating well, having a good social life and doing exercise were the things people said were the most important, in that order, with more than half claiming to do well in the first criterion and 45 per cent for each of the others. Only a quarter thought not smoking was important.

Remaining healthy was said to be the most important indicator of a “good” old age by 70 per cent. Others included staying active, being surrounded by loved ones and not having money worries.

On average those questioned thought old age started at 69, but the age varies according the age of the person asked, from 62 for those under 34 to 77 for over-65s. On average, they thought you should start thinking about how to have a good old age by the time you are 49.

The most popular role models for women were French singer and actress Line Renaud, 82, followed by politician Simone Veil, 83, whereas for men, the best recipe for a good old age is to be a Hollywood movie star: Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery, both 80, topped the poll, followed by singer Charles Aznavour, 86.

Photo: Line Renaud (Georges Biard)

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