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Golden oldies

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17/03/2006

Older Brits are more than happy to celebrate each birthday in style. Christina Jordan reports

Older Brits are throwing caution to the wind, embracing growing older and are ready and willing to party. According to research from financial services provider MINT, more than three-quarters, (77%) of the nation celebrate their birthday and we spend an annual total of £1.6 billion in the process.

Two thirds (67%) of the over 50s age group mark a milestone with a celebration, no matter how small. Meanwhile, 30 – once considered a dreaded turning point in adulthood – has been embraced with more than a quarter of people (28%) stating leaving their 20s as reason enough to push the boat out.

One-fifth (22%) of Britain’s birthday boys and girls chose to celebrate their last big birthday with a party. A similar amount (18%) marked the occasion with a holiday, be this a shopping trip to New York City, extended holiday with friends or a romantic getaway with their partner.

Across the country, one in 5 (20%) people spending up to £50 or more on their own celebrations. But despite self-indulgences, the UK is not so generous when it comes to birthday presents for nearest and dearest – the average amount of money spent on own birthdays is £47.77, over 55% more than that spent on a close friend or relative – only £30.69.

Jerry Toher, Managing Director of MINT comments, “In our survey, close to a third of people, (31%) said they used their birthday as an excuse to celebrate and it’s clear they’re looking for something more than a cake and a few candles these days. But far from being extravagant in their spending, people are planning months rather than days in advance. In doing so, they are carefully managing short term expenditure over a period of time using means, such as credit cards, to do this.”

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