The nascent Goldie promises much and delivers interesting and, dare I say, unique articles in a first issue acute observations and noble aspirations: ‘For so long we have been labelled according to our age as if creativity, relevance and vibrancy automatically taper off as another page turns on the calendar.’ Well, hurrah. At long last.
When I turned 50 I was bombarded with inducements for step-in baths, stair lifts and luxury retirement living. The one-size-fits-all algorithm had clearly clicked in and I was a market segmentation which put me in a cardigan and curlers looking forward to my weekly visit to the garden centre.
I give short shift to anyone who tells me I am only as old as I feel because some days I do feel every one of my five decades but, aches aside, that is a GOOD thing. I am wise, self-motivating, fierce and not defined by anyone else, least of all some marketing guru who knows but can’t really articulate or profit from the fact that the over 50s have more disposable income than those poor little lamb millennials. The point is I do not want, and never have wanted, my life to be made easier; I wanted it to be more challenging, more inventive and more interesting. So I was definitely in the market for a magazine which promised a timeless attitude and design for life, not for age.
We are getting older in the UK, with 18 % of the population currently 65 and over. Critically the old age dependency rate (OADR) is increasing. That is the number of those over 65 for every 1,000 people aged between 16 and 64 years old, and that change is speeding up, particularly marked in areas that are retirement catchments such as Somerset. By 2036, if the ONS statistics can be trusted, over 20 % (over one fifth of the nation) will be aged over 65. Those over 50 are a growing force in social media, replacing over half of the 700,000 of 18 to 25 year-olds who left it last year. Yes, we are the ones lunching out (visits of over 50s now up 6% year on year) and we spend like our pensions are going out of fashion (12 % increase in consumer spend from the upper quartile age wise). The message is clear: ignore us at your peril – we hold all the power (or will do very soon) and a lot of the money.
Goldie is not the first magazine to tap into this market, but it works the idea well. It’s heavy on fashion (no fur-cuffed slippers here), inspiring biographies and some great photography including what we used to call ‘full frontal’ nudity. Those are the hits, but there are some misses. I have no desire to eat around Rome on 800 calories a day since, one of the best things about getting wiser, is that I can also get legitimately wider, so I am not in the business of checking every calorie.
I was also disappointed that for a magazine that set out to break down stereotypes it fell into several, including an agony aunt and a rather flat columnist.
That aside, Goldie is definitely worth reading. It has plenty of guts and will make you think about how to be braver in how you see yourself, your body and your needs. There are inspiring people to look up to, much older people who are doing incredible stuff and plenty of ideas of how to style a more mature body.
Overall, for £8 it is a much sounder investment than my Bitcoins.