As 10X Investments’ new Retirement Reality Report (RRR19) issued South Africa with a rather bitter warning about the country’s looming retirement crisis, there is sweeter news for the elderly in Britain, where a charity has teamed up with a chocolate maker to tackle an epidemic of loneliness among the aged.
Cadbury Dairy Milk has launched a new campaign, Donate Your Words, to raise funds to help Age UK, a charity that helps more than seven million older people each year by providing advice and support, to tackle loneliness among the retired population.
Cadbury has created a limited-edition chocolate bar, removing the words from packaging and “donating” them to the charity. The chocolate maker is giving 30p from each bar sold to help Age UK provide vital services and support when older people need it most.
The chocolate maker said the campaign was launched in response to new research that illustrates the impact of loneliness, with almost 4.5 million older people claiming to have suffered from loneliness. Also, Cadbury said, a total of 225,000 older people said they often went for a week without speaking to anyone. Cadbury decided to donate the words from its bars in response to the claims of more than six million older people that just a few minutes of conversation made a difference to their week.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Loneliness is a huge problem because retirement, bereavement and ill-health mean many older people find they are spending a lot less time enjoying the company of others than they would like.
“Loneliness can affect your health, your wellbeing and the way you see yourself. It can make you feel invisible and forgotten,” she said, adding that working with Cadbury Dairy Milk on this campaign could really help to raise awareness of the issue and encourage everybody to do their bit to help tackle it.
“A friendly “hello” or “how are you?” is something most of us take for granted – it’s just part of everyday life, but these latest figures show that hundreds of thousands of older people in the UK will spend today and the rest of this week alone, with no one to share even a few simple words with.”
Back in South Africa, 10X Investments hopes its second annual Retirement Reality Report (RRR19), released this week, would open people’s eyes to the country’s looming retirement crisis and promote action to address the causes.
The report revealed that even fewer South Africans were preparing financially for retirement than previously thought, and those who said they did have some sort of a plan know dangerously little about it.
A total of 67% of respondents in the Brand Atlas survey indicated they had no retirement plan, or just a vague idea of one, 8% more than the number reported in 2018. Almost half the respondents (46,2%) said they were not saving for retirement at all.
The report also pointed to information released by the country’s statistics bureau in April 2019 that 49.2% of South Africa’s total adult population of 35.1 million lived below the upper-bound poverty line. It added: “Without action to tackle the retirement savings crisis in South Africa this will be pushed significantly higher as more and more of the retiring population slip into poverty.”
The full report includes links to downloadable educational
e-books that include information and simple solutions
 Figures from questions asked to older people (65+) are taken from Age UK/ Kantar F2F Omnibus Research polling which took place in July 2019. The polling was conducted face-to-face and with a UK-wide sample of 1896 people aged 65+. Figures extrapolated to national population using NRS Population Estimates.
 Brand Atlas sampled the universe of 15.1 million economically active South Africans, as determined by Stats SA (namely those with a monthly income in excess of R7,600) through online completion surveys.