Although it is easy to think of the latest gadgets being solely used by today's young people, a significant number of older consumers are making use of technological advances.
In a study carried out by RIAS it was indicated that many Britons over the age of 50 are getting on the information superhighway. According to the financial services provider such consumers account for just under a third (30 per cent) of all internet users, the fastest-growing demographic across the country. The firm also indicated that about four-fifths (79 per cent) of older online users have visited video website YouTube, while 17 per cent have downloaded either music or a podcast from the internet.
Meanwhile, over 40 per cent of "silver surfers" own a laptop computer, with 92 per cent having made use of a broadband connection. Some 19 per cent were indicated as having a media centre PC. However, it is not just computing in which older Britons are shown to be technologically savvy as slightly more than a fifth have either an iPod or some other form of mp3 player.
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Overall, it was indicated that those over the age of 50 account for two-fifths of the country's total consumer spending, while they hold 80 per cent of Britain's personal wealth. However, despite such financial stature that such adults may hold, it was suggested that many consumers could be placing themselves at financial risk. RIAS claimed some people may be undervaluing how much hi-tech equipment actually costs as they - often mistakenly - think such items are less expensive than furniture or jewellery.
In not having an adequate personal possession insurance policy - or indeed lacking cover altogether - it may be possible that Brits have to dip into their own pockets in order to meet the cost of repairs or to replace lost or stolen items. This could have an impact upon their ability to manage other demands on their finances in areas such as loan repayments, credit cards and household bills.
Commenting on the figures, Janet Connor, managing director for RIAS, said: "The readiness to adopt new technology being demonstrated by the over-50s doesn't surprise us. We know from feedback from our customers that items such as computers, laptops, mobile phones and iPods/mp3 players are no longer considered 'gadgets', or as the domain of the young, but as essential household items."
"Householders need to reassess and, if necessary, update the value of their home contents to account for these new purchases and ensure all their possessions are adequately covered by their policies," Ms Connor added.
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