Baby boomers bucket list sees the ‘Planet Earth’ effect

12 December 2016


  • Taking a safari, trekking the jungle and visiting the Artic amongst life goals at 50 plus
  • Seaside living and skydiving  high up on the wishlist for over 50’s whilst Sir David Attenborough pips the Queen to the crown of ‘most inspiring’ older Brit

As some 6.4million over 50’s admit to having a bucket list, data released by Co-op Funeralcare reveals that TV hit ‘Planet Earth’ is having a major influence on our later life goals.

The top 40 bucket list for over 50’s compiled by the nation’s leading funeral provider reveals that ‘Planet Earth’ inspired activities such as visiting the artic (7), going on safari (8) and a trek in the jungle  (23) all feature prominently.  A love of water is also a trend for the top 10, with living by the sea (1) taking a cruise (2), and swimming with dolphins (6) all high up on the list.

The top 10 Bucket list for over 50’s is:

No. Achievement %
1 Live by the sea 27%
2 Take a cruise 23%
3 Road trip across the USA 17%
4 Live abroad 16%
5 Write a book 16%
6 Swim with dolphins 16%
7 Visit the Arctic/Antarctic 16%
8 Go on safari 16%
9 Learn a new language 15%
10 Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant 12%

As a further nod to the popular nature documentary, when asked which of their peers inspired them most, veteran broadcaster and wildlife campaigner, Sir David Attenborough (aged 90) came out on top. Closely followed by none other than Her Majesty the Queen and Ab Fab actress and fashion icon, Joanna Lumley.

The top 10 inspirational public figures over 50:

No. Inspirational figure over 50
1 Sir David Attenborough
2 The Queen
3 Joanna Lumley
4 Helen Mirren
5 Stephen Hawking
6 Julie Walters
7 Mary Berry
8 JK Rowling
9 Carol Vorderman
10 Sir Rod Stewart


The top 40, also reveals the nation’s aspirations remain adventurous at 50 plus. Amongst some of the more unusual bucket list entries are sky diving, which at number 20 could see 1.4 million adults in this age group leaping from a plane, and skinny dipping which in 31st place equates to a possible 850,000 taking a dip.

Toyah Wilcox (58), pop icon and actress said:

“My career reads almost like a bucket-list. It’s been very varied and a bit crazy at times but I’ve been lucky to experience some incredible adventures along the way. From my time as a punk rocker to a movie actress and more recently, jumping off a diving board in front of millions of people to eating bugs in the Australian jungle – I can relate so some of the more extreme items on the nation’s bucket list!

"I love to push my own boundaries and defy people’s expectations - especially since turning fifty - and experience all that life has to offer, which is why my bucket-list keeps adapting as I get older. But it’s also so important to think about more serious plans too such as making a will or considering funeral wishes. That’s why I’m already planning for after I’ve gone, putting plans in place to create a music school as part of my legacy”

David Collingwood, Head of Funeral Operations at the Co-op said:

“Living for the moment is very much on the agenda after 50 plus. Our over 50’s bucket list demonstrates an increasing ambition to experience a life well lived and create good memories both for ourselves and with those we hold dear.

“Though many of the achievements on our bucket list are a once in a lifetime opportunity, often we see that it is the everyday memories which can trigger a smile and lead families to still speak our name long after we are gone.”

Notes to editors


*Research conducted by Co-op Funeralcare in November and December 2016 amongst UK adults (sample of over 50’s - 1,186 adults) 


Full top 40 – Over 50’s Bucket List

No. Achievement
1 Live by the sea
2 Take a cruise
3 Road trip across the USA
4 Live abroad
5 Write a book
6 Swim with dolphins
7 Visit the Arctic / Antarctic
8 Go on safari
9 Learn a new language
10 Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant
11 Take grandchildren to Disneyland
12 Stay at the Ritz
13 Drive on a race track
14 Buy an open top car
15 Learn to fly
16 Build a house
17 Downsize
18 Buy a boat
19 Buy a caravan
20 Skydive
21 Take a degree /  go back to college
22 Ride a horse
23 Trek in the jungle
24 Watch the sunset in Ibiza
25 Change career
26 Get a tattoo
27 Get married
28 Climb a mountain
29 Attend a music festival
30 Go white water rafting
31 Go skinny dipping
32 Kick around on my home club pitch
33 Own a sit-on lawnmower
34 Have plastic surgery
35 Set up a charity
36 Release a record
37 Run a marathon
38 Take up a new sport
39 Go on a blind date
40 Have a hair transplant


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