Younger generations relying on their parents' bank balance for a secure future might have to look elsewhere for financial support.

Rather than carefully saving their pennies for a rainy day, the over-fifties are spending more money than ever before - and many prefer to invest their hard-earned cash in holidays rather than friends and family.

The number of older travellers in the market place is rapidly growing, with more people choosing adventurous long-haul destinations rather than conservatively sticking to safe and easy short breaks. Destinations such as Antarctica and the Amazon, for example, are fast becoming accessible holiday options.

According to research by AllClear, a specialist in travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions, nearly 45 per cent of over-fifties hope to spend their retirement money on exotic adventures, compared to just 25 per cent who want to make friends and family their priority.

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Healthier lifestyles and longer life expectancy are allowing retirees to take up new hobbies in later years and experiment in a way their own parents could never have imagined.

The research also revealed that of those who would like more money in retirement, nearly a third would invest the cash in a holiday of a lifetime. Only 21 per cent would use it to treat friends and family, while 20 per cent would put extra money towards home improvements or a new car (17 per cent).

Only 5 per cent would consider using additional funds to pay off a mortgage and 4 per cent would clear credit cards as a priority.

The shift in attitudes demonstrates a move away from safe and cautious financial planning in favour of more spontaneous and carefree living.

The idea retirement now represents a new lease of life is fantastic, says Garry Nelson of AllClear, but some caution should be heeded:

"We wouldn't want to quash any travelling aspirations, but following a summer of countless stories of older travellers left with large medical bills after falling ill abroad without appropriate cover, it is critical that good, comprehensive travel insurance is obtained before travel."

Younger travellers may have sufficient energy to visit exotic locations, but with parents and grandparents willing to accept greater challenges, age is becoming less of an obstacle.

- AAP