When you’re younger future life decisions consist of things such as, which university course to choose, the career path to take, as well as other significant life choices including marriage and children. Then, as we near retirement, it’s time to dream about our future once again…
Reaching retirement age often signifies ‘a new chapter in life’ and the opportunity to make the most out of your new found freedom. When that day arrives, many people research fulfilling activities to stay busy and engaged with life. Giving them a clear idea of what they are going to try out and do with their time.
I’ve even seen retirement checklists, which help you to transition into your new life after finishing your working career, as well as articles about top ideas for how to fill your new found freedom with fun, stimulation and purpose.
These ideas usually consist of reasonable things such as, get a part-time job; start volunteering; find a hobby. Or maybe even buy a house abroad, holiday more and ‘lock up and leave’- like many of our residents do across our villages.
The ‘Young Age Pensioners’
A study by Standard Life found that pensioners of all ages are giving the young ones a run for their money when it came to socialising.
On average, retirees said they had five or six close friends – the same number as people in their 20s. While only 10 per cent of 20-somethings claimed to have more than ten close friends, 12 per cent of retirees said they did.
The research found that 94 per cent of those in their first year of retirement had a youthful outlook, saying they ‘didn’t feel like a pensioner’, as well as exercising three or four times a week!
At Retirement Villages, I can certainly see how 80 is the new 60. We have so many residents who say they are more active now than there were 20 years ago. Together, they create a social life around a vast calendar of activities. They lead the agenda and village life evolves accordingly.
We are constantly amazed by the amount of events organised across our 14 villages. Fitness classes including Tai Chi, Zumba and Pilates, debating societies and current affairs groups, sports competitions, film nights and theatre trips, guest speakers, photography and gardening clubs, pamper days, fashion shows, quiz nights and even a week-long summer show at one particular village. The list goes on!
However, what about the thrill seeking ‘baby boomers’? According to a survey by Remember A Charity, Brits in their sixties and over are feeling younger than ever.
The survey of 2,000 Brits found that almost half (47%) of people aged 60+ say that they feel at least 10 years younger and one third say that they are more likely to seek out new experiences now than they were 20 years ago, paving the way for a new collective of ‘Young Age Pensioners’.
The survey also found that those 60+ are keeping themselves active in body and mind, with over two in five people (42%) exercising at least three times a week and 41% using social media regularly (gran’s on Facebook!). One in ten (12%) have taken part in extreme sports over the past decade, including skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving.
Take The Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS) as an example. They gather regularly at Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Centre in East Stroudsburg, where on September 7th each year, they set many records, including a world record for the largest sequential skydiving. Now that’s something most 20-year-olds would shudder at. Remarkably, SOS UK has more than forty active members who represent the society and flying the flag (or parachute) for the over 60s.
We think it’s marvellous that so many retirees are passionate about seeking out new experiences. The fitness facilities on offer across our villages are one of the key benefits – or so our residents say. We’re just waiting for one of our residents to join the Skydivers Over Sixty club! There’s still time yet….
Warm regards – whatever your age.