The age of the pre-tiree

How often have you heard someone say “60 is the new 40”, well, all the time, and nobody bats an eyelid when they do.

The term old is just a matter of perspective to most, and really, you’re only as old as you feel. Even the term ‘retiree’ sounds passé, and like it belongs in a moth-eaten closet of forgotten keepsakes and old coats. But, retirement is a reality, and at sometime in our lives each of us will leave the working world and enter this new phase of life.

Nowadays, the barriers which prevented retirees from doing things in the past, no longer exist- anything and everything is possible. Many are forced to leave the working world because of age but certainly not because their ability to make a valuable contribution is diminished. Much to the contrary, many professionals of retirement age have a lot to contribute both professionally and intellectually, and it is these people who sometimes find themselves stuck in the middle- somewhere between retirement and old age. Enter the Pretiree.

Statistics show that Pretirees are the fastest growing population group globally- scary stuff when you think about it. That means there are more and more people leaving the working world than ever before. People are living longer than ever before, and this part of the population still wields a lot of power- they are a powerful consumer sector who are no longer content to simply sit at home. Pretirees want more for their lives and marketers are realising this. High on the agenda for many is keeping active and fit; many pretirees still engage is pursuits thought to be the realm of the younger generation- a 70-year old man recently revealed that after heart surgery he is going to join his university seniors rowing team. Back in the day he would have been heckled, or simply told by his GP that that’s not even an option.

As a time for inward reflection, many have the privilege of putting themselves first, and making the choice because they want to. Children have flown the nest, the ‘9 to fiver’ no longer dictates and what lies ahead is an endless list of choices. So, what do Pretirees really want out of life? They want to have the power to choose and they want to be heard.

With many retirement development products to choose from, how, where and what do you choose? Pretirees are exercising the power of choice when it comes to where to settle; and some even choose to move to another province. Kwa-Zulu Natal is proving a popular choice for retirement and it’s not hard to guess why. One of the key components in planning where to settle, is, the future. Change is the only constant, and retirement developments need to possess the agility to respond to this. Onsite care facilities are an absolute must, as are sporting amenities, social spaces and pet-friendly facilities.  Astute property developers are listening closely to this empowered consumer sector and as such, the nature of retirement living is evolving. There are many options on the market which offer security, comfort and amenities designed with retirement in mind, and property developers are realising that retirement is not a static thing, it moves through phases.

With the potential to make a valuable contribution to society, Retirees cannot be regarded as one-dimensional beings; they are as complex and powerful as any other generation.