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Retiring? Ageing? New Options

Thinking of Retiring? Well, you could not have chosen a better moment.

The swell continues as the percentage of the ageing population grows and becomes an important factor in the demographic. 12.5% of the general population of Ireland. 14.5% in Dun Laoghaire /Rathdown and growing every year.

Politicians, Financial Planners, Social Services, Doctors are all sitting up and realising that we are here and will be around for longer than they had thought. The good news is that we are coming up with better and better ideas on how we are going to live and enjoy these extra precious years.

1. LAT Living. This is where many couples are opting to live together apart- maybe setting up in individual homes while still spending time with each other. These could be married people who yearn for independence to follow their own pursuits, are tired of being bossed around but are still committed to the relationship or at least to those who are affected by the relationship. There are also those who are in new relationships, enjoy the intimacy and friendship but for various reasons prefer to stay independent. These could be adult children who often do not approve of the new partner. It also avoids fears of financial dependency /inheritance or even the fear of once again having to look after a sick person.

2. Solo agers. These are people who either divorced, never got married, are widowed or due to life's circumstances end up alone. Maybe the partner just upped and left. These people are coming together to live in semi sheltered/communal apartments or small housing developments. They have the advantage of on site help when needed, communal areas for shared activities but still retain their own independence. Shared information, updates on taxes, pensions and benefits and even someone to accompany them to hospital appointments. One of the draw backs to SoloAgers is not having someone to remind them to take their medication or noticing a deterioration in physical or emotional well being. In fact, many couples are also interested in this sort of arrangement.

3. Developing a New Career. Now is your opportunity to go and do the career you always wanted to do. There are lots of opportunities and businesses are more open to the idea.

This is very suited to legal, financial and anything skill related as there is a skill shortage.

If you have a skill you enjoy, use it. Lecturing, consulting, mentoring and speaking engagements are also possibilities and you have probably developed the contacts to get you going. Why not share the experience and wisdom built up over a lifetime?

4.Discover your passion. This could be becoming an architect, painter, sculptor, musician, gardener, tour guide, knitting, cooking, hiking...Rediscover your passion because you will probably have 10 to 20 years to develop it. Hopefully, your financial state is secure and the slippery path of power, glory and promotion can be avoided. Been there and done that. Many people take up writing because ironically in this computer age, more and more people are both reading and writing. Try your hand at film making. Your camera is a veritable whizz at taking pictures and videos and it can even be used for editing. There are lots of on-line and in situ courses. Platforms like Youtube devour new material.

5. Volunteering. Having a purpose and feeling needed are primordial to good mental and physical health and volunteering in a meaningful way is a wonderful way of maintaining links with your local community, making new friends and making a difference. I no longer support the big business charities, but find a committed local group, get involved and get going. If you see a need that is not being looked after, start your own group


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