Proactive ageing: 7 reasons to look forward to retirement

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“Japanese conceptions of aging are rooted in Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist philosophical traditions that characterize aging as maturity. Old age is thus understood as a socially valuable part of life, even a time of ‘spring’ or ‘rebirth’ after a busy period of working and raising children.” – Cultural perspectives on aging and well-being: a comparison of Japan and the United States

Ageing is a reality for everyone, but the process can be inherently more pleasant with the right attitude and mindset. The current trend of proactive ageing encourages people to consider the many benefits associated with this process, and to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented in this phase of life.

“There are many unwarranted negative stereotypes that have become associated with ageing, but proactive ageing looks to flip this notion on its head and promote positive associations with retirement,” commented Phil Barker of Renishaw Property Developments, developers of the popular Renishaw Hills mature lifestyle village. “If we consider the gift of time afforded those in later years, the incredible opportunities for enhanced socialising, travelling and fun activities become apparent. With the right approach, and a bit of planning, these truly are the golden years!”

1.       Time to find a new passion

It’s a big world with so much potential, there’s really no excuse for being bored! The digital revolution has also brought with it much more opportunity in terms of online learning and engagement. With retirement comes the time to embark on a new journey, to learn something different, to hone a skill, to pursue a lifelong passion that has always been put on hold. This can be as simple as joining a local book club or bridge club through to starting a new sport, learning a new language or finding out the family genealogy. If the hobby doesn’t ignite a passion, then simply move onto the next one!

2.       Connecting with old friends and loved ones

The pressures of work and time commitments of raising a family are no more, which means there’s more time to actually connect with old friends and family members. Once again, the digital age has made reconnecting with childhood, school or university friends that much easier. This is also the perfect time to organise family reunions and spend valuable time with loved ones.

3.       More opportunity for social activities

According to Positive Psychology, the Activity Theory – developed by Robert Havighurst in 1961 – proposes that adults who engage in daily activities that they perceive as productive age more successfully. This shows the value of social interactions in ageing gracefully, and actually applies to anyone at any age. People are happier when engaged in activities they enjoy, and retirement is the ideal space to do this. Whether it’s joining local clubs, volunteering or meeting up with friends for a morning walk, this is the time to choose an activity that brings real joy to daily life.

4.       There’s time for physical activity

“Research has shown that exercise is not only good for your physical health, it also supports emotional and mental health. You can exercise with a friend and get the added benefit of emotional support.” – National Institute on Aging

Ageing is not a limitation to physical activity, in fact, it’s actually an opportunity to do more physical activities as there’s ample time! Renishaw Hills resident, Bill Wedderburn, is the living embodiment of this, having committed to walking 900km by his 90th birthday in June to raise funds for the families of healthcare workers affected by Covid-19. Not only was this a charitable act a shining example of what can be achieved at any age, Bill said he benefitted from the physical activity, stating: “The walk aided me in recovering from my illness, and I really encourage everyone to get out there and exercise!”

5.       Becoming mentors for others

Retirement doesn’t mean it’s time to give up a lifetime of lessons learnt and experience gained, but rather transition from using this in the workplace to imparting the knowledge to others who could benefit in future. Whether through a formal organisation or an informal setup, retirees can provide training and guidance to those looking to enter a similar profession, or simply looking to gain insight and skills from those who’ve enjoyed success. Mentorship is a mutually beneficial arrangement, so as much as the mentee is gaining value from the interaction, so is the mentor.

6.       Provide assistance for non-profits

No matter the line of work, retirees often have invaluable skills that can be harnessed by non-profit organisations (NPO) looking to raise funds for needy causes. As a business owner, retirees can share entrepreneurial skills and financial guidance; while those in marketing can create worthwhile campaigns for these cash-strapped NPOs. Organisations like Projects with a Purpose, operated by residents at Renishaw Hills, showcases how a variety of talent can be harnessed for the benefit of many.

7.       Much lower stress levels

With the pressure of work and family subsiding, older generations are benefitting from rapidly declining levels of stress which comes with health and emotional benefits. In fact, in 2010, researchers at Stony Brook University undertook a telephone survey of hundreds of thousands of American citizens. The findings indicated that those over 50 were happier overall, with levels of anger and stress declining steadily from the 20s to 70s.

The Smithsonian Magazine also cited work done by Cornell sociologist, Karl Pillemer, and co-workers. They interviewed around 1 200 people for the book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans. The findings indicated that elderly interviewees were likely to ‘describe the last five or 10 years as the happiest years of their lives’.

Don’t delay, start proactively planning for the best years of your life with Renishaw Hills! Located in Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast, Renishaw Hills is a quality coastal estate that forms part of the Renishaw Coastal Precinct.  With its extensive nature trails, high-end facilities, and welcoming communities, Renishaw Hills offers retirees all the benefits of life in the later years.

Renishaw Hills has just launched Phase 6, a series of high-end maisonettes boasting spectacular sea views and houses surrounded by coastal greenery. Start a new adventure by booking an in-person or virtual tour of phase 6 and other Renishaw Hills offerings. Email or visit