What defines retirement?

26 September 2018

Are you classified a retiree if you reach a certain age, stop working or simply move into a retirement estate? For some, retirement means that after working for over 40 years of your life, you’ve saved enough to stop working, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour. While traditionally this is what retirement means to many, modern-day retirement has evolved into reinventing your lifestyle, continuing to work part-time, keeping mentally active, travelling and even starting a business. No matter what stage you are in life, whether you are nearing retirement or starting this new chapter, we want to ensure you age healthily.

What is ‘healthy ageing’?

It’s very easy to get sucked into your favourite day time shows, while the rest of the family go out to work. To ensure your longevity, maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be your top priority. The World Health Organisation’s new concept of ‘healthy ageing’ will be their focus as they work on ‘ageing’ between 2015 – 2030. According to the World Health Organisation, ‘healthy ageing’ is the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.

When talking about ‘functional ability’ the World Health Organisation refers to the capability of being mobile, learning, making decisions, as well as meeting basic needs, building and maintaining relationships and being active in the community.  To ensure those retiring maintain functional ability, there are two aspects that need to be considered, namely ‘intrinsic capabilities’ and your ‘environment’.

Intrinsic capabilities

Intrinsic capabilities reflect upon the mental and physical state a person is in. Every individual is different and factors such as illness, injuries or age-related changes can affect how each person fares mentally and physically.

Whether you are fit and nimble or taking it easier in retirement, we all need to stay somewhat physically active to help our bodies stay strong and fit. It’s not about going overboard at the gym, but merely being able to carry out daily chores and interactions without being exhausted. Creating daily routines help; where you can take your dog for a stroll along the promenade every day or meet up with your friends to walk around the neighbourhood or estate once or twice a week.

It has also become socially acceptable for retirees to continue to work longer, as many enjoy staying socially and mentally active in their work environment. While for those of you who are eager to exit your work corridors and start this new chapter, your challenge will become staying mentally focused and socially active in day-to-day living. Your work environment made that very easy and second-nature, however retirees need to start new relationships and consistently make an effort to use their mind and not slip away into an isolated lifestyle.


The home you live in, the people you interact with daily and the neighbourhood you reside in, all play an important role in helping you age healthily. These environments determine how well your intrinsic capabilities and functional abilities progress. Retirement property has taken a 180 degree turn in the past few years, as developers have made it their mission to present and introduce lifestyle villages and estates that are crafted around the needs of those over 50 years of age and above. Retirement estates are providing safe, green landscaped areas and fun facilities for individuals to remain active, as well as creating communities that engage with one another. These developments are also situated in popular and secure areas that offer a dynamic retirement lifestyle.

Aging is inevitable and how you age affects the quality of your life dramatically. The concept of ‘healthy ageing’ is an all-encompassing approach to retirement that ensures every factor in your life works harmoniously together to ensure your longevity and a happy lifestyle.

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