Active retirees will reject traditional retirement

The retirees of the future will be more active age pensioners than ‘old age pensioners’ with travel, spending time outdoors and living life to the full on the agenda, viewing themselves as more active than their parents.

Rock-climbing retirees

This is supported by the fact that over three quarters of the 55-65s surveyed by HCA Healthcare UK say they regularly take part in activities such as walking, swimming and cycling, with the more adventurous among them looking forward to trying Pilates, white water rafting, rock climbing and even trampolining when they have more free time.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more popular than ever, and it enables people to enjoy their retirement years to the full. This may explain why nearly two thirds (62%) of the 55-65 year olds surveyed are worried about ill health getting in the way of enjoying their retirement and want to stay healthy and active for as long as possible.

Fixing wear and tear

This is also the case when it comes to fixing some of the most common ‘wear and tear’ conditions that affect people in later life. Over half of respondents said they would rather pay for knee (54%) or hip (53%) surgery than join long waiting lists, helping them get back to their active lifestyles more quickly.

Ian McDermott, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at London Bridge Hospital, part of HCA Healthcare UK, said: “I’m not surprised that so called ‘older people’ have no plans to slow down. Every week I’m told by patients needing knee surgery that they feel younger than their years and that they want to continue with the activities they love, such as jogging, playing golf and going to the gym.
“My patients don’t want health problems getting in the way of living life and they’re not content with just being able to ‘hobble to the shops’ as they may have been expected to in previous generations."

Ian recommends lower impact cardiovascular workouts such as swimming, rowing and cycling: "High intensity exercise classes and boot camps are fashionable at the moment and may be fine when you’re in your 20s, but they are really hard on your joints and your knees suffer most of all.”

Read everything you need to know about a knee operation and ways to relieve knee pain

How things change in a generation

Six in ten of 55-65 year olds surveyed say they have different retirement expectations to their parents who:

  • Weren’t interested in travel
  • Seemed older
  • Were less active
  • Didn’t have as much disposable income
  • Spent time in ill health

Top tips on walking your way to a better health and getting the most out of swimming