May 12, 2010

UK: Home or away for a stylish retirement?

LONDON, England / The Telegraph / Property / Retirement / May 12, 2010

With an ageing population, improvement is the byword when it comes to retirement housing in the UK and abroad

By Saundra Satterlee
Doris Haddock, known as Granny D, at the age of 89 walked 3,200 miles across the United States to press for changes in election campaign funding.

Following her autobiography, Granny D: You're Never Too Old to Raise a Little Hell, at 94 she became the oldest candidate to contest a US Senate seat. Ms Haddock was working on a new book when she died in March at age 100. 

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Western nations nowadays boast that the over-60s are healthier, firmer and fitter than ever before. Many work in their 70s and 80s, and some remain active in their 90s, as the amazing Ms Haddock so aptly illustrates.

Other stalwarts that represent the new demographic include June Spencer, aka Peggy Archer, who was asked on BBC Radio's Desert Island Discs earlier this year if at 90, she planned to give up acting. "No way, not until I fluff a line or miss a cue," she replied. Another active nonagenarian is Alicia Alonso, the founder and director of the Cuban National Ballet who is now on tour with the company in the UK and France.

In an exclusive comment to The Telegraph about when she plans to retire, Ms Alonso was adamant: "I'll consider retirement once I reach 100."

If present trends continue, half of all UK babies born today are predicted to live until they are 100.

According to the Danish Ageing Research Centre at the University of Southern Denmark (which wrote the report Life begins at 100: Secrets of the Supercentenarians), increased life expectancy has since 1840 showed no sign of slowing – helped by medical advances, better nutrition and improved living conditions. [rc]

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~ "Retirement villages in the UK are in real terms beginning to challenge the stereotype of the traditional old people's home."

~ Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI), is a Government-commissioned report

~ Linda and Mike Rogers, a former Royal Air Force couple, have opted for Greece.

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