‘Give it a rest! Not all over-60s want to live out the retirement cliche’

Aug 29, 2019
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Forget riding a bike, this author is fed up with the retirement cliches. Source: Getty Images

Have you noticed all the advertisements for retirement living lately? Must be because the population is ageing. There are so many of us we’re almost a plague, and of course there’s money to be made. The photos are charming, the locations superb and the people look wonderfully happy to be there. There is usually a couple obviously in love, sometimes running across the sand gazing at each other. They never trip over a rock or a sand castle. They never disappear down a hole that some little kid dug earlier that morning.

They both look fit and trim. He has hair and she has a lovely smile with American teeth. The male is looking straight at the camera, since males rule the world, (except in the odd enlightened country) and she is gazing adoringly at him. She wears fashionable clothes, tinted hair and make-up. They’re delighted to be old and in this very spot. They love the fact that someone else does their gardening for them and changes the light bulbs. Their children and grandchildren (who are also healthy, fit and adorable), love to visit and maybe stay for a barbecue. What a family!

Paradise? Don’t believe it! They love their family but they’d rather be in their own home, in their same old bed with the dog, watching re-runs of Mash or Are You Being Served? and enjoying their own weeds flourishing greenly in the garden.

They’d be okay with leaving those teeth in a glass for the night, that’s if they are indeed false and not expensive implants, which don’t come out at night but need heaps of flossing. Their creaky joints and general aches and pains stop them running along that beach. It’s enough to just stagger out of bed, make a cup of tea and check the weather. They may even persuade the dog to bring in the paper from the front path. That’s a plus.

Probably about one in 10,000 is out late boogying at night. She’s on Facebook to inspire the rest of us slobs and he’s holding in his tummy and attempting to look sexy.

Let’s be frank. The women outnumber the men hugely in those places, so that man with the hair is in great demand if that’s what you want.

Update! Recently, I saw another advertisement for a ritzy retirement village. This time the cute, fit couple are riding bikes. No helmets, their lustrous hair blowing in the wind.

I’ve never been able to ride a bike. I was the loser with the only three-wheeler bike available when I was holidaying on Lord Howe Island, which is carless! You ride a bike or you walk.

I can’t stand it. That does it. I’m going back to bed with a cup of tea and an orange slice (before they disappear), to watch Keeping up Appearances!

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How do you feel about the advertising for retirement living? What does your retirement look like?

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