The Gen XY Lifestyle

Redefining retirement for the jet set in Singapore

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Retirement is an exciting phase of everyone’s life – it is the end goal for most as a well-earned reward for a lifetime of hard work.

Singapore is one of the most affluent economies in the world; a Credit Suisse Report says that almost half of the island-nation’s adult population are among 10 percent of the world’s richest. It therefore stands to reason that for many Singaporeans, retirement may not necessarily be about scaling down lifestyles, or even slowing down.

For today’s jet-setting executives, retiring today can mean looking at least two decades ahead. In fact, modern-day retirees are now living longer, with the average Singaporean expected to live to a ripe 83.2 years, a jump of 2.3 years from a mere decade ago.

In my role running Otium Living, I have the good fortune of serving many well-heeled retirees in Singapore, and across the region. Over the last decade, many are starting to redefine retirement as much more than just spending time with their grandchildren. For many, retirement is when life truly begins!

Retirees are thoroughly rethinking their retirement paths today:

  1. Active retirement

Retirement is not about slowing down and stopping but starting up an active and fun-filled life – the one that we stowed away since having adult responsibilities started overshadowing the spring of our youth.

With modern science and advanced healthcare, there is no stopping retirees from being physically active beyond just golfing and social dancing. In Singapore, more and more retirees are taking up adventure sports, seasonal sports and even extreme sports such as skydiving and marathons. At the end of the day, there is always a summer and an undiscovered beach somewhere in the world.

Increasingly, retirees are also choosing to remain active in their careers instead of completely stopping work. In a digital world where executives can be connected to data and services anywhere and anytime, retirees today have the option to reduce their workload, to take on a more strategic role that is less strenuous, or even to pursue new challenges in life.

According to a Standard Chartered survey, about 29 percent of affluent Singaporeans are, in fact, looking to run their own business and 44 percent are keen on continuing to work even after retirement. This shows more people are focusing on keeping active well into their retirement age, particularly for maintaining an enriched mind.

With the gig economy booming, everyone including retirees has the same opportunity to pursue a different career path. I know of a successful former marketing executive in his early 70s, who is a part time MBA lecturer, freelance writer for travel magazines, and in-between, an avid traveler clocking two trips per quarter. For some, retirement provides them the freedom to pursue their passion and dreams.

  • Multi-location retirement

Retirees are no longer looking to be tied down to one home. Wealthy retirees are now looking to travel the globe and live in multiple locations for the short term depending on their preferred activities, or even seasons. This is a concept known as rotational living.

The same Standard Chartered survey also notes that 73 percent of affluent Singaporeans shares the same sentiment that traveling is the ideal retirement lifestyle. On top of that, 22 percent are looking to retire overseas.

With Singapore serving as a convenient travel hub in the region, travel-happy retirees are spoiled for choice. They can choose to live two months in Hokkaido for its excellent powdery ski slopes, followed by soaking up the sun in a Thai beach getaway right after. At the end of the day, Singapore as their ultimate home is just a couple of hours away.

  • Ultra-luxurious retirement communities

In recent years, there is an increased interest from this affluent group of retirees seeking to live in a stress-free environment while maintaining healthy and active lifestyles.

In fact, most desire quality living in a tranquil environment, coupled with a close-knit and like-minded community with all the requisite world-class facilities to enjoy.

Otium Phuket, the first luxury retirement village by Otium Living was recently launched to meet the changing needs and expectations of a new generation of well-to-do retirees from the region. This is done by pioneering a new retirement living concept – with subtle design of the property and a full-suite of facilities , including health and wellness services, spas, cinemas, restaurants as well as a 24-hour onsite emergency medical care, Otium Phuket is catering to the varied interests and needs of its residents.

With such retirement villages, retirees can now focus on independent living while continuing to enjoy the active and luxurious lifestyle that they are accustomed to. They can choose to live on a long-term basis, or in intervals over the year. Living in a community will also allow these retirees to socialise and build meaningful relationships with fellow like-minded residents.

This is indeed an exciting time to retire, especially for former captains of industry. With retirement living no longer the boring institution it used to be, there’s no need to limit themselves from living life to the fullest just because they are moving into the next phase in life. Ultimately, retirement can be the beginning of a new adventure waiting to be filled with new and rich experiences.

Article contributed by Daniel Holmes, Otium Living CEO

Mr. Holmes is an expert on developing lifestyle and hospitality concepts, and his plans include delivering a new standard of luxury retirement villages across South East Asia to meet the demands of the region’s aging business leaders. New projects are currently in development in Bangkok with potential new sites for expansion being identified in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam



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