Tuesday, July 29, 2014

RETIREMENT UTOPIA - IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT

Here's one more item to add to my wish list - a week's stay at The Villages, Florida. To own a home there would be beyond my wildest dream.

The name is a misnomer, for The Villages boasts a population of more than 110,000 residents, with an average age of 65.5. Situated about 100km northwest of Orlando, The Villages is reputed to be the world's largest retirement community, and is growing rapidly.


The Villages offer a multitude of facilities to keep active retirees busy and entertained all-day and all-year long. From shopping and dining to sports and entertainment, The Villages has it all. It also has a lifelong learning center where residents could sign up for classes on a wide range of hobbies and skills.

Images from The Villages website

Or they could choose to do nothing at all except play golf for free at any of the 42 golf courses. Not surprising the main mode of transport here is by electric-powered golf cart, each one customized to the fancies of the owner.

Images from The Villages website

Prices of a new home start from USD 150,000, depending on whether it a designer home, villa or cottage. A fully-furnished 3-room home rents from USD3800 a month. Crime is almost non-existent, and there is no traffic jam or pollution. Also no children. They can visit but not reside.

Rules are set by the The Holding Company owned by the Morse family who began developing The Villages back in 1980s. They own everything here including the local newspaper, a radio station and a TV channel.

Singapore's first retirement village to be ready end of 2017 - The Hillford

Resort living does not come cheap, but there is a growing demand for such a retirement village for the more affluent retirees in Singapore and Malaysia. The wait may soon be over for Singapore retirees as the first retirement village, The Hillford, is due for completion end of 2017.

Malaysia's first retirement village, Green Acres, is expected to be completed in early 2016

As for Malaysia, the first retirement village already had its soft launch recently, and is due for completion in the first quarter of 2016. This is the much-heralded Green Acres in Ipoh, comprising 110 units priced from RM300,000.

As the population of Singapore and Malaysia ages, it can only be good news for companies that operate retirement homes. Purpose-built housing for retirees is indeed a sunrise industry for the sunset community.

For a virtual tour of the facilities in The Villages, watch the video below. Would the first retirement villages in Singapore and Malaysia offer resort living similar to that at The Villages? We'll have to wait and see.



Monday, July 28, 2014

SELAMAT HARI RAYA


Thursday, July 24, 2014

AN ONLINE PORTAL TO ENGAGE SENIORS

Council for Third Age (C3A), Singapore launched its Chinese portal yesterday at the National Library. SeniorsAloud was invited to attend the ceremony.

In his speech at the ceremony, MP Mr Heng Chee How said, "Society's perception of seniors can only change with our seniors' perception of themselves. I am happy to note that many of our seniors are embarking on their active ageing journey, leading active and healthy lifestyles.

There is also a growing number of seniors participating in the myriad of programmes available for them to pick up new skills, discover new interests and hobbies, and stay engaged in lifelong learning in their silver years....One area where seniors are interested in is that of technology. Seniors today have access to technology and many are using it to stay in touch with their friends and relatives through various platforms, including social media.

Not many countries have a minister in charge of Active
Ageing and Employability. The government takes the
challenges of an ageing population seriously.
Thus it is most timely that Council for Third Age is launching a Chinese portal, after having achieved success with their current English portal which has reached out to more than 200,000 visitors since its inception in 2012."

Well said, Minister! Exactly why SeniorsAloud places priority in encouraging seniors to pick up some pc skills to enable them to go online to learn, discover and connect. Oh, and to enjoy too. The benefits are endless.

Seniors present at the launch were shown a step by step guide on how to navigate the portal so that they could easily explore all the features on their own at home. These include upcoming activities, recipes, videos, discounts, and much more.

You can access the C3A portal at www.c3a.org.sg/. Lots of goodies for seniors, especially if you live in Singapore.

The launch also saw participants of the Kopi and Toast buddy programme receiving their Certificates of Completion from the Minister. This is a 6-month mentor-mentee programme where an active senior is paired with a less active senior to build a meaningful friendship of mutual support through activities and learning. The mentors are given free training by C3A prior to matching them with a buddy each. Thumbs up for this initiative, C3A!

Some of the mentors (kopi) after receiving their certificates from Mr Heng Chee How
The mentees (toast) posing with Mdm Chua Foo Yong, Chairman of C3A and Mr Heng Chee How.
Mentee Mdm Sunita Khemlani was happy to have participated in the programme and made new friends.

For a guide to what's available on the C3A portal, please watch the video below. Do share the link with Chinese-speaking seniors. Just click on the language icon on the top right corner of the C3A home page to switch from one language to the other.