Future of ‘third-agers’ outlined
Tuesday 22nd October 2013, 12:12AM BST.
The next generation of over-60s could spend their retirement years teaching at pop-up universities, travelling the world in style or living with their grandchildren in large family homes, according to research released today.
The report from the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) think tank Building Futures looked at how the growing population of older people will impact on British society in the year 2030.
It is estimated that over the next two decades, the number of those aged 60 and over in the UK will increase by more than 40%, with RIBA saying that by 2035, nearly a third of the population will have reached the milestone age.
The Silver Linings report imagined a future where so-called “third-agers” have a huge effect on the towns and cities of the UK with more economic, social and political power than those in that age group currently enjoy.
The six possible scenarios include the creation of an international network of luxury residences which would replace individually-owned homes, allowing members to travel from country to country in comfort.
Multi-generational homes are also suggested as a way to meet the needs of different members of a family, with grandparents helping with childcare in return for being given a place to live.
It is also suggested that the over-60s would be able to pass on their knowledge in an informal setting, such as a pub, as pop-up universities spring up across cities.
Other possibilities mentioned by Building Futures include the economic revival of seaside towns with the help of an older, active workforce breathing new life into the community, the development of “health hubs” in cities providing exercise facilities in public spaces and a make-over for high streets that sees them moving away from a retail focus, with over-60s leading the way in improving their neighbourhoods.
RIBA president Stephen Hodder said: “Over-60s, active third-agers, are going to become increasingly prevalent and a powerful voice in the very near future.
“This report speculates how an active third age could have a positive impact on Britain’s economic opportunities and the very look and feel of our homes, towns and cities.
“But beyond the speculation, it illustrates a pressing need to plan now how we are going to respond to this clear, impending demographic shift.”