Analysis: People are doing more for longer

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What do Pierre Cardin and Jean Miller have in common? French fashion designer Cardin, aged 93, is the last survivor of Parisian haute couture and still controls a global business empire; Miller, aged 92, is a cloakroom attendant at the Vidal Sassoon hair salon in Glasgow, having been there for 17 years. Both are still working. 

I chose these extreme examples in terms of levels of income to show that people are doing more for longer and enjoying their lifestyles.

Similarly, parents are staying in the family home for longer, rather than downsizing, largely due to the boomerang generation: young adults who leave home for university and then move back in with their parents to save for a deposit. If they are first-time buyers, they are likely to be between 31 and 35 before they move on. For many parents this means downsizing is likely in their 60s or 70s, creating a demand for smaller properties at a later age.

Recent data from the National House Building Council also shows more elderly people are moving into the retirement home sector. Builders registered 2,337 properties specifically designed for the elderly in the first half of 2015, outstripping the 1,919 for the whole of 2014.