They call longevity a ‘happy problem’. But many Singaporeans fear outliving their financial resources and good health. Is a longer life just a ticking time bomb? Fundamental mindset shifts are needed to prepare for the new reality of ageing.

SINGAPORE (Oct 22): Three days a week, Charlotte Chua, 69, works at a specialist clinic as a part-time assistant, dispensing medicine and doing clerical work. She enjoys interacting with her colleagues, many of whom are much younger than she is. On another two days of the week, she heads to a gym for seniors at Commonwealth, run by social enterprise Aspire55. Chua focuses on building up her muscle strength on specialised Finnish exercise equipment, under the supervision of a trainer.

All her life, Chua had envisioned retirement as the time when she could kick off her work shoes and put up her feet. But now, she finds herself with plenty of stamina to keep working and stay in shape. In fact, she reckons that she is physically stronger now than she was a decade ago. Work also keeps her energetic. “It keeps my mind ticking,” she says, tapping the side of her head. “I find that sitting around and having tea and cakes is not going to do me any good.”

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