GLOW­ING IN THEIR GOLDEN YEARS

Women liv­ing in Chiltern are en­joy­ing the long­est re­tire­ments in Eng­land and Wales. CAMILLA GOOD­MAN speaks to two re­tired women liv­ing in Chiltern about the find­ings

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

C

HILTERN’S women en­joy the long­est re­tire­ments in Eng­land and Wales, new re­search has re­vealed.

Ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics the av­er­age fe­male from the Chiltern Dis­trict area can ex­pect to live for 24 years past their 65th birth­day, an av­er­age age of 89.

This is the joint high­est num­ber of years for any group of men or women across Eng­land and Wales, ty­ing for first place with women from Cam­den in North

London.

Com­pared with a decade ago, women in Chiltern can look for­ward to an ex­tra 3.1 years of re­tire­ment to­day.

Their life ex­pectancy from the age of 65 in the years 2001 to 2003 was 20.9 years, mean­ing that it has in­creased by 15 per cent since then.

Across Eng­land and Wales the av­er­age re­main­ing life ex­pectancy for somebody aged 65 is 18.6 years for men and 21.1 years for women.

Although women tend to have longer re­tire­ments than men, the gap has been nar­row­ing over the past 10 years.

Whereas to­day it stands at 2.5 years, back in the years 2000 to 2002 it was 3.1 years when men lived another 16.1 years past their 65th birth­day and women lived 19.2 years past theirs.

Pat Se­mon, 71, from Lit­tle Chal­font, is a re­tired sec­re­tary and keeps her­self busy by be­long­ing to Che­sham Townswomen’s Guild, Amer­sham Townswomen’s Guild and she is also chair­man of the Chiltern and Cas­tle Fed­er­a­tion of Townswomen’s Guilds. She also works for the lo­cal branch of the MS So­ci­ety. Mrs Se­mon,

pic­tured above, still uses her sec­re­tary skills by writ­ing up the min­utes from meet­ings of the groups she be­longs to.

Mrs Se­mon agrees with the re­search.

She said: “The mem­ber­ship of Che­sham Townswomen’s Guild is 28 and when I looked at the list the other day the majority of mem­bers are in their 80s, so I can’t dis­agree with the find­ings. I don’t know why women in Chiltern are liv­ing the long­est to be hon­est, ob­vi­ously it’s a nice area to live but I couldn’t put my fin­ger on the rea­son.”

Mrs Se­mon has been re­tired for 10 years and thinks there is lots of things to do in Chiltern to keep re­tired women busy.

She added: “If peo­ple want to look for it then yes there’s lots of things to do. I’ve been re­tired for 10 years and I’ve been kept busy. I think it’s def­i­nitely good to stay ac­tive when you re­tire.

“I didn’t want to work in a char­ity shop when I re­tired and I thought I’ve got sec­re­tary skills so ba­si­cally I joined some groups and write the min­utes and that takes up a fair amount of time.

“I think there’s plenty out there to do if peo­ple go and look for it.”

Trixie Of­ford of Ham­p­den Road, Chal­font St Peter, has been re­tired for a num­ber of years from her ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional dancer that took her all over the world. She now runs fit­ness classes for older women three times a week in Stoke Po­ges and Chal­font St Peter.

Mrs Of­ford said: “The women of Chiltern are pretty fit so I’m not sur­prised by the fig­ures. Now I’ve re­tired I’ve been teach­ing the older gen­er­a­tion about fit­ness be­cause I feel it’s im­por­tant for them to keep their bod­ies go­ing by keep­ing fit.

“How­ever, it’s not all about fit­ness it’s also about healthy eat­ing too. No one is too old to keep fit and healthy.”

Mrs Of­ford said she is not sure what the se­cret is to women in Chiltern liv­ing longer.

How­ever, she thinks Chiltern is a great place to re­tire.

She added: “I’m sure there’s lots of things for re­tired women to do in Chiltern. I’ve not re­ally had time to ex­plore but I’m sure there’s lots of hikes to do and all sorts of things like that.”

Pho­tos by Chris Berry www.buyapho­totms.co.uk NL20135820

KEEP­ING TRIM: Trixie Of­ford leads the ex­er­cise class. Above left, mem­bers of the Body Trim class

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