Retirees living life to the fullest

23 May 2017


Dutch citizens aged 65 and above are surprisingly satisfied with their lives. More than 65 percent rate their satisfaction level with grade 8 or higher. One in five retirees even gave their life a score of 9. This is what a BeFrank survey performed among more than a thousand over-65s revealed.

This generation’s retirees are nothing like older generations’ retirees. Most of them feel physically fit, get around on their own and lead active lifestyles. A whopping 92 percent of the Netherlands’ three million over-65s actively follow the news and almost 70 percent still drive a car. ‘But that’s not all,’ says Marianne de Boer, Managing Director of BeFrank. ‘Two-thirds of retirees cycle on a regular basis and nearly 50 percent enjoy gardening. These days, retiring doesn’t mean being inactive. About 35 percent of the elderly respondents still participate in sports activities, mainly to stay healthy and physically fit. Just under half of the retirees surveyed are still members of a sports club or society.’

Live like a king
There aren’t many notable differences between male and female retirees. But the survey did find that elderly people in the Netherlands spend their retirement in different ways. ‘Take, for instance, the world-travelling “Bon Viveur”. This type of retiree spends on average one month a year away from home and enjoys everything life has to offer. Then there’s the group we call the “Fit Grannies”. These retirees regularly take part in activities such as walking and cycling. They particularly enjoy going to the gym, playing tennis and swimming.’

The active homebody
The ‘Socialite’ is a type of family-oriented retiree who enjoys babysitting their grandchildren (70 percent) and participates in a variety of clubs and societies. Nearly 40 percent of this group have active social lives and see their family and friends on a regular basis. ‘The fourth pension profile is the “Cocooner”’, De Boer continues. ‘These retirees are most comfortable staying at home, where they spend their time reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle. What is striking here is the role that social media plays in maintaining contacts with “the outside world”. No less than 60 percent of this group of retirees is on social media, with Facebook as the kingpin of all social media channels.’ And last but not least, the ‘Geranium Retirees’ (from the Dutch expression ‘achter de geraniums zitten’ which means retiring and sitting at home watching the world go by from behind the geraniums on the window sill). These retirees spend most of their time at home alone, have difficulty getting around and have relatively little contact with neighbours.

Active retirement
If you want to enjoy retirement some day, it’s a good idea to start planning for it now. That’s the advice that BeFrank is giving. ‘Many people with jobs in the Netherlands dream of an active retirement without financial worries,’ says De Boer. ‘But if you want the financial freedom to enjoy your later years, saving for retirement is essential. Nevertheless, previous surveys performed by BeFrank showed that 80 percent of workers are not (or barely) putting money aside for their retirement. By providing clear information and smart services, BeFrank aims to raise awareness of pensions among the Dutch over the next few years.’

Striking facts
• Retirees spend on average 16 days per year abroad.
• Almost 30 percent of retirees own an e-bike.
• Playing bridge and using the computer are the main activities mentioned as hobbies.
• One-third of retirees use public transport regularly.
• Close to 40 percent of retirees enjoy eating out.

About the survey
The survey was carried out by PanelWizard Direct. PanelWizard Direct is the research panel of Kien Research and has more than 30,000 members in the Netherlands aged 16 years and above. The panel members have stated in advance that they wish to participate in market research surveys. PanelWizard uses MOA’s Golden Standard, the leading weighing approach to research results that is recognised sector wide. More than 1,000 Dutch people aged 65 and above took part in this survey.

About BeFrank
BeFrank has been operating in the collective pension market since 2011 and is the Netherlands’ first Premium Pension Institution (PPI). BeFrank provides a clear pension, unambiguous communications, online services and low costs. BeFrank specialises in pension accrual and does not offer pension benefit products. It is part of the Delta Lloyd Group.

For more information, contact Isabelle van Ast. Email:, Tel: +31 (0)20 5621118.