With the ever-rising cost of living, it is becoming increasingly difficult to retire comfortably at 65, especially considering that average life expectancy is rising. According to the Global Burden of Disease study, the average healthy life expectancy at birth in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 9.1 years between 1990-2007.

It is therefore likely that those who wish to live out their retirement and maintain their current standard of living will have to continue working well after the age of 65. However, career options for those who are healthy enough to continue working at this age are somewhat limited. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, real estate provides retirees with an opportunity to continue working and to be in control of their own schedules. He therefore recommends that retirees seriously consider a career in real estate to help bring in an income to see them through their retirement years more comfortably.

“Real estate provides an opportunity to continue working for as long as you have the passion and energy to do so. We have many associates over the age of 50 who have no plans to slow down any time soon,” Goslett explains.

One such agent is Mariaan Otto of RE/MAX Dazzle, who writes: “At 70 years old, I have no intension of retiring. I want to work up to my last day as this is my world, my safe haven, my happy place!”. After a business deal turned sour and left her without a job at 65, Otto came across Broker/Owner Neville Brits who explained the benefits of the RE/MAX business model that allows you to be in business for yourself but not by yourself. Soon after, Otto joined as an independent contractor and has flourished under the guidance of the office, reaching Millionaire’s Club Status within her first year at RE/MAX Dazzle.

“The RE/MAX brand and the support from RE/MAX Dazzle makes it easy to achieve. My advice to others who want to start a career in real estate is for them to jump at the chance and use every opportunity to learn about the business. Real Estate can be the ideal career that can add to your pension fund and give you the retirement you always dreamed of! The accumulated life experience helps you to empathise with and handle clients according to their needs. However, as an older person, you will need to be open to new ideas and sometimes even a new outlook on life,” Otto advises.

Goslett therefore encourages all retirees who are passionate about people and are open to learning new skills to get in touch with their closest RE/MAX Office and explore what it takes to join the brand. “The real estate business is not easy, but the returns can definitely make it worthwhile,” Goslett concludes.