We’re glad to see the ribbon cut on Cois Carraig in Clarina village, a housing estate aimed at over-50s — the first of its kind in County Limerick.

Three years ago the estate was one of hundreds across Ireland that sat unfinished after the recession. Brambles and trees were growing in the windows of the houses and half constructed trenches remained open on the ground.

With help from Limerick County Council the developer ATG Properties has now finished 18 houses, with a further 30 to go. ATG managing director Muriel O’Sullivan said: “To be honest, we are selling them faster than we can build them. There are three left at €183,000 and in the second phase they will probably be at around €190,000.”

The second phase of building is expected to be completed within 18 months to two years. A stipulation in the original planning permission for the homes means that if they are resold they must again go to someone over the age of 50.

Ms Sullivan suggested this could help free up housing space for younger families: “I would say 80% of people who have moved in here so far have sold their own house to move in so they are freeing up three and four bed family homes.

“From a national interest perspective, in terms of addressing the housing issue, when you consider that all of these people are leaving a three or four bedroom house then it’s a quicker way of housing families. It’s a quicker way for people like Minister Eoghan Murphy to address the housing shortage.”

Retirement and age-restricted properties come with advantages for older people, especially the retired or widowed, as they provide a ready-made community. Some include a house warden either visiting or living in and a residents’ lounge where people can meet each other and socialise, and some offer landscaped gardens and sports activities. Quite often services are taken care of once you move in, so you don’t have to worry about repairs or cleaning.

The idea is cosy, comfortable retirement where household worries are taken away.

That can really make a positive difference at this time of life, because studies have shown that between the ages of 40 and 60 years old anxiety levels peak, with people aged 50 to 54 suffering the most. They then drop after the age of 60, coinciding with an increase in life satisfaction and happiness.

For anyone in the over-50 age group, health becomes a higher priority compared to earlier years when we are often too busy with other commitment and health gets pushed to the back of our minds.

Once we hit our 50s we soon realise our bodies need more help and support to maintain our vitality and prevent conditions from getting worse, and supporting your oral health with life changing treatments such as dental implants can make all the difference for a happy retirement.