The challenges of population ageing and globalisation have been addressed by many welfare states in terms of active ageing policies, which in turn confront individuals with new demands such as keeping up to date with technological developments. The purpose of this paper is to analyse how individuals negotiate the demands of active ageing. The outcome variable was change in primary and secondary control strategies with regard to demands of active ageing over the course of one year. In a German sample of N = 602 men and women aged 55–75 years, we found a strong preference for engagement with these demands and a low preference for disengagement. Furthermore, a higher load of demands of active ageing was associated with an increase in engagement with these demands. However, when people perceived their everyday surroundings as unfavourable, their disengagement with demands of active ageing increased. Higher internal control beliefs concerning demands of active ageing were associated with an increase in engagement and a decrease in disengagement. We conclude that individuals strengthen their efforts to master demands of active ageing when they believe that they can control them. When the everyday ecology seems unfavourable, though, strategies are preferred that enable people to avoid a presumably lost case.