Retirement living: What it is and what to expect

Posted on: 29 September 2016 by Editor at Large

Cathy Johnston looks at why retirement living and retirement villages are increasing in popularity and what you should be looking for when you set out to buy one of these properties?

Retirement living

Retirement can be the best phase of many people’s lives. It’s often cited that people aged 65 to 79 are 'happiest of all'. And it’s perhaps no surprise when you consider the fact that retirement often allows for a lifestyle that we’ve dreamt of throughout our working lives. We know retirement is an exciting time, but one thing that might not be as certain is where we’ll choose to spend it.

Some people want to escape from the hustle and bustle they’ve been living and working in for years, after yearning for an idyllic country retreat, whilst others will never leave the city as they love being in the heart of things. The decision of whether to stay put in your existing home, downsize, or change location completely can be as equally difficult to make.

So what do you do if you don’t want to give up the idea of being connected to family, friends and the outside world, nor the idea of waking up to beautiful, rolling hills? This is where the new generation of retirement living accommodation comes in. Retirement living and retirement villages are increasing in popularity due to the fact they can offer the best of both worlds. But what is 'retirement living' and what should people be looking for when they set out to buy one of these properties?

Properties in the retirement living category can generally be described as community housing complexes which are designed for older adults who are, on the whole, in good health but may want the comfort of having care on hand if they should need it, now or in the future. Care packages are often included depending on the individual’s needs.

Retirement living options already cater for 5% of over 65s in the US and Australia which is perhaps also due to the number of possibilities for social interaction that come with the central communal facilities.

Many such developments include access to on-site bistros, hairdressers, gyms and a wide range of clubs and social groups. Property hunters should really be looking out for complexes which provide the type of opportunities for socialising that they’d most be interested in. There’s no point going for a retirement village with opportunities to fish on the lake if you’ll never fancy it yourself!

Another thing to consider is what type of property you’d like to live in. The Retirement living category incorporates a range of properties including studio flats, larger apartments and even bungalows. And people really looking for that community feel should keep an eye open for ‘retirement villages’ which may feel more like a small town in itself.

Is it for you? It could suit your needs, if you’d like more to time to enjoy retirement and less time worrying about bills, maintenance and the possibility of being isolated if you’re ever in difficulty. Some people cite life in a retirement village as the reason for having the busiest social life they’ve ever had; being able to enjoy their retirement in beautiful surroundings and gardens whilst making friends they feel they’ve known all their lives.  

Cathy JohnstoneAbout the author

This piece was authored by Cathy Johnston at MHA who provide retirement villages across the country including developments at Nethanvale and Mickle Hill. They also offer urban retirement living at locations including Wellesley Court and Maidment Court

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