Specialist retirement housing developments are becoming far more popular in the UK but we still lag well behind many other countries. In the UK, just 0.5% of the over-65 population live in a retirement community whereas in the USA, New Zealand and Australia over 5% of the over-65’s live in retirement communities*.
But when looking for a retirement property there are a number of other considerations to take into account than just the property.
So what are the choices and what is the best option? In truth, only you can decide what is the best option but the choices are greater now than ever before. And forget the stereotypical retirement housing impression; today’s retirement properties provide luxury living with fantastic facilities and services.
We spoke to Paul Hart, manager at the new retirement village, Emerson Park in Hextable, Kent, to get his thoughts.
“Like any house purchase, first off do your wish list of what you would like the property to have. Most retirement apartments are one- or two-bedrooms so, as an example, if it’s a two-bedroom property would you want an en-suite to the master?” said Paul.
“Think about the location; is it easy to get to places and is it easy for friends and family to get to? These are the normal house buying thoughts but with a retirement property you should think about other areas as well. Most retirement developments will have a communal lounge but some, such as Emerson Park, provide far more facilities including a restaurant, bar, beauty and fitness facilities as well as services such as a driver and vehicles along with a dedicated activities and events manager.”
Continued Paul, “We all hope it will never happen, but you should also consider what would happen if you needed help in an emergency. Is the emergency call system to people on-site 24-hours a day, or to a call centre?”
It’s clear that today there is more choice than ever before so it’s certainly worth weighing up the pros and cons before making a decision. To help you with this decision process we have come up with these 4 top tips:
- The old adage location, location, location still applies.
- Make sure the apartment is right for you. Don’t just downsize, right size!
- Go for somewhere with more facilities than just a communal lounge. You may not need it now, but you might in the future.
- The same applies for services and care. You may be driving now but what would happen, for example, if you had to give your car up?
The show apartment at Emerson Park is available to view Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm and on Sunday by prior appointment.
*Source – Associated Retirement Community Operators (www.arcouk.org)