In the UK, there are around 57,500 retirement communities, catering to millions of retirees. If you’re looking to plan for retirement in one of these places, then you might look into your options sooner rather than later. That way, you can pick out a destination that’s aligned with your needs and values.
So, what might we think about before making a decision of this kind? Let’s take a look at a few of the more important factors.
Different locations will impose different limits on the age of would-be residents. Consequently, you might find that you’re excluded from a certain place for years.
To Rent or Buy?
You might have considered buying a property in a retirement community. If you choose to do this, then you’ll remain on the property ladder, and you’ll be able to pass a sizeable asset on to your next of kin. Most people who make this move will be downsizing, which can free up capital that can be invested elsewhere (or spent over the course of your retirement).
Alternatively, you might rent. Rental prices in retirement communities tend to be extremely approachable. You might benefit from the government’s help-to-buy scheme, or from a shared ownership scheme. Make sure that you’ve considered all of your options before committing.
Certain types of property will appeal to retirees with particular needs. If you’re a wheelchair user, for example, or you’re starting to struggle with stairs, then a bungalow or an Island Elevator-accessible flat might appeal.
Facilities and Care
Some retirement villages will provide different levels of care and facilities. Others are a bit more hands-off. Your preference will be informed not only by your physical needs but by your lifestyle. Are you looking for a site with a library or a cinema? Do you want plenty of outdoor green space to go for walks in? You should also factor in the location, especially if you want to remain within easy visiting distance of certain parts of the country, and family members.
Obviously, the cost of your retirement if going to be a crucial consideration. You should note that not all of the costs are explicit and declared upfront; some are hidden, and you’ll need to be proactive and determined in your questioning to uncover them ahead of time. You might talk to other residents who might have been stung for additional costs.
If you’re looking for a way to finance your move, then you might elect to sell your existing home, or apply for an equity release mortgage. You might equally review your spending elsewhere, or the amount that you intend to leave to your next-of-kin in your will.