Less than one per cent of Britons over the age of 60 currently live in specialist retirement properties, compared to 17 per cent in the US and 13 per cent in Australia. This is likely to grow rapidly over the next decade, as more developments are and more players enter the market.
It is though worth looking more closely at the Australian model, where there is not only a greater number of properties available for seniors but also a greater choice of living options.
Here’s a quick snapshot courtesy of Aaron Clayton, writing for Better Homes and Gardens:
The most common and well-known option of retired living in Australia, retirement villages are intended to support ageing while offering a sense of community. With safety at the helm, this living choice is designed to provide those who intend on staying long-term the security of not having to sweat the small stuff like building maintenance. Village homes are leased, meaning you do not own them. A payment called ‘ingoing contribution’ is a lump sum paid when entering the facility. Upon departure, your deferred management fees or departure fees are paid from this money.
An alternative housing choice within the retirement village hub, serviced apartments are created for individuals who may require simple services and help like linen cleaning and meals during their stay. As smaller housing options, these units are planned to suit people who still desire the community aspect of retirement villages but don’t need a massive amount of space
If thinking long-term when deciding on appropriate retirement living options, then co-located villages are a viable option. Primarily a retirement village and aged care home right next door to each other! Being close to their next potential home offers residents peace of mind, while still catering to their current needs.
A combination of retirement villages and nursing homes, home care villages are set up to give an elevated level of care to their occupants as their needs change. In most cases, the payment for high-level care is set up like an insurance policy. You pay a weekly amount in preparation for an increased level of care as you age. The best part? There is no need to move to an aged care facility if your circumstances or needs change.
Land Lease Communities
Also known as Resort Communities, this living arrangement is targeted at younger retirees (50+) and is a great lifestyle option for those looking spend their retirement surrounded by like-minded people in homes they can be proud of. The relatively new concept offers affordable yet upmarket housing options whereby you own your home and lease the land it sits on. Meaning, if you want to sell, you can keep 100% of the sale. The perks of gated communities include but are not limited to bowls and tennis courses, swimming pools and luxury style locations, perfect for those who want to embark on an activity-fuelled retirement.
Simply looking to be surrounded by like-minded people in a safe environment? Rental villages are gated communities where units are leased, usually on a weekly basis. If minimal care (+ facilities) is required and independence is important to the quality of life, then rental villages are a sound choice.