Age In Place Amongst A Likeminded Community
If you like the idea of independent living as you grow older, a retirement development could be the perfect solution for you.
Life expectancy in the UK is on the rise, with almost 12 million people aged 65 and over as well as an 85% increase in centenarians over the past 15 years. As people reach retirement age, they make decisions about how they’d like to spend their future years and commonly where they’d prefer to live. If moving into a traditional nursing home environment isn’t something you feel interested in, then you may prefer the option to ‘age in place’ in your own home, located within the comfort of a retirement community. By investing in such a property, you can still retain enormous amounts of independence whilst enjoying fantastic facilities and being surrounded by likeminded people of a similar age to you.
Properties within a retirement community aren’t usually available on the open market, and will require you to be at least 55 years old, although the precise age restrictions will vary depending on the development you’re interested in. As the age demographic is older than your average housing estate, you can expect amenities that cater to your needs by offering leisure activities for seniors as well as care services that you might require.
Retirement communities often enjoy gated access, meaning that you have an excellent level of security in place, including CCTV technology and often a patrolling warden onsite.
Living in a retirement community requires you to pay for various communal services and facilities that you can take full advantage of as a resident. You might expect to have a regular cleaner visit your property, or at least maintain any communal areas such as hallways, dining rooms and leisure features such as a shared pool. The cost of cleaning, caretaking and maintenance will be invoiced for as an annual or monthly service charge. All residents have the right to ask for a copy of the service charge information including a detailed breakdown of exactly what they’re paying for.
An annual ground rent will also be required as the majority of retirement community properties are sold on a leasehold basis. New build retirement properties typically come with an extended lease of 999 years, but older developments may offer leases which are around 99 years in length and will decrease by as many years as the resident lives in the property without extending the lease. A firm of Shenfield estate agents advises that you should always consult with a solicitor and check the length of lease before you purchase as a shorter lease could affect the resell value of your property unless you’re willing to pay for an extension. You may also be required to pay an exit fee if you wish to sell early, so gaining legal advice is a necessity.
The final thing to consider with regards to retirement communities is your general health. Although no one can predict what the future holds, if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, then it’s important to be sure that your property and residential community will be able to accommodate these needs.
If you’re ready to make the move to a retirement community, you’re in good company! Take a look at the availability of properties in a retirement development near you and remember to check out the provision of care and leisure facilities onsite to ensure they’re a great fit as you choose to age in place.