Retirement can mean different things for different people. Some relish the chance to stop working, adopt a slower pace or take up new hobbies. For others, it could mean accepting new physical or mental hurdles. Retirement, at any age, comes with decisions. It is not only important to financially plan, but also essential to be emotionally ready to accept this new stage in your life. Where you choose to live and spend your retirement can greatly affect how much you get out of it. If you reach retirement age and choose to sell up to re-locate in the UK, the right type property could be key to your happiness and making the most of your later-life ‘golden’ years. Here we explore the different types of care, retirement properties and retirement communities that are available in the UK.

Retirement home or retirement village?

There are varying types of retirement properties available with differing level of price, facilities, and care. Choosing the right type of property is very important and should be considered with great care.

UK retirement properties can be generally categorised as either a retirement home or a retirement village. A retirement home provides affordable accommodation where residents can live independently and benefit from lower costs and less maintenance. A retirement village also offers independent living and include a larger more comprehensive range of activities, social and on-site leisure facilities.  

3 types of retirement living for those with additional needs

Whether you choose a retirement village or a retirement home, you must consider what you want from your new home. If you, or your partner, has physical or mental impairments, these must be addressed and therefore you must choose very carefully to ensure your needs are met:

  • Assisted Living: these are the types of developments that allow you to live independently, be part of a retirement community, yet have varying levels of care on hand for you, or partner, should you need it. Many find this a great option to meet new people explore new hobbies and socialise with like-minded people. Prices vary depending on services and facilities available.

  • Residential Care Home: these are properties that provide help with personal care, but not special nursing care. Staff are on hand to help with any personal, clothing or cleaning needs. A private room is offered, some with en-suite facilities, and there is often a communal area to sit, watch TV and socialise. Prices vary depending on levels of facilities.

  • Nursing Home: these offer the highest level of care by qualified medical professionals, nurses and experienced care assistants. Multiple staff are on-site 24/7 to cater for the care needs of their residents. This is the most expensive type of care due to the complex needs required by patients, such as those with dementia.

Key considerations for retirement living

Once you have decided the type of retirement accommodation is right for you and meets your specific needs, there are some key considerations to look at.

  1. Make some lifestyle choices: what do you want from your retirement? Is there a hobby you want to take up? Do you want to access to a garden? Do you want to meet and socialise with like-minded people? Do you swim? The answers to these questions will help indicate if property is right for you and if the on-site facilities match your hobbies and interests.

  1. Location, location, location: there are many retirement providers throughout the UK. It’s important to consider what are local to the property, such friends, family or access to shops, and how easily you can get to them. Some properties provide transport, others arrange weekly shopping trips, so do your homework on what is in the local area.

  1. Care needs: Both retirement homes and retirement villages can provide varying levels of care. The levels of care vary greatly, so it’s important to consider what level of care is needed and what is provided by the operator should you need it in the future. If you have greater care needs, be sure look at all options for assisted living, residential care, and nursing care.

  1. Price: Costs of retirement properties vary greatly, ranging from basic facilities to high-end luxury, and those who cater for complex care needs. From the onset of your search, try to have your finances in order so you know what you can and can’t afford. The cost to live in a retirement village is usually higher due to the greater amount of facilities, upkeep and service charges. A retirement home has less overheads and can often cheaper but will also depend on the varying levels of care provided.

  1. Visit: book onto a guided tour of the property, and some may have written or video testimonials from existing residents you can view. Read independent reviews and any reports issued by the Quality Care Commission. Seek opinions from friends and family, and if possible, ask them to visit the property with you to get a different perspective.

The future of retirement living

  Never before have the advantages of living in a retirement community become so apparent. The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have highlighted the need for more purpose-built retirement homes and communities to keep the elderly, and those who are vulnerable, safe and secure.

  Spring CEO Cormac Henderson is a passionate advocate, industry speaker in challenging and lobbying the government, to provide the vital care and facilities needed for the future of the later-life care sector.

  As featured in a recent article in ‘Property Week’ magazine, Cormac said:

  ‘Retirement village operators offering independent living, where care is on hand if needed rather than 24-7, decrease the number of human touch points and therefore lower the risk of spreading a contagion. It is important to ensure seniors feel part of a community and are not isolated – vital for social interaction and mental wellbeing. A village can lockdown when required, yet essential services can still be offered while following all health and safety guidelines. This emphasises the importance of the owner-operator model, where the operator has a vested interest in the health and happiness of the community – this must the future’.

  Spring is also an affiliate of The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) who are the main body representing the Retirement Community Sector in the UK. ARCO provide a valuable source of information regarding retirement and can help you make the right choice based on your personal needs and wants.


How can Spring help?

Spring’s home buying service works with some of the largest retirement providers and developers in the UK as their chosen part exchange partner.

Our home buying service can purchase your home simply, quickly and easily so you are free from the hassle of selling your property on the open market. We have years of experience in purchasing properties for customers who are embarking on retirement or are downsizing.

Our dedicated property advisors are on hand to advise on the best home buying option for you, and we can also put you in contact with one of our later-living retirement partners or developers to find your perfect retirement property.

Contact us today to find out more on how we can make your retirement dreams become a reality.

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