Retirement Living Explained – What property should I choose?
It’s always a tugs on the old heart stings when your parents make the decision to make the big downsize to retirement, assisted or independent living accommodation. What are the pitfalls and pros of these prepositions and how what do you do to support your parents in the process?
People choose to downsize for many reasons, most common is age. The concern of up keeping a larger property when ill-health is currently (or could be) at the doorstep and the concern for a spouse being left with the burden of untidied affairs is a big driving force.
Recently I had a wonderfully charming couple pop in to have a chat about their options as a result of ill-health and a sizeable property worry. Such topics for a certain generation can be a bit daunting to discuss, but it helps to have an upbeat and constructive outlook on the future. Look forward to this next stage of life!
The stigma of retirement living is becoming a relic of the past. Purpose built villages are now more desirable than ever. And why wouldn’t they? Community, luxury living and ease of living are very attractive attributes. But what are the options and what is right for you or your parents?
Retirement Bungalows (Assisted Living Facilities (ALF))
A great option if you want to retain a big slice of independence. Come and go as you please without having door systems to combat. Typically you’ll get a chunk of garden which may or may not be fully enclosed but either-way it will be reasonably private. There is also a degree of flexibility in the plot; some of our customers have opted to build an extension/conservatory to make the most of single story living. This is of course all subject to planning permissions and site restrictions. There is typically a warden on site communicated via a red cord pull system.
Retirement Apartments (Assisted Living Facilities (ALF))
Perfect if you’re community minded. Apartments will tend to be smaller than bungalows but you’ll have the added benefit of large communal areas. These places tend to be surrounded with lovely maintained gardens. Some sites have libraries, washing rooms and organise regular resident events. An in-house site manager is on hand should you need any assistance. From first hand experience, residence are very happy and make friends and settle easily.
Villages tend to be a larger development and are a relatively new concept. Essentially these sites are mixed with houses, bungalows and apartments in a familiar village environment. There are certainly benefits to having an entire new micro-village built but be mindful of any lengthy build contracts that could disrupt your retirement years to come! Again a big community ethos but the added benefit of living you/your parents are used to. Many sites have support programs in place for any medical/domestic needs.
Assisted Living Facilities (ALF): An assisted living residence or assisted living facility is a housing facility for people with disabilities or for adults who cannot or choose not to live independently.
Warden Controlled: Warden-controlled housing is a type of sheltered housing where a warden or scheme manager lives either on-site or close to the development.
Meet People & Ask Questions!
It is always advisable to meet the site manager and residents if you get the opportunity. It will put your mind at ease and you’ll get a good feel for the place.
What is the service charge?
What, if any, are the plans for additional phase building works?
What happens when my family come to sell the property? Are there any ongoing charges?
Retirement is something to be enjoyed! If you want any guidance or would like to see some of the retirement property we have on the market please feel free to get in touch.
01676 533 585