There are more retirement villages in the UK than you might think, with many more in the planning stages.
With such a range from which to choose, it is worth spending time doing some thorough research so you can ascertain what is available to you in the area you have in mind.
Here are some aspects to consider when thinking about retirement villages as an option for you.
Common questions about retirement villages answered.
All are not equal
Don’t assume that all retirement villages are the same. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ or across the board, industry-standard when it comes to the provision of amenities and services.
Just because one offers certain provisions, doesn’t mean these are necessarily available at another. Developers are beginning to realise the possibilities of what a retirement village can offer in terms of amenities and quality of accommodation, so it is definitely worth the trouble of shopping around or taking the long-term view of places still in the construction phase.
Confused by all the terms and fees? Read our jargon buster.
Decide on your personal ‘definites’, those things that you would insist on your retirement village having, followed by the things you regard as being less important. This can help to narrow down the options. Being able to get into town easily might be more important for you than having a hair salon on-site for example.
Flexibility for the future
Retirement villages are home to a broad range of ages and physical abilities. As a result, there is a range of services available to residents, from standard domestic help, such as a cleaner or housekeeper, through to specialised at-home medical care.
Check the services provided by the village and that they can be implemented at any stage of your residency and put together as part of a personalised package.
Did you know? Saga has a contemporary new retirement village, set in the Wiltshire countryside, for people over 60 who want to live life to the full.
Visit your favourites
Once you have made a shortlist, it is time to start visiting.
Plan to visit more than once, making initial visits to gauge your first impressions and then spending a whole day there if you can. This way you can get an idea of the flow of daily life in the village, see people come and go and chat with residents.
Some villages offer a ‘try before you buy’ scheme where you can stay for a few days to see how you would settle in. If possible, take along your family or a friend when you visit. It is always helpful to have another point of view and you can talk about any concerns you may have.
Read our checklist of things to ask when looking around a retirement village.
Look further afield
Bear in mind that, even if it is in the most idyllic of settings, you don’t have to spend all your time in the retirement village. Make sure you investigate what there is within walking distance and what you can reach by public transport should you not have a car.
Take a look around the local town for the availability of larger shops, galleries, railway stations and cinemas if these are things you like.
Retirement Living Guide
For further information about retirement living and how to find your perfect home, download and read our complete guide to Retirement Living and Villages.