How to be confident when selecting your retirement home

Blog posted

5th February 2019 - By Will Crawford

Castle Retirement Village In Hertfordshire

Choosing the nature of your retirement, let alone the location, building style and community, can be unnerving. We look at ways you can be more confident when making your retirement choices.

Figure out what you can afford

This should be the first step you take before looking at the retirement options available to you.  

Admittedly, it can be stressful crunching the numbers, but it’s important you don’t overstretch your budget and ensure you have enough to enjoy the lifestyle you want.  

Consider bringing in a friend or relative to help. Retirement Villages Group and other retirement providers will be able to help you with the detail, but it will be a huge help to you to know roughly what is affordable and what isn’t.  

Make sure you decide a budget for purchasing a retirement property – or renting one – as well as a monthly budget to live on. 

Look Around

Arun House, Elmbridge VillageOnce you know what your budget is – both for purchasing a property and general monthly expenses – it’s time to start researching.  

Researching online is a good place to start, but, just like when you bought your first home, it’s not the same as seeing the real thing.  

Visit different types of retirement developments and locations, such as in towns and cities, as well as those situated outside of idyllic villages. This will help you decide whether you want the super convenience of urban living or the pace of rural life. 

On each visit, whether it’s one of our Retirement Villages or another style of development, be sure to look at different types of properties. If you’re used to your family home, some of the options available to you may seem a bit surreal – like our open-plan living apartments – which is why it’s so good to keep an open mind and visit different style properties. 

You may prefer more traditional bungalows, which often come with their own green space you can tend to, but many of our residents are opting for the convenience and space offered by our open-plan retirement flats or apartments.  

Decide on the lifestyle you want

Once you’ve seen a few retirement villages and other styles of development and properties, it’s time to think about how you actually want to live 

This is really important and can influence, and is indeed influenced by, the type of property you want and its location. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Village Life At Debden Grange Retirement Village, Saffron WaldenDo you want a busy social life on your doorstep? Then a retirement village might be perfect. 
  • Do you like eating out? If so, a village or town within easy reach is imperative. 
  • Do you want peace and quiet? 
  • How important is access to transport links such as motorways or train stations? 
  • How close do you want to be to family and friends? 
  • Do you want to travel a lot? Many of our residents find the security of our villages means they feel comfortable going away frequently. 

Check the surrounding area

Your lifestyle is going to be greatly influenced by what is available to you. Our Retirement Villages have a packed social calendar for you to enjoy, but many residents still enjoy going to nearby towns and villages for shopping, restaurants or the theatre. 

So it’s important you like the surrounding area. Take some time to visit towns and villages within the radius of the property you are looking at. Is there enough to keep you occupied? Do you like the environment?  

Transport links can be easily forgotten too. Most people still drive when they retire, but make sure you think ahead, as that may not always be the case. See if there are bus routes close by and check how regularly they run and where to – the same goes for trains and other modes of transport.  

Your specific requirements

Don’t forget any requirements or must-haves that you have in mind. For example, do you have a pet you want to bring with you? We allow pets in our villages, but not every retirement development will, so it’s best to check.

Future options

Try to think ahead too. This is hard, as none of us can plan for every eventuality, but you should consider what would happen if your circumstances, such as your health, changed.  

Are there care services on site, or health services nearby? As mentioned earlier, public transport may become increasingly important for you. You may decide that you don’t need to be near family right now, but is it something you’d desire as you grow older – if that’s the case, would you want to move twice in retirement?

There’s a lot to consider, but remember there is always someone on hand to help. You can visit our website to learn more, but feel free to call us or speak to our advisors at the villages – they can talk through your questions, concerns and options.


Will Crawford

Will Crawford

Group Development Director

Will joined Retirement Villages in 2015 and is the Development Director with overall responsibility for growing the portfolio through acquisitions and development. Will has acquired and developed out numerous development opportunities in the leisure, commercial and residential sectors having previously worked for such companies as Whitbread, Arlington and Kilmartin. Will is a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS).