As we all grow older, at what stage do we start to re-think where we live? Is the existing family home too big? Is it too costly? Have our needs changed? Do we see life differently? Where are our priorities? What of the longer term future?
A recent survey by Prudential highlighted healthcare, crime levels, pension income, weather and healthy lifestyles as the main drivers for moving as we all get older.
But one of the main drivers that causes people to move in later life can be a significant change in their personal circumstances. It could be a relationship change; the death of a partner or loved one for example.
When do most people choose to move?
Data from the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that there are essentially two age groups where moving is more likely. The newly retired (between 54 and 64) and those over 80 years old. People between those ages are less motivated to move.
The motivations of the newly retired is clear – to begin a new chapter in their lives, having downsized and decided to pursue a more leisurely lifestyle with reduced overheads and more equity in their pockets to do the things they have always wanted to do.
Those at the other end of the scale – over 80s tend to seek a more secure, low maintenance and supportive environment that offers a social life but also delivers peace of mind, with additional help available if required.
This data simply reinforces the popularity of retirement villages or communities where there is a strong sense of community, active social life, excellent on-site facilities, lovely grounds, and additional help and support should it be required. It ticks the boxes for both the younger retirees and those who seek more peace of mind.
Don’t leave it too late….
I would be a very wealthy women if I had a pound for every time one of our residents has said to me: “I just wish I had moved here earlier. ”
As a big advocate of the retirement village lifestyle and model, I would argue that the earlier in their life someone chooses to make the move to a retirement village, the better. Luxury apartment living and hotel style facilities are now available to retirees. This lifestyle offers more freedom.
For example, one resident at Elmbridge Village in Surrey still chooses to work part-time in the local DIY store because he wants to remain active and very much part of the wider community.
Then there’s another at Charters Village in East Grinstead who still frequently travels and values the peace of mind that her property is safe and secure while she is away.
Moving to a retirement village is made easier
To some, the process of moving home in your advanced years can prove the most challenging aspect of making a change – but now there are schemes and packages that enable you to try your new retirement lifestyle apartment before you buy, then part exchange your old property and even help you plan for your move and support you on the day to ease the stresses and strains.
Nobody ever really believes they are ready to make the move to a new retirement lifestyle – we all think of ourselves as Peter Pan. But I recall one of our residents at Lime Tree Village in Warwickshire offering his advice to other would-be purchasers. He said: “Move when you can – not when you have to.”
The particular person in question lives a hugely fulfilling life and is very much an integral part of village life.
I always return to the most often heard comment: “I wish I had done it sooner.”