Usually for people who are 55 or older, whether you're completely self-sufficient or in need of some support, retirement villages offer independence with flexibility. Retirement villages often provide a variety of self-contained homes which may be rented or bought on a leasehold basis. Set within a village community, the wide-ranging facilities and various care options mean you can choose the lifestyle, involvement and level of help you want with the peace of mind that support is close by should you need it in the future.

Retirement villages can feel like local communities. Lots are built around a central building housing a range of facilities. There may be a restaurant, bistro, bar, spa, swimming pool and more, creating a hub of activity. Many have flexible care options available through on-site staff or a third-party provider.

Advantages

  • Independence – you enjoy the comfort, rights, security and privacy that come with having your own home, whether rented or owned.

  • Finances – if you buy you can hold onto your asset, offering security.

  • Lifestyle – you are free to choose the lifestyle, involvement and level of help you want.

  • Facilities – a wide range is usually offered.

  • Access to care – should you ever need it, you can receive flexible care in your own home by a trusted and familiar on-site provider.

  • Maintenance – upkeep and gardening is taken care of on your behalf.

  • Accommodation – homes are self-contained and designed with future needs in mind such as safety and accessibility.

  • Peace of mind – research has shown that living in retirement villages and extra care houses can halve the likelihood of having to live in institutional care in the future.*

*Establishing the extra in Extra Care report published September 2011 by the International Longevity Centre, an independent, non-partisan think-tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change. See www.ilcuk.org.uk.

Disadvantages

  • Finances – ground rent is usually payable to the freeholder. Monthly service charges and a deferred management fee – a percentage of the sale price of your home payable only if and when you come to sell your home, may be charged. These will help maintain common parts and facilities and avoid charges for major structural repairs and building works. 

  • Accommodation – whilst some retirement villages may offer small gardens; others may not, but may instead offer beautiful and extensive grounds which are maintained for you, leaving you free of the responsibility for their upkeep. You may miss having a large garden of your own.