Why moving into a retirement community in our 60s will future proof our life
One in five people are considering downsizing to meet the cost of living rises, according to research from Halifax,[i] but some are some are even planning ahead to ensure they future proof their lives by moving to retirement communities while they are still working,
To find a property that would enable them to grow old in, Robin (67 years old) and Val Greenfield (64 years old) moved from a private rental property into a one-bedroom apartment in retirement development Waverley Court in New Milton, Hampshire through retirement rental brand My Future Living just over a year ago. Val still works full time as an Activities Organiser in a Dementia Care Home and Robin is a retired actor.
Val said: “We were adamant we wanted to find a home which would be suitable for us not just now but in the future. We didn’t want to be prisoners stuck in a flat having to go up flights of stairs or become a burden to our children. I have two elderly parents and I’ve seen the pitfalls of not making the move earlier enough in life. We thought let’s do it while we can, and we are now renting a great apartment on an assured tenancy so we can stay here for as long as we choose, providing we keep to the tenancy agreement.”
Dominic Stead, Property Director at My Future Living said: “Older people often make a lifestyle and financial choice to downsize and rent in retirement, with some even doing it before they have stopped work. It’s a misconception that renting in a retirement development is only for those who are retired. Many developments accept people from age 55 upwards and we have tenants like the Greenfields who move whilst still working and are young enough to cope with a move. This means they are settled and are already part of a friendly community of people when they retire.”
Val adds, “The renting process was straightforward with no hiccups or issues. Before we moved in, the carpets were replaced and whole place was re-decorated. Our apartment is cosy but spacious. Even though we downsized from a two-bedroom apartment, we didn’t need to get rid of lots of things as the apartment has lots of space.”
Married for 37 years, Robin and Val have even worked together. When Robin got the part of Santa Claus at Lapland, Val went along too and became Mrs Claus. They spent six weeks incognito in Lapland, not allowed to even leave the house in case they were recognised.
Since their time in Lapland, Robin and Val have been enjoying getting out and about and are both extremely active. They enjoy going to the theatre and performing Murder Mystery evenings, running quiz nights and Robin enjoys working on films and TV Series.
Talking about the benefits of living in Waverley Court Robin said: “We’ve got the peace of mind we’ve always wanted. It’s an ideal size for us and in a great position, close to the high street, which has a market day, and the beach. It will also so be great for our future when we get a little dog as pets are allowed and we are on the ground floor.”
Val adds: “When we both are not working there is a lot going on. The community is friendly and there are regular coffee mornings, lovely evening events and quizzes. There are parties too for special days such as saint’s days, the Queen’s Jubilee and King’s Coronation – there are things to do without even going out of the front door.
“In the event that one of us is no longer here we are within a community where we already know people. I think that will be comforting for either of us. But we hope that’s a long way in the future. We both still feel young!”
They concluded that: “After 37 years of marriage, we couldn’t be happier together and we’ve now found the perfect place for the next 37 years of marriage.”
My Future Living offers rental apartments in retirement developments throughout the UK. Apartments are available on an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy, which means people can stay as long as they wish, as long as they keep to the terms of their lease.
All developments benefit from landscaped gardens, a communal lounge to socialise in plus a 24-hour emergency alarm system in each apartment and an onsite manager on duty.
To find out more about renting a home in a retirement development in 2023 visit: www.myfutureliving.co.uk