Retirement home rethink: Sarah Beeny highlights 'refreshing and exciting possibility'


Retirement home rethink: Sarah Beeny highlights 'refreshing and exciting possibility'

Gone are the days when over 55 is a time for some fluffy slippers and a pipe in the rocking chair in the corner.Thanks to a 207 percent rise in hou

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Gone are the days when over 55 is a time for some fluffy slippers and a pipe in the rocking chair in the corner.

Thanks to a 207 percent rise in house prices in the last 20 years the affluent young have now become the affluent old being asset rich and cash poor.

If you speak to this group of people there are various concerns they often have.

One such concern is giving up the family home they bought for two bob and a toffee apple, but which has been the foundation and grounding for their family who have invariably flown the nest.

Their children must work all hours God sends to pay for enormous mortgages they stand little chance of paying off.

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The next generation therefore have little time to come and stay in their former home and instead the retirement generation rattle around a home doing an endless list of chores and DIY “to do” lists, filling their days with doing things that they don’t really enjoy.

The other option has generally been to downsize, usually to a retirement home with hideous annual maintenance charges set by corporate companies with big bonus structures for their board and glossy brochures and ultimately little control for those now “in their care”.

But, here is a rather more refreshing and exciting possibility.

A group of 11 flats, all carved out of a 19 century former large village House, located the thriving village of Timsbury, complete with a couple of shops, pub, hairdressers, chemist etc.

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It’s four miles out of the popular city of Bath with theatres, shops and culture coming out of its ears with a regular bus service there to boot.

These flats are offered with a share of freehold, so that buyers are guaranteed no ground rents and other unexpected charges as they are their own landlords.

Similarly, the costs of running the site are kept to a minimum with no profits attached and a share in the control of what they choose to invest in or not.

The flats are totally self-contained but have use of a gym with a heated exercise swimming pool and a communal drawing room should they wish to entertain visitors in a more formal setting.

There is also a guest bedroom suite available for all the flats to book and share when they choose, or perhaps even all decide on a full time assistant for them to share if the time arises.

It’s a perfect blend between fully independent living and living in a hotel, allowing residents to downsize and release equity to spend on what they choose – from paying off a lump of their childrens mortgages to travelling the world, taking up hot air ballooning to travelling to see relatives and friends and being able to afford to stay in the local lovely hotel and invite them for a well-earned break.

The two things that have a high price tag now in the UK are square footage and time.

If you can release the square footage that is honestly never used and at the same time release time, this energy filled generation who have so much to share can get on with spending that time enjoying the fruits of their hard-earned labour.