Retirement Living > What Is a Retirement Home ? Everything You Need to Know

What Is a Retirement Home ? Everything You Need to Know

What is a retirement home?
Nick Jones profile image
6/9/2022

What is a retirement home? Many people aren’t aware of this umbrella term which refers to a wide range of property types that aim to give retirees an enjoyable and relaxing post-work living experience (and one that caters to any additional care needs).

Whatever your circumstances, retirement homes can provide a safe, luxurious and comfortable environment for those in later life. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of retirement homes, the benefits and how much they cost.





In this article on retirement homes:

  1. What is a retirement home?
  2. Who can buy or rent a retirement home?
  3. What are the different types of retirement properties?
    1. Sheltered housing
    2. Retirement villages
    3. Assisted living
  4. What are the benefits of a retirement home?
  5. Buying or renting a retirement home - what’s the cost?



What is a Retirement Home?

Retirement homes are specifically designed for those aged over 55-60. The idea is that retirees are given a comfortable living experience through modern developments that are spacious yet also easily accessible.

Because these properties are often found in custom-built developments, they aim to bring retirees together in a supportive and like-minded community. Retirement homes will often boast luxury facilities and additional personal care options. These top-notch facilities could include on-site restaurants, cafes and health clubs.


What is a retirement home?


Who Can Buy or Rent a Retirement Property?

Retirement properties are available to people above a certain age. This is most commonly 60, but the market can also be aimed at over 50s and over 55s. Depending on what type of retirement property you’re interested in (more on these below), this can be a pretty expensive purchase/monthly rental cost so it isn’t for everyone.





What are the Different Types of Retirement Properties?


Sheltered Housing

Sheltered housing aims to help the elderly maintain an independent lifestyle while still having access to support if needed. Sheltered housing usually comes in the form of flats that have been specifically built for retirees. Unlike normal blocks of flats, sheltered housing will offer extra facilities for residents to enjoy, varying from large communal rooms to health clubs.

Although self-contained flats are the most common form of sheltered housing, some complexes will have bungalows as well. What all forms of sheltered housing have in common is that they’re run by a site manager who will be on hand to deal with any day-to-day concerns or issues that residents may have. 24-hour alarm systems will also be in place in case of emergencies.

Retirement Villages

Retirement villages are a relatively new form of retirement living. They’re similar to sheltered housing but differ through the types of property offered. Retirement villages are often a mix of houses, bungalows and apartments in a desirable village setting, rather than the blocks of flats that are associated with traditional sheltered housing.

These villages aim to provide a sense of community for residents through social events and private amenities like swimming pools, gyms, pubs and community halls. Most retirement villages will also offer some form of on-site support to help those with growing medical concerns.


Difference between retirement homes and retirement villages


Assisted Living

Assisted living is pretty similar to sheltered housing, with residents still able to live independently, despite their need for much more care and support.

Assisted living facilities (ALF) will normally have care staff or designated nurses onsite 24/7, giving those living within the complex the peace of mind that they’ll be looked after, should an issue or complication arise. These properties will also be fitted with alarm systems that are constantly monitored by staff.

Assisted living properties can vary from self-contained apartments to bungalows and small houses. Larger sites will naturally offer more facilities like shops, cafes and hairdressers within the complex.

Just like with sheltered housing and retirement villages, ALFs will often provide social activities for residents to take part in. Though optional, they’re still a great way to bring people together and allow everyone to enjoy each other’s company.





What are the Benefits of a Retirement Home?

It isn’t hard to see the appeal of retirement homes. Here are some of the benefits that help to further explain why they’re an increasingly popular option in the UK:

  • Properties that have been built specifically for your needs - Having a home that caters to your growing needs - whether this be mobility problems through conveniently laid out living spaces or on-site maintenance to help you take care of the garden - will go a long way to providing you with a seamless retirement experience

  • Your personal living space - The independence of a self-contained living space is understandably appealing to many. Some schemes even allow for redecoration so you can put your own creative mark on a room by decorating in any style you like

  • On-site facilities and managers - Having a heap of convenient services within spitting distance will make life much easier as you age. These facilities could include restaurants, cafes, gyms, swimming pools, a library or even a hairdresser! There’ll usually be a manager as well who will be responsible for catering to your day-to-day needs

  • Lots of social opportunities - It’s fairly common for retirement homes to put on social events to help residents meet one another. Popular activities include quizzes, book clubs and film nights. In general, retirement homes provide easy access to a supportive community of like-minded retirees, helping to ease any feelings of loneliness in the process


Retirement homes offer lots of social opportunities


  • Stress-removing services - A range of services - from gardening and window cleaning to general maintenance - means that you have very little upkeep to take care of and can instead kick back and relax

  • Added safety and comfort - There are plenty of features that have your safety in mind. Private door entry systems and modern fire alarms mean that retirees can feel secure in their home

  • Guest rooms - Having somewhere comfortable for your family and friends to stay is essential, especially if they have to travel a long way to get there

  • Pet-friendly - Though not always the case, many retirement living homes allow pets to move in with their owners. Here, providing advanced notice to the housing development will hugely boost your chances of getting approved




Buying or Renting a Retirement Home - What’s the Cost?

A UK directory of retirement home providers can be found through Housing Care.

Property prices will vary hugely, depending on location, size and what facilities are available. Generally though, retirement living properties tend to be 5-10% more expensive than their standard home counterparts.

Rightmove research from June 2021 shows that the average asking price for a new-build retirement home was £472,281, while the average asking price for a resale retirement property was £285,445.

Retirement homes usually come with additional fees as well, including a service charge, bills (gas, electricity, water, council tax, TV licence, broadband) and extra care if needed. This varies from village to village however, with some opting to cover these costs.






Retirement Living developments offer safe, secure and luxurious housing with retirees in mind. With Lottie, you can pick from several stylish retirement living options throughout the UK. Choose between 1 bed, 2 bed and 3 bed properties with varying levels of care and support available.

Check out the very best retirement living villages and homes that we have to offer!

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