People in the United States and England often see life a little differently. But one thing that we do have in common is that we are all getting older!
In Britain, The Economist recently said that the number of people over 85 is expected to double by 2030. In the United States, it is reported that today there are more than 35 million people over 60. In a past article we discussed how the definition of “retirement” is changing dramatically as a new (and large) generation of Baby Boomers have begun to reach retirement age.
As a result, new retirement homes and retirement communities will offer new options, shaped by the cultural and individual styles of today’s new “retirees.” In both countries, unique communities for people over 65 are sprouting up everywhere. In typical independent Boomer style, there is wonderful diversity of options in how people can choose to live in retirement.
Let’s look at this interesting trend and see how it is playing out in both the United States and England.
Battersea Place in London is what is being called a “Life Care Residence” designed exclusively for people over 60. These are independent luxury apartments located in up market parts of the city, starting at £400,000.
The complex will feature a restaurant, cinema room, billiards room, gym and swimming pool. In addition they will offer an attached care home for the entire spectrum of aging needs. Similar facilities are also being built in Australia and New Zealand.
Basically Life Care Residences offer luxury accommodation with security and peace of mind. Their manta is “relax and retire in style.”
In the United States the focus is a little different. In Florida, The Villages is a senior retirement community that proudly calls itself a “Retirement Village.” Their tagline is “creating a retirement community where people’s dreams can come true.” Unlike their more subdued British counterpart, the focus is on independent fun living and encourages its residents to be a kid again.
The Villages puts a lot of emphasis on activities like golf, recreation, shopping and dining. They offer onsite medical care and other professional services, but rather than dwelling on the physical limitations of aging, The Villages philosophy is to encourage people to focus on all the fun they will have instead of the nursing care that they might eventually need as they get older.
Residents are encouraged to come down from their individual balconies and make friends and socialize. Happiness and community is their goal as opposed to comfort and independence – The Villages serves as a kind of “planned community” for retirees.
Women in the Sixty and Me Community are located all over the world, but these two choices really do set the tone for the exciting time we have ahead in choosing where we want to live after we retire – if we can afford it of course.
For me, my ideal retirement accommodations are somewhere in the middle. I love having an independent space along with little luxuries and convenience, but I also enjoy having friends to socialize with. So I think that I will create my own model and call it a Lifestyle Village!
Which one of these two retirement living options appeals to you most? What would you call your ideal place to retire? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.