Retirement villages let you lock up and leave

Taking the lead from the US, developments are springing up around the country - though they aren't a budget option.

For many expats, there are compelling reasons to return to their homeland when they get older. While the UK may not have the best weather, it does score highly on other things such as free health care and proximity to family and friends. Add an idyllic countryside, vibrant cities and the comfort of a familiar way of life and you can see why many choose home when they are older.

But if you are thinking about returning to the UK after living abroad, have you thought about what sort of home will suit you?

Do you want to start life back in the UK in a mixed street of all ages: you might not welcome the noise of next door's children if you're trying to relax in your garden.

At the other extreme, do you want an apartment in a seaside town full of elderly people that doesn't offer the active, sophisticated lifestyle you've got used to as an expat?

One alternative is a retirement village. These are developments, often in beautiful parts of the country, where homes are restricted to those aged, usually, 55 and over. On some developments residents get access to an onsite club, gym and leisure centre. Some offer the option of care in your home if you become less able when older. Given these added extras, buying in a retirement village is seldom a budget option – service charges could easily come to several thousand pounds a year, depending on the facilities.

If you don't want to move to the UK full time but want a base here, a property in a retirement village could be an easy option: you can lock up and leave, knowing your home is safe and secure.

Inspired Villages has two villages under development that offer a mix of apartments for independent living or for those needing assistance in day to day living. They are in Warwick and Tattenhall and prices range from £270,000 to £516,000.

James Cobb of Inspired Villages said: "These villages appeal greatly to those who enjoy travel and can lock up and go with the peace of mind that their property is secure. The personal care we can provide within the village also appeals to those who either have a care need or feel secure in the knowledge that it is there for the future."

He added: "I have lived abroad for many years and really understand expat life. I have seen retirement villages in the US, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and we are using 20 years of experience to create these two new villages. Our residents are generally worldly people who combine to create a fascinating, vibrant community who see retirement as a time to learn and experience new things."

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