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What is a retirement property? Everything you need to know

McCarthy Stone explains exactly what a retirement property is (and what it isn’t) to help you decide if a retirement home is right for you. You’ll be surprised!

Centennial Place in Knutsford
Property advice
Posted 11 December 2023
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What is a retirement home? 5 things to consider

Whether you’re making plans to retire, or thinking about downsizing to a more suitable home, your choice of retirement property is key. But what is a retirement property, exactly? The term covers a range of types of property, from independent living in a retirement bungalow to assisted living apartments within a retirement village. Retirement homes come with a range of benefits designed to give you peace of mind as well as a fulfilling, sociable and relaxing retirement. To find out if a retirement property is right for you, there are five things you should consider.

What does ‘retirement property’ mean?

A ‘retirement property’ refers to any home that’s been specially designed and built for people aged 60 years or over. Often, retirement properties are part of a wider development or retirement village with additional facilities and services to make life more pleasurable. This means you’ll be able to enjoy the comfort and privacy of your own retirement home with all the added benefits of a retirement community just outside your front door. Our retirement developments have a House Manager, as well as amenities, which can include anything and everything from communal lounges, maintained gardens and terraces to bistros, craft rooms and exercise suites. Because we carefully select the locations of our retirement villages you’re never far away from shops, restaurants, transport links and attractions either and can easily play a full part in the wider community.

Open plan retirement living apartment

What types of retirement properties are there?

Retirement properties come in all shapes and sizes — ranging from spacious one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom bungalows, cottages and coach houses. McCarthy Stone’s two most popular types of retirement properties are retirement apartments and retirement bungalows.

Retirement apartments

Our self-contained one or two-bedroom retirement apartments are easy to maintain with wide hallways and large living spaces that are infused in natural light, and a myriad of stylish features such as contemporary kitchens and fitted wardrobes, patios or walkout balconies – perfect for turning into a private green oasis.  With lifts to every floor, these apartments are always easy to access – and you’ll enjoy communal facilities like the large, maintained garden and the sociable lounge with Wi-Fi on your doorstep.

Retirement bungalows

Our retirement bungalows are designed to give you the floor space of a conventional house — without the stairs. Like our apartments, our bungalows are light, bright, easy to maintain and open plan for a seamless blend of style and practicality. Many have private gardens, parking and/or garages and although they usually don’t offer as many on-site amenities as our apartments, you’ll be surrounded by a community of similarly retired people.

Retirement living bungalow exterior

What are the common misconceptions about retirement properties?

Retirement properties have evolved greatly in recent years, but some misconceptions about retirement living remain — we tackle a few of them here.   

1. Retirement properties are ‘characterless’

Our retirement properties are newly built and contemporary but far from ‘characterless’. They are designed to be a place you can be proud to show off and call home. They also provide the perfect canvass for you to put your personal stamp on – how you decorate is up to you. The thoughtful design goes beyond the walls of your private property – from welcoming restaurants to ‘sky lounges’ our shared spaces are simply stunning.

2. Retirement properties come with ‘hidden’ costs

We aim to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the costs involved in living in our retirement properties and we will explain everything you can expect to pay clearly before you decide to move in. Our service charges are essential to paying for all the fantastic services we offer and, apart from the wages of House Managers and other on-site employees, most are provided by third parties. We use our buying power to negotiate the best deals on behalf of homeowners and tenants and discuss costs openly with them. For people who need an extra helping hand, it may interest you to know that our independent living care and support services are competitively priced when compared to the cost of care home.

Chef in a Retirement Living Plus bistro

3. Retirement properties are ‘one size fits all’

With our retirement homes there really is something for every individual personality. Not only do we offer different property types, in lots of different locations – coast, city and countryside - but we have a range of ways to move in – you can buy, rent, part buy, part rent or even take advantage of Shared Ownership. We also have two main types of developments: Retirement Living and Retirement Living PLUS with differing amenities and services.

Retirement Living

Retirement Living developments offer independent living for the over 60s —providing a stylish, secure and stress-free lifestyle in brilliant locations with a House Manager on hand to keep everything running smoothly and a packed calendar of (entirely optional) parties, events and clubs in the communal lounges and gardens.

Retirement Living PLUS

Our Retirement Living PLUS communities offer additional assisted living services for the over 70s. These include on-site bistros for delicious meals with friends and optional lifestyle support services which can provide everything from domestic cleaning and laundry to help with shopping and personal care. Amenities vary by individual development – some of these retirement developments offer wellness suites – for on-site hair and beauty services; exercise studios; hobby rooms or garden sheds with spaces for planting. See the individual developments for more information on what’s on offer.

Homeowner gardening at communal gardens at a McCarthy Stone development

Why are retirement properties cheaper?

Life in a McCarthy Stone retirement property brings loads of benefits - but many people don’t realise there are significant savings to be had too. Downsizing from a large period family house into one of our warm, energy-efficient retirement homes can mean substantial cost savings. These include lower energy bills and cheaper maintenance and running costs.

Where can I find a retirement property to suit my needs?

McCarthy Stone retirement properties are designed to facilitate senior living, which means that all our retirement properties come kitted out with essentials to make life easier – and to add reassurance – as we get older. Things like integrated fire and security alarms, an emergency 24-hour call system, camera door entry, slip-resistant bathroom floors, raised level plugs and much more, Added to that, our flexible options for moving in, including buying or renting, will help you find the best retirement home to suit your finances and lifestyle. Find the right retirement property right now.

More than just a ‘retirement property’

No matter where you choose to live in retirement, your local community will shape your experience. With coffee mornings, dance classes, birthday parties, theatre trips, summer barbeques and so much more, you’ll never be short of things to do in at a friendly McCarthy Stone retirement community. Read our homeowner stories and testimonials to find out more about life in our retirement villages

Got a question?

Read our FAQs, get in touch online or call us on 0800 201 4811 to speak to a friendly member of our team.


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