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Alternative lifestyle for retirement

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The idea for an individual or couple renting a home for their retirement and seeking facilities of a regular home, including a maid, visiting doctors (on-call), a car with a driver, is an innovative facility that is most welcomed.

One reader informed me that he had a freehold unit worth at least €400,000 ready to sell.

Based on our proposal for 15-year life expectancy, he calculated that he would need no more than €100,000 plus living expenses, plus another €100,000 for other expenses.

Considering his pension and the cost of maintaining the property and otherwise cost of living, he would be left with €200,000 to spend where needed and feel financially comfortable.

Others wrote in to say their ageing parent could ideally live in a high-class, well-organised retirement home since they live on their own with little company and few things to do.

My proposal, which is nothing new overseas and an ordinary way of living in the more affluent European countries, and the US, makes for a sound financial proposal considering that existing retirement homes operate with the basic requirements of the aged, could cost €1,500/p.m. having a single at best or a double bedroom.

This is not the ‘quality of life’ that the pensioners’ market requires for the rest of their life.

At present, children regrettably have no time for their parents, with a good percentage of the over 60s having health problems.

It is also a fact that people over 70-75 do not want to live in an empty house of 3-4 bedrooms, a large garden or swimming pool, which needs time and money to maintain, especially those which need extensive annual running costs.

A reader from Finland wrote to me saying he gets €2,000 p.m. subsidy to live in an old peoples’ home and he thought he would like to live in sunny Cyprus, on a constant holiday and at a lower cost.

If we look at the US quality of retirement homes, such establishments are also used from younger ages, e.g. 50 years old, either single or as a couple.

I have recorded the basic requirements which will be useful for developers and investors to note:

  • A minimum of 30 units to create a certain standard of living to create a community and companionship.
  • One or two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and for the more affluent/demanding plus a maid’s bedroom.
  • A gated community with free entrance for the residents, whereas the administration requires a permit for visitors.
  • The project must have a proper kitchen and a small snack bar with regulated prices by the administration, whereas residents are allowed to prepare some light or small meals within their own homes.
  • Such a project should be near the beach or urban areas offering shopping facilities.
  • All units to have modern facilities such as the internet.
  • External swimming pool (and for the more affluent, an internal/heated pool).
  • On-site administration, which can organise joint activities and excursions for the residents.
  • Cleaning and laundry service, taxi (and private cars), and equipment maintenance to be provided.
  • There is a common area for gathering or meeting place, for birthdays and community get together over Easter and Christmas.
  • Purchase of a unit (say at €200,000) to be paid in advance and, depending on the facilities provided, another €100 p.m./person and for at least 15 years (the price of €200,000 to vary depending on the lease period). If anyone wants to depart, they could cash in the remaining period for a resale and similarly for those who want to extend the period to be charged more, whereas vacant periods for the residents to let out.

These figures are just an indication, but this lifestyle for senior citizens is an alternative.

It will appeal to locals and foreign nationals and provide business opportunities for developers, hoteliers, and services providers, contributing to the local economy.