Last week I wrote about the option many home owning baby boomers have to cash in the equity accumulated in their house over the years and secure themselves a smaller rented home. Thereby releasing cash to buy themselves a better lifestyle in retirement.
There is an alternative to this for people who have the good fortune to live in places like London where property values have gone through the roof over the last forty years. People who moved into modest houses when they first started out and now find themselves as new property millionaires. They are opening up a new market in luxury retirement housing and investors are emerging to fund this growth opportunity.
One of the latest luxury examples, which opens this year, is a retirement community called Battersea Place in Central London. It comprises spacious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, with a range of communal facilities including a restaurant, cafe bar, a billiard room (snooker must be too down market),lounge, cinema, hairdresser, swimming pool and spa and a guest apartment. The support services offer a concierge, housekeeping, domiciliary care, a nursing suite and even a chauffeur driven car.
It is all the things offered in the ExtraCare Charitable Trust villages (except for the chauffeur driven limmo!), but a lot more expensive.
One bedroom studio flats start at £650,000; two bedroom apartments cost £800,000 and penthouse suites with 3 bedrooms cost £2.95m.
It does not stop there. Service charges are £12,000 a year to live there and extra if you need care. Furthermore when you move out or die, you or your estate has to pay 20% of the original purchase price in “deferred payments” plus 50% of the equity growth in your property.
This is only an option for people with considerable assets. It certainly gaurantees a luxury lifestyle and also a paupers funeral . Only for the lucky few.
There are more slightly cheaper options which I will talk about in my next blog.