Retirement homes born in the USA
The American retiree lives in a different world to his UK counterpart. If he owns a home in The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, his daily chore will be deciding which of the 65 swimming pools to choose from, and which of the 46 nearby golf courses.
And instead of settling down to an episode of Midsomer Murders after dark, he may be line dancing in the village square until midnight, or growing old disgracefully, cruising the high street with his chums on a pimped-up Harley-Davidson.
Many age-restricted communities, as they are called in the States, are the size of small cities, covering several square miles and bursting with entertainment centres, sports complexes and shopping emporia. Some even have their own police forces, ambulance teams, churches and Walmarts; census data show that The Villages is one of the fastest-growing cities in America.
There is a huge gulf between Britain and America when it comes to retirement living. According to Savills, about one in 200 people aged over 65 live in retirement homes in the UK, compared to about one in 18 in the US. This disparity is partly due to the fact that over the pond there is more of a culture of retirement villages, and they have been building them for a lot longer: one of the earliest, vast, campus-style villages was built in Arizona in 1960.
British developer Elysian Residences
Audley’s Redwood development in Bristol, where prices start from £399,995