Everybody needs good neighbours
What would you sacrifice to ensure you have great neighbours nearby in later life? A second bedroom, perhaps, or a great view? Having good friends living in the same place you do could be the key to a happy retirement.
In order to find the kindred spirits you’d like to bump into every day, you must meet as many owners as you can when viewing a retirement property. When Wendy Osburn, 76, went to visit Wadswick Green, a retirement village near Bath in Wiltshire, it was a chance meeting with widow Marilyn McGee that convinced her it would be the right move.
“We started chatting and learned that we both grew up in the Bromley area in Kent, so we had a lot to talk about from the start,” says Wendy.
“It wasn’t the easiest decision for me to move as I still look after my husband who suffers from dementia, and lives in a care home not too far from here. Marilyn’s company has really helped me find my feet within the community and our little adventures help to take my mind off things.”
A survey by Churchill Retirement and Onepoll revealed that older people want to be more neighbourly, with 90 per cent of over-55s saying they would like to get to know their neighbours better, compared with 71 per cent of 18-24 year-olds. Fewer than half of the younger people questioned said they exchanged Christmas cards with those living next door, compared with 80 per cent of the over-55s.
Separate research from Mayfield villages, which is building a development in Watford, discovered that fewer than a third of millennials know their neighbour’s full name, compared with two thirds of over-55s.
Trust seems to increase with age too, with twice as many over-55s likely to leave a spare set of keys with their neighbour than 18-34 year-olds, rising
Alfred Lodge in Bridport, Dorset, left and main. Gittisham Hill Park, below right