Pen­sion­ers find a place in the sun

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

pool, bar, café and all the ac­tiv­i­ties on a pay-as-you-use ba­sis. “There is also a pri­vate clinic on-site which op­er­ates like a friendly society and is sub­sidised by the com­mu­nity,” says Gil.

Within an hour of ar­riv­ing in the warm Jan­uary sun­shine, Adam was sur­rounded by wel­com­ing res­i­dents. A ukulele group was strum­ming by the pool, some peo­ple were play­ing Scrabble and oth­ers dozed un­der para­sols. As he went to prac­tise some tai chi ex­er­cises, some res­i­dents asked if they could join him. “By Sun­day I had 40 peo­ple fol­low­ing my moves on the beach,” he says. “It’s a place run by the res­i­dents who share their skill sets. I ran a writ­ing work­shop when I was there one week. Ev­ery­one re­ally looks af­ter the place too; some chaps even put an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in the gar­den.”

Sun Park, which is a short walk from the beach, has its own gro­cery store, and a no­tice­board with a list of all the ac­tiv­i­ties. “One woman posted a re­quest for some­one to join her for din­ner at the lo­cal Chi­nese res­tau­rant and 20 peo­ple turned up,” Adam adds. “Peo­ple come for the ethos: friend­li­ness and a sum­mer camp at­mos­phere. Some bring their lap­tops and work here, and never leave.”

Churchill Re­tire­ment of­fers dis­counted breaks so its prop­erty own­ers can split their re­tire­ment be­tween Sun Park and the UK. Other Bri­tish re­tire­ment de­vel­op­ers are form­ing ties with over­seas coun­ter­parts, too. Gir­lings, the rental spe­cial­ist, has part­nered with Al­garve Se­nior Liv­ing, which of­fers rental prop­er­ties in self-con­tained com­mu­ni­ties in Lis­bon and the Al­garve. “Bri­tons are pre­fer­ring to rent long-term be­fore de­cid­ing on where to buy while there is such in­se­cu­rity over Brexit,” says Luis da Silva, its founder. “The en­tire Al­garve is favoured by Brits, al­though there is a dis­tinct bias to­wards the west of Faro.” The stand­outs for re­tirees are La­gos, Praia da Luz and Alvor, all of which have “a Bri­tish ex­pat com­mu­nity of sorts”, and Por­timão (home to the UK con­sulate) for those who pre­fer big­ger cities.

Since Por­tu­gal’s 2009 launch of its non-ha­bit­ual res­i­dents scheme, which of­fers a tax ex­emp­tion from pen­sions if you be­come res­i­dent for 10 years, it has at­tracted a grow­ing num­ber of retired Bri­tons. “Roughly 60,000 Bri­tish peo­ple are cur­rently liv­ing in Por­tu­gal, and while those re­lo­cat­ing for work tend to be in the two main cities, Lis­bon and Porto, re­tirees tend to head for the Al­garve,” says Chris White, di­rec­tor at Hamp­tons In­ter­na­tional in Por­tu­gal.

Monte da Pal­h­agueira was one of the first re­tire­ment vil­lages built in the Al­garve. The 22-acre de­vel­op­ment in the hills above Faro has its own church, res­tau­rant and 20-room care home. For­merly a farm­house and sta­bles, it was con­verted into 33 bun­ga­lows and vil­las by its Bri­tish owner 26 years ago. Cliff Richard opened the vil­lage and in 2007 ra­dio pre­sen­ter Chris Evans mar­ried his third wife, Natasha Shish­ma­nian, in the church.

Own­er­ship at Pal­h­agueira is by means of a loan and ac­com­mo­da­tion agree­ment recog­nised in the UK and Por­tu­gal. Buy­ers pay a lump sum that is re­funded when they leave or die; this elim­i­nates es­tate agent and le­gal fees, Por­tuguese trans­fer tax, stamp duty and no­tary fees. A two-bed­room bun­ga­low villa with a sun ter­race, gar­den and garage is avail­able for £220,000.

Spain, France and Florida still top the re­tire­ment leader­board, ac­cord­ing to Si­mon Conn, an over­seas mort­gage finance spe­cial­ist, but Thai­land and Turkey are ris­ing hotspots, along with Cape Verde and Dubai. “Wher­ever you go, you do need to be care­ful if you are buy­ing a re­pos­ses­sion or an apart­ment,” he cau­tions. “There can be prob­lems with own­er­ship and il­le­gal builds. Check ev­ery­thing with an independent lawyer and watch out for spe- cial clauses.” Conn has found that more re­tirees are tak­ing small mort­gages to fill the short­fall be­cause of cur­rency ex­change rates, but there is more flex­i­bil­ity now, with some lenders loan­ing up to the age of 75.

Sue and Rob Col­dray popped over to the Ya­likavak penin­sula in Turkey for a cou­ple of days “just to look around” and ended up buy­ing a villa with sea views, a pool and four en suite bed­rooms in an en­clave of 10 new builds. “I can’t be­lieve what we have done,” says Sue, 52, still stunned a week af­ter re­turn­ing to the UK. Espe­cially since she and Rob, 54, al­ready own a four-

One of 12 eightbed­room vil­las near Ya­likavak, Turkey, main; Mon­tAzure in Phuket, be­low and top, will be home to Ka­mala Se­nior Liv­ing vil­lage

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