Retirement home or ‘resort’?

[] A post-retirement second home is no longer ‘just a nice place to live’. Senior citizens now want to spend their sunset years in homes that amplify their quality of life

Retirement doesn’t have to be synonymous with ‘biding your time’. Senior citizens are now discovering the joys of retirement in second homes that offer several comforts and facilities.

You are reading: Retirement home or ‘resort’?

Take, for instance, Dharamvir Singh and Shobha Rani, senior citizens and residents of Delhi, who bought a second home in Haridwar some years ago. The place not only offers assisted-living services but also a facility for yoga and meditation. According to Dharamvir, “It is located near the Ganges. We had been longing to be close to nature and this place is an ideal retreat for us.”

Dharamvir and Shobha are among a growing section of the population who set aside a budget to make a retirement home a reality.

Three categories of second homes

Broadly, there are three categories of second homes:

  1. For investment purposes
  2. For self-use
  3. Purely as a retirement home.

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The third type is usually a little different from the other second homes. Yogesh Mehra, CEO & co-founder, YOLO Homes, says buyers today want comfortable, fully-facilitated homes, which amplify their quality of life after retirement.

“They do not wish to be burdened by maintenance and upkeep, and are choosing homes where all these functions are taken care of by facility management teams. Life after retirement is meant to be enjoyable, so they expect to find avenues of entertainment and relaxation within the project premises. Developers are now tying up with agencies that deliver these services to their customers,” shares Mehra.

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Assisted-living services

Many of these housing projects also offer assisted-living services, which is the most-preferred option for senior citizens. Shailesh Mishra, director, Silver Innings, an NGO that works for senior citizens, says mindsets have changed and seniors have begun to actively seek a ‘better life.’ “Now they want to stay in places that offer clubhouses, dining, activity halls, reading rooms, yoga homes, bill pay services, medical aid, movie theatres and swimming pools. They want to catch up on everything they missed in city life.”

Retirees who can afford it, prefer a farmhouse-type layout for their homes, which includes an open, green area with lots of plants and room for outdoor activities. Then there are the super-wealthy whose retirement home is usually a luxury villa or a farmhouse in prime locations that are far enough from the city but not too far.

Lower-income groups invest in second homes

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Families in the lower income group too are investing in second homes, in 1-BHK and 2-BHK flats, in such locations. They are also looking for a good return on investment value for their property because if they don’t plan to move in any time soon, they can rent it in the meantime. Also, they can leverage it for reverse mortgage if strapped for money after retirement.

Ravi Gurav, a member of the MCHI, says most second home buyers are aged between 45 and 55. This suggests that couples are buying 10 to 15 years before retirement. As a result, they are able to raise a loan for the property and repay it before they move in.” Also, if the property is bought from a developer who also offers rent and leasing services, one need not worry about either finding tenants or maintenance of the property.

Locations like Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Goa, Nashik, Karjat, Lonavala, Alibag, Boisar, Palghar and Wada are fast emerging as second home destinations. In Delhi, buyers are investing in retirement homes in Haridwar, Rishikesh, Vrindavan, Dehradun, Chandigarh and the outskirts of Nainital.

These locations have good infrastructure, are well-connected, blessed with greenery and offer a peaceful environment.

Affordable second homes in such locations start at Rs 40-45 lakhs.

The market for post-retirement homes

  • Second homes as a retirement option is a growing trend.
  • Buyers are looking for homes that focus on quality of life post-retirement.
  • Lower-income buyers are jumping onto the retirement-home bandwagon.
  • Buyers usually invest when aged between 45 and 55.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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