We all dream of retirement; no work and more freedom.  But have you considered the type of home you will be in when you retire?  You may not be aware of the options available to you (or someone close to you). So, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the different types of retirement property for sale and retirement property for rent.

In particular, the definitions of sheltered housing, sheltered accommodation and warden assisted housing. And finally, who is entitled to sheltered housing and retirement property.

Over 50’s, Over 55’s and Over 60’s property to buy or rent

Put simply, retirement property is property available to people of a certain age.  This is usually age 60 or over, but you can find property marketed for over 50s or the over 55s.  These properties are intended for people who can live independently, but they might want to live near people of a similar age.  The reason an age is put on the property is because the property is in a designated community for ‘older people’.

There are various types of homes available for each age range.  These can be flats, bungalows or houses available to buy or to rent.

One way to buy property for the over 55s  is through the Older People’s Shared Ownership scheme (OPSO).  This works in the same way as the standard shared ownership scheme.  You part buy, part rent a property from a housing association.  The key difference is that you cannot buy more than a 75% share of the property.  However, once you do own 75% you do not have to pay rent on the remaining 25%.  This is a great option for those looking to downsize or who want to live in a particular location but cannot afford to buy outright.

If you want to rent a property, some property websites, such as MovingSoon, will allow you to search for retirement properties exclusively.  There are retirement properties to rent with no deposit available too. Most of these are offered by housing associations who will help to find you an affordable retirement home.

The definition of sheltered accommodation

There can be some confusion about sheltered accommodation and what it means.  There is also some confusion between sheltered and supported accommodation.

Sheltered accommodation is intended for older people who want to maintain an independent lifestyle but would like access to support if needed.  So what is supported housing then?  Actually, both are very similar.  The key difference is that supported housing is not just for older people. It is available to people of varying abilities who may need support to live alone.

One method of support for sheltered and supported housing arrangements is an on-site warden.  You may have heard of warden assisted housing and this is simply another phrase for sheltered or supported housing.

Who is entitled to sheltered housing and how much does sheltered housing cost?

Eligibility and cost will depend on the sheltered housing provider.  The sheltered accommodation offered by housing associations is often more affordable and will not require a deposit.  However ,they will have their own eligibility criteria and you will need to check the age that the property is targeted for.

What does extra care housing mean?

This is a very different environment to those mentioned above.  Extra care housing provides 24 hour care and facilities for residents.  It will include facilities, such as staff and carers around the clock, daily meals and snacks and planned activities for residents to take part in.

There are communal areas and often onsite services available such as hairdressers and beauticians.

Whilst visitors can generally visit whenever they like, residents may not be able to leave without supervision or an agreed chaperone. This will depend on the health and well being of the resident and the particular care home they are in.

How to find retirement property near me?

Once you have an idea of which type of retirement property you need, you can start a search with an online property website.  It is best to choose a website which specialises in the various types of retirement property for sale and retirement property for rent available.

We hope we’ve answered all your questions and wish you all the best in finding your happy retirement home!