One trend that is set to gather pace in the 2020s is retirement complexes and village living for the over 55s. There are various social reasons behind the trend which include;
Difficulty in accessing healthcare in areas where the population has increased due to migration
High levels of crime in previously safe towns and cities
Gated & CCTV monitored complexes deter many vandals, doorstep scammers and opportunistic thieves
Need to downsize from a family home to an apartment or smaller 2-bedroom house
Freedom to travel by car without paying high parking and ULEZ emissions charges
There is a huge opportunity here for insurers and brokers, as people reset their lives. New Life and healthcare insurance plans, new PAYG car insurance, e-bikes, mobility scooters and travel cover that includes pre-existing conditions. Here’s some news from L&G which shows the lvel of investment in retirement villages;
Legal & General announces the launch of its part-exchange ‘Home Purchasing Service’ (HPS), now being rolled out across its Inspired Villages retirement communities. As Inspired Villages looks to facilitate a stress-free home buying process for its customers, the new HPS, which began being trialled in Q4 2020, has already received notable interest and results.
Potential residents using the HPS will see their property valued by three independent estate agents, with Legal & General offering a guaranteed cash sale at 95% of fair market value*. Current sales using the HPS have reduced exchange times from an average of 6 months to just 4 weeks, with negotiable move in dates.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on where people live and the communities around them, particularly the vulnerable and those in later life. As people now choose to make important lifestyle changes, the HPS has been launched by Legal & General and Inspired Villages to smooth some of the stress of moving and being part of a chain sale process. According to data from Quick Move Now, one in four sales fell through before completion in 2019.
A survey from Which? also highlighted anxiety related to moving home, which was rated the second most stressful life event, after divorce, by respondents. This new policy aims to remove the burden of selling a home on the open market; by offering an attractive, stress-free and faster option for those wanting – or needing – to move into a well-run retirement community. For those in later years, trapped in homes which are no longer safe or fit-for-purpose, the accelerated process could be critical to their long-term wellbeing.
IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE
Due to age-appropriate design, wellness facilities and services which enable quality of life, studies have shown that living in a retirement community leads to a 46% decrease in the number of planned GP visits and retirement village residents experience a 31% decrease in planned hospital admissions. As pressure on the NHS reaches critical levels, with 7,000 fewer beds available in England, Legal & General’s HPS policy should also help alleviate pressure on the health service as it looks to speed up the moving process to its communities which offer residents access to on-site care, as and when required.
Inspired Villages, established by Legal & General in 2017, is building and operating retirement communities that enable their residents to live healthier, happier, safer, and more independent and active lives. The latest policy is part of its ambitious expansion programme for Inspired Villages, broadening its existing offering which already includes a generous move-in package and a rental option which was launch in 2020.
Seeing significant growth since its foundation, Inspired Villages currently operates six later living communities across the UK and is set to add to the portfolio with a further 2,500 homes over the next six years. Its seventh village, Ledian Gardens in Kent is set to open in 2021. Through facilitating socially distanced physical and social activities, Inspired Villages has worked to help its communities through the pandemic, putting shielding in place to protect its residents, whilst organising online and outdoor exercise classes and socials, such as balcony bingo and G&Ts, to support mental wellbeing.