L51: Retirement Communities

Elderly living in specialised accommodation including retirement homes, villages and complexes

Type of Vintage Value consisting of 0.93% of households and 0.58% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 66+
  • Household income less than £15k
  • No children
  • Rented flat
  • Very low level of household technology

Key Features

  • Retired singles
  • Pre-war generation
  • 1 bed purpose built flats
  • University degrees
  • Very low-tech households
  • Have wills


Retirement Communities are elderly people living in homes designed for later-life needs. These include retirement villages where units are individually owned but central amenities provide services and opportunities to socialise, retirement homes where people rent individual rooms, and complexes of specialised housing where a warden may be available for additional support.

People tend to move to these homes when their needs become more apparent – some have moved recently, others have been settled in their accommodation for some years. Many residents are in their eighties and nineties as well as some in their seventies. Most are living alone.

More than half own their property, the others rent either from private or social owners. Many units consist of purpose-built flats that are compact in size with one or two bedrooms. While properties are valued below the national average, they can be expensive for their size due to the sought-after environment and services provided. They are found in accessible locations in suburbs and towns and are over-represented in seaside resorts.

These elders have retirement incomes that are adequate for their daily needs and many pensions include an element from private or occupational schemes. Some residents also have reasonable savings, perhaps from the sale of a family home.

Some are less confident with new technology and use the internet less, but others occasionally make purchases online such as books or health products. Pay-as-you-go mobiles are popular. Many watch a fair amount of television and record their favourite programmes.