Retiring to the Country

Many urban dwellers dream of retiring to the country. To buy their dream home; in a coastal spot maybe, where a short stroll can take you to sea and sand and lung fulls of wonderful sea air; or in a quintessentially English village with a friendly village pub, traditional shops and a local community that welcomes newcomers of all ages.

In retirement the endless grind of living and working in a city of 10 million or so souls can be put completely behind you. If, as part of your retirement plans you are downsizing to release some usable equity, the benefits seriously add up. Moving out, or further out of London could mean releasing considerable equity. Equity to support your retirement living expenses giving you financial security and peace of mind. But, retirement means very different things to different people.

Many people will retire, perhaps early, from what has been their primary career.

senior sailorSome will feel that there is plenty more to give. Moving out of London will provide capital to launch a new business. You may simply be ready for a change of pace. We hear of City workers who throw it all in and farm organic herbs, advertising executives who write poetry, architects who open a gastro pub, teachers with a farm shop. More often than not it is the gains made on their London property that fuel this new venture or certainly holds things together through start-up.

Others will have plans on a smaller scale.

Senior ArtistPerhaps simply time and space to open that box of watercolours or to potter in the garden. Time and space can be found in the country, and much more besides.

Keeping healthy and active is key to a successful retirement wherever you live, and this can be achieved to the full in the countryside. Cycling, jogging, golf, tennis, swimming, riding can be so easily and pleasantly be accomplished out of London. Golf clubs abound, either pay-and-play, debenture, or private members.  Seniors sessions are often run and offer good discounts for off-peak tee times. If your nearest village does not have tennis courts or a squash club, then one nearby certainly will do. 

senior joggers

You won't be far from a country hotel offering leisure and gym membership to residents in the vicinity who can come and enjoy their top class facilities along with holidaying guests, often at very good rates. If you are a team player, most clubs have a ‘veterans’ team and anyone willing to share their skills and experience will be most welcome coaching the youngsters. A huge array of sports are available in the home counties, from curling to land yachting, rock climbing to trout fishing. Perhaps you might simply want somewhere where you can take a good walk with pleasing views and a nice cup of tea at the end of it.

Senior lady gardnerGardening is a popular pastime and the purchase of a retirement home with a good sized garden may well be your dream. You will find small nursery growers where locally raised plants that will do well in your garden soil, can be sourced. There are horticultural societies running plant exchanges, flower shows and light hearted competitions, and plenty of the mega garden centres selling everything you could possibly need. Your country home may well have the space for garages, a workshop, artist’s studio ... You are limited only by your desires.

In country villages there is a true traditional sense and feeling for the community which is sorely lacking in huge parts of the City and major towns. Those who have never had the time for local politics during their working lives may now wish to become involved. If this appeals, you will find that Parish Councils and Church or Community groups are very receptive to new faces.

For some, retirement may mean time to wind down.

Seniors on bench

Perhaps a more manageable home and an easily maintained garden. There are several options available to you whether you are on your own or in a couple. Many parts have had recent or new developments of homes specifically for older citizens. These tend to be in the smaller towns or village centres where community and facilities are on the doorstep. They have been thoughtfully and attractively designed and prove very popular. In other places large country mansions have been divided and re-configured into portions or apartments. Here graceful living can be achieved on a manageable scale, often with glorious communal grounds, all managed and nurtured for the residents.

Healthcare is obviously an important issue for those of a retirement age and older and it is quite natural to need reassurance that a move to the country will be accompanied by access to decent health care. All country towns have health centres that focus on serving the community. If you move to the country you will discover that it is possible to have a regular and friendly doctor in a small surgery with helpful support staff and a practice nurse you can build a relationship with.

Indeed it is likely that the friendliness of the people and communities in the country areas will be the biggest life enhancing change you will make.