Retiring in London
Life in London is unique. There’s a reason why the 1700s writer Samuel Johnson famously said, ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. That’s because all life is here – every nationality and culture, ever kind of food, ever imaginable experience, every conceivable thrill and diversion. And for a city, it’s remarkably green, not only thanks to the wonderful royal parks in its centre, but the multitude of open spaces in every outer borough too. It’s a city with no end of interesting places to visit and where there’s never such as thing has having nothing to do. If you’re approaching retirement or you’re already retired, then it’s worth considering what London can offer. It’s true that in retirement, the direction of travel is usually the opposite – people leave the capital and head to sleepy rural idylls or seaside resorts. But there have always been people who bucked that trend and either stayed put or actually moved to London to live out their days.
And London is a great place to spend your retirement years – a lot of people are now trading in their four-bed houses in smaller cities and towns and heading to the capital, downsizing to smaller but well-located luxury apartments, or a townhouses in a stylish areas including Chelsea and St. John’s Wood.
There is such stimulation in London – it’s one of the busiest cities in the world. It’s a foodie and fine-dining paradise, with some of the UK’s top restaurants and bars. The shopping districts in the city are the envy of most other capital cities. For theatre, there’s the world-famous West End where the world’s best acting talent treads the boards every night. But there’s also a proliferation of off-West End venues, so you never have to walk far for a fix. If culture is your thing, you have your pick of galleries, museums and historical properties. There’s so much to do in London – it’s an inexhaustible supply of fun and pleasure.
Why London Retirement is Changing
The idea of fleeting to the coast for the traditional seaside-town retirement is gradually coming under question as more people catch on to just how good a London retirement can be. It used to be that Londoners drifted to the South East or South West coasts (with Eastbourne known, rather drolly, as ‘God’s waiting room’). Now, perhaps more people realise that staying in the capital means access not only to the best entertainment but also the finest medical facilities and hospitals, the best transport links, and an abundance of gyms and swimming pools for staying fit well into dotage.
Of course, an issue that can’t be avoided is that money doesn’t go as far in London. But more and more developers are building specifically for downsizing retirees – there’s the Auriens residences in Chelsea, 56 one- and two-bedroom units which promotes a ‘wellness’ philosophy in the form of independent air supplies for each apartment, double the ventilation required to meet British standards and a system that filters out pollution from the air before it gets into the building.
Another company, Pegasus Life, formed in 2012, to help people downsize and simplify their lives in retirement, has facilities in Hampstead and Purley. The Hampstead facilities are mere minutes from the heath, with apartments designed precisely for mature people’s needs, including fitness (there’s a shared pool) and socialising.
Picking Your Ideal Property Type, House or Apartment
The first thing to consider is what sort of property you’re looking for. If you’re retiring to London, you might be leaving behind a four-bed detached house. This will no doubt give you plenty of money to invest in a London property, but you may not want a house this time.
You can find of beautiful luxury apartment complexes in London, both in established areas and new developments (see above), depending on whether your tastes run to classic or modern.
It’s always a good idea to get some professional help when you’re beginning to form a plan. If you’re comfortable with the internet then you can send your wish-list to various agents in London. They’ll put you into their system and will match you against their available properties. By doing this, they’ll be able to filter out the properties that don’t suit your criteria and save the ones that do.
Buy and Then Rent Out Your London Property
If you travel for business there’s an option to rent out your house or apartment short-term. The idea of it might sound daunting or even intrusive; it’s not for everyone. Fortunately, you can appoint someone to act on your behalf to maintain your property and deal with short-term guests.
Another advantage of using sites like AirBnb is having someone staying in your property while you’re away. It’s not unlike having a house-sitter who pays you, rather than the other way around. That way, you can use your property whenever you’re in London and rent it out when you leave.
Ward Thomas – London’s Prestige Removals Company
When the time is right, and you’re planning to relocate to London, booking Ward Thomas couldn’t be easier. We’re London’s prestige removals and storage company. From the first contact, we strive to build a picture of your precise needs so that we can provide the correct service for them.
The Ward Thomas team are dedicated and time-served professionals who take a great sense of pride in their work. We have all the latest equipment to ensure a smooth, straightforward moving process. If your move entails the transportation of valuable paintings or vintage grand pianos, we’ve got the expertise and personnel necessary. We can move large objects from tall buildings; in addition, we can move fragile porcelain vases and antique furniture, ensuring that everything arrives in perfect condition. Ward Thomas specialises in moving fine art, and we understand that certain items need special protective wrapping to ensure that nothing gets damaged.
Every job we undertake is guaranteed to have the Anthony Ward-Thomas seal of approval when we’re finished. No job is complete until you’re happy.