Retirement homes should be near places of work, recreationBy Tessa R. Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
(Third in a series)
Do retirees constantly need to be reminded of their mortality, such that the primary consideration for a so-called ideal location for them would have to be near advanced medical facilities? Is it just about giving them space and wide alleys to allow for wheelchairs and hospital beds? Do they have to spend their sunset years confined in elderly-friendly structures and facilities?
Not necessarily, says the experts. According to them, retirees are really looking for something more. Rather than being confined in places that limit their movements, retirees actually look for places where they can grow, move a lot, study and maybe even pursue another career, but on a healthier and less stressful setting.
Taking all this into consideration, these locations should be:
1.) Near places of entertainment and exercise. National Real Estate Association chairman Alejandro S. Mañalac said that aside from a healthy environment free from noise and air pollution, it should also be near places of entertainment and exercise. This constitutes an additional requirement to the standards set by the Philippine Retirement Authority, which includes specific designs of retirement homes, and proximity to reputable hospitals with adequate and modern medical facilities.
2.) Near recreational, retail facilities. Claro DG Cordero Jr., head of research, consulting and valuation of Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, included recreational and retail facilities, and the availability of limited employment as musts for retiree locations. He also included the presence and availability of superior and advanced health-related facilities, highly developed infrastructure (which are well-connected to major cities through direct flights) and telecommunications facilities and reliable supply of utilities (water and electricity).
3.) Accessible to central locations like airports, opportunities for work. Paul Vincent Chua, Colliers International’s associate director for valuation and advisory services and the head of consultancy and research, reiterated these requirements. He also added that weather or climate should also be taken into consideration.
4.) Conducive for entrepreneurial pursuits. This was highlighted by Enrique M. Soriano III, Ateneo program director for real estate and senior adviser for Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory. Soriano was also the former marketing committee chairman of the Philippine Retirement Inc. (the private counterpart of the Philippine Retirement Authority).
5.) Built with culture and entertainment in mind. The presence of cultural shows/exhibits and entertainment (such as museums, shopping and club facilities) should help make retirees feel a sense of community, according to Soriano.
6.) Accessible to outdoor recreation, from golf to walking/hiking. Property experts all agree that these features are indispensable for retirees’ locations. But coupled with these should be the focus on safety—including personal and property safety, and making the retirees feel generally secure.
7.) Education-minded. Having colleges or universities nearby would be a big boost should retirees seek continuing education. Add to that the presence of good high schools, too, as many baby boomers who have retired may still have teens in their households.
8.) Easy to get around in. Public transportation, traffic and access to important institutions and locations must all be retiree-friendly.
Soriano cited additional criteria that would be applicable to mid-range class retirees:
Affordable housing. Retirees in this economic class would be searching for places to retire that would generally be in the P1.8-million price range.
“Many cities have costs on par with or below the average mid to up market price of P5 million to P12 million or lot prices ranging from P5,000/sqm for mid-level developments to P22,000/sqm for the premium village development,” Soriano disclosed.
Plentiful leisure activities. Lots of options to hang around in, such as shopping malls.
Short commute time. This is for retirees looking for retirement jobs.
Good healthcare access. “What are actually missing here are assisted living facilities for the geriatric market with ages ranging from 75 onward,” Soriano said.
Two weeks ago, this series started discussing about how the elderly population has been steadily increasing globally and locally. There has been discernible growth in the retirement sector for the last several years. Elderly spending, particularly on the property sector, has been on the rise, fueled mostly by maturing life savings and retirement benefits. But the retirement demographic doesn’t even involve merely the elderly. There have been also younger individuals who plan to retire soon and invest in properties at the same time.
Soriano said: “In 20 years, the Philippines is expected to shift from the current triangle of Gen X and Y-dominant population to a mid-heavy 50 and older population. In this lifetime, we will see the formation of a belly-shaped population,” Soriano quipped.
So, where are these ideal places in the Philippines to retire in, and why? E-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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