Platinum Generation

Latest research from Strutt & Parker and Octopus Healthcare reveals four key insights into retirement accommodation:

  • 73% of respondents have no plans in place for retirement accommodation or their care provision in later life;
  • 42% believe there is a lack of suitable properties in the UK to downsize into;
  • 41% would like a six-month trial before permanently moving into a retirement community;
  • 17% would consider living in a professionally managed rental product, in other words a Build to Rent model.

The research shows that there is a clear need for a new breed of retirement communities in the UK. Interestingly, it identifies six distinct Platinum Generation ‘tribes’ of older people in the UK. They are:

  • Blitz Kidz – Aged over 70, Blitz Kidz tend to be single (possibly widowed or divorced), without access to private pensions or income from investments, and are looking for a rental retirement product. They tend to be a lifelong renters, but if they currently own their own home they are not likely to benefit from a large equity release when the property is sold. This tribe holds traditional values and will often have a ‘make-do-and-mend’ approach.
  • Peter Pans – Peter Pans are aged 60-65 and ‘kept up with the Joneses’ when they were working, but realise retiring from high-income jobs will restrict their accustomed lifestyle. While they have private pensions and investments, these are unlikely to fully fund their retirement, especially as they have a desire to help their children and grandchildren financially.
  • Sundowners – Likely to be aged over 65, this tribe are probably retired but enjoyed a high household income while working and now have income from both pensions and investments. They also own their home outright. They have enjoyed spending on goods, services and family members but haven’t planned for their housing and care provision in retirement.
  • Instagrammas – The Instagrammas (and Instagrampas) are socially outgoing and health conscious, not just concerning food but also when it comes to physical and mental fitness. They are attracted to technology and its benefits and would be considered early adopters for their cohort.
  • Savvy Shrinkers – Aged over 70, this tribe are the true downsizers. They are practical, constantly in a state of decluttering and have always planned to move to appropriately sized accommodation as their circumstances change.
  • Escalators – Likely to be single individuals, Escalators are over the age of 75 and seek a retirement housing solution because of the services that it can offer. Whether it is weekly help with a grocery shop, or more personal needs, members of this group are beginning to require additional assistance, or recognise that they are likely to need extra support in the not too distant future.

The report points to the diversity of these tribes and the need for the property industry to meet demand for a range of housing options which can support their wide spectrum of needs. But the ideal potential solution which we call Platinum Places, are mixed-use, urban or edge-of-community developments in towns, cities or large well served villages.