Senior Center

Choosing Affordable Retirement

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - September 4, 2013

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Back in 2000 when he was still two years away from his retirement, Hari Sundaresh decided to buy a house for himself and his mother back in India. At the time, he was still working at World Bank in Washington, his mother was 73 years old, and he was 58. He chose a location that was specifically meant for seniors and would be able to provide medical care throughout the day and night. The project he bought into, known as Athashri, is 10 km form Pune city and was developed by Paranjape Schemes Construction Ltd. They are one of the few developers that have focused on the concept of retirement homes in India.

Based on information from an April 2013 report titled ‘Senior Living Sector in India’, there are 30 completed retirement or senior citizen projects in India. Bangalore is said to have seven projects, which is the highest in India, while there are 30 more related projects also occurring throughout the country. However, the real focus beyond the existence of these projects is the amount of importance in being able to choose a retirement option that will be affordable. For example, most retirement homes provide a mess facility, but the costs associated between them can vary.

Athashri’s mess facilities charges 45 rupees per lunch plate while Ashiana changes 60 per mini thali and 80 per thali. While the costs are obviously different, these options cannot be compared between each other because the food quality and other factors are also differing. While some retirement homes may be able to provide basic meals, others may be able to provide customized meal plans based on the needs of the seniors, such as in the examples that were provided above.

Instead of being hasty to purchase a home to retire in, individuals are advised to take the time to experiment with the concept. It’s a good idea to rent the space and find out if it’s going to be a suitable option. What may seem like an ideal option may not be able to meet all of your needs. Often times, there is no way to really determine these preferences unless you spend some time analyzing the experience itself. This will provide you with insight into what you would experience if you were living there on a regular basis.

Another point that’s worth keeping in mind is that you shouldn’t view a retirement home as an investment. It is not an asset. It is a concept and goal of eventually working towards maintaining your ideal comfort as a senior. Of course, if you find an option where the services are truly able to meet your needs, then you may be willing to spend more money to ensure that you will be able to maintain that comfortable level. However, even then it is not necessarily an investment - it is purely an act of taking care of oneself or a loved one.