At 6pm on a Friday, Mary Baxter changes into heels, and reapplies her lipstick. At the end of another working week in London, she’ll catch up with friends at a wine bar, followed by a shared dinner, and maybe a movie. The only difference is that for this 60-something retiree, her night on the town will be a night in. As a resident of Auriens, a new later living project on King’s Road, Chelsea, all the most-wanted amenities for a chic urban lifestyle are provided right on site. The opening of Auriens, offering the over-65 occupants of its 56 private apartments services and amenities worthy of a five-star hotel, reflects a trend emerging around the world. Vaccines and visas: how Dubai property prices surged 44 per cent just like that Making the most of their wealth With people living longer, the well-to-do are demanding more than the humble offerings of the retirement villages of yore. According to a February 2022 report by Savills, most people moving into retirement housing are downsizers – and they have money to spend. Able to get a foot on the property ladder much earlier than today’s generations, and having benefited from house price growth over the years, the over-65s possess substantial equity in their residential real estate. In England and Wales, the value of homes owned by that age group totals nearly £2.0 trillion (US$2.6 trillion), 37 per cent of which is in London and the southeast. David Meagher, Auriens CEO, says the concept behind the Auriens project is to “smash many of the preconceptions around ageing and retirement”. “We see this as a time to live life at your own pace,” he explains. “When people reach their 60s and 70s, many have travelled the world, lived well, and see no reason to compromise. However, issues such as security, healthcare and convenience become increasingly important, with many therefore looking to downsize.” Auriens, he says, was inspired by people saying that they wanted to move into a five-star hotel in their senior years. “But a hotel probably can’t provide the kind of care that may be needed, or have the type of future-proofing that can make your later years that much easier.” The social spaces provided at Auriens facilitate a sense of community. The gym and spa promote good mental and physical well-being, with personal trainers, nutritionists and elite sports specialists helping to craft age-appropriate exercise, lifestyle and nutrition programmes. Auriens apartments are only available to lease. Meagher says this model meets many needs of the residents, including wealth management. “Renting avoids having to make the same commitment as buying, and avoids the costs associated with purchasing property in a later living development, such as a deferred payment,” he said. Why hip millennial Londoners are moving into co-living creative hubs “But IHT (inheritance tax) considerations also play a major role in the decision to rent. It allows people to free up capital tied up in their property, which they can then gift or invest. The sale of property allows our residents to focus on a conservative diversified investment plan, which meets their income needs going forward, while minimising their exposure to IHT.” With backing by South African real estate group Zenprop and investment from Goldman Sachs, developer Auriens Group has a pipeline of openings planned for the Kensington and St Johns Wood neighbourhoods. Increasingly global trend In the US, development partners Hines and Welltower have identified a similar market need in New York. Sunrise at East 56th, a new 151-unit luxury lifestyle community for seniors, offers personalised assisted living and memory care tailored to each resident. Jack Callison, CEO of Sunrise, says the property caters to New Yorkers who want to maintain their refined lifestyles, while their personalised needs are met by a dedicated, skilled team without leaving the city they call home. Sunrise at East 56th is located in a prestigious Upper East Side neighbourhood, its architecture inspired by the traditional apartment homes of Park Avenue. Interiors by Champalimaud Design, known for its global five-star hotel design, define the elegant studio and two-bedroom residences. Amenities include best-in-class dining experiences, gracious communal spaces, a beauty salon, wellness suite, an art studio and theatre. Several floors feature landscaped outdoor terraces with views of the Manhattan skyline. Additional services include a 24-hour door attendant, concierge and weekly housekeeping. Half of the building is dedicated to residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory care needs. “Through our long involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association, and as an Authorised Validation Organization, Sunrise trains its team members in the latest care techniques, emphasising empathy-based communications, preserving the dignity of the residents, and bringing meaning and purpose to each day,” said Denise Falco, senior vice-president of operations at Sunrise Senior Living. And in Shanghai, Australian-headquartered Lendlease has welcomed the first residents to its flagship senior living community in China. Located on the banks of Dianshan Lake, Ardor Gardens Yi Pu Hui is a low-density development providing some 800 furnished apartments in a setting surrounded by nature. Along with luxury hotel-trained staff providing 24-hour concierge service, amenities include themed clubhouses, handicraft rooms, a senior-friendly gym and heated swimming pool. Residents are also offered a diverse selection of courses and activities such as dance classes and wellness seminars. Ding Hui, managing director of Lendlease China, says the project caters to an unmet need in one of China’s major cities. “More people are thinking about how to spend their senior years with better quality of life and security,” he says. “With China’s economic development in the past few decades, there is a group of sophisticated and well-off Chinese seniors who are looking for a better solution. They are mostly very open-minded and highly educated, and some of them have seen senior communities like Ardor Gardens in other countries.” Is Bali the best place to be a digital nomad? It’s cheaper after reopening Hui likens the concept for Ardor Gardens to “a Club Med for seniors”. “We have been operating for around half a year with the first batch of 100 residents moving in since September 2021,” he said. “The recent survey results show that our residents are 96 per cent satisfied and happy with Ardor Gardens, which makes us confident that this is probably going to be the new lifestyle for Chinese seniors in the future.” Ardor Gardens units come fully furnished in one-to-three-bedroom designs, ranging from 753 to 1,722 sq ft. Tenants pay a one-time membership plus a monthly service fee. The membership depends on the length of the lease (options are for one year, 15 years and 30 years), but is about US$185,000 for a one-bedroom unit on a 15-year lease. The service fee – about US$760 per month – includes cleaning, a butler service, health checks, green channels to the hospital, use of the gym, swimming pool and more. Read more of our Property Matters column Buying guide What you can rent from £13,750 (US$18,000) per month A one-bedroom flat at Auriens, a luxury apartment residence for the over-65s in London’s Chelsea. The rental charge includes electricity, heating, water, broadband, TV and telephone package, council tax and buildings insurance. Services such as dining, spa treatments and personal training sessions are charged, but access to the pool, gym and an initial six-week personal wellness programme are complimentary. Two-bedroom flats rent from £16,500 (US$21,700) per month. What you can rent from US$13,750 per month An assisted living studio or two-bedroom suite at Sunrise at East 56th, a purpose-built luxury senior living community in New York, where half of the building is dedicated to residents with memory care needs. The rental (US$21,000 for memory care residents) includes a resident’s suite fee, personalised care, services and amenities. Additional services, such as those provided by on-site healthcare provider Northwell Health, are charged separately. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .