KOCHI: Retirement, even for the affluent, is a dreaded word as the dream of spending their sunset years in leisure doing what they enjoy doing remains just that - a dream. No one to take care of even the basic needs, most well-heeled face the prospect of a boring life post-retirement in old age homes as their children go about their careers or studies elsewhere.
To tap this growing community, most of them NRIs or parents of NRIs, a slew of high-end retirement homes are expected to come up in the state. Retirement homes, popular in the West, may have a good potential in Kerala given the number of retirees returning home from abroad post retirement, reckoned industry officials.
The first to be of the block in the state is Bless Homes Pvt Ltd which is establishing a ‘retirement village’ spread over three acres in South Vazhakulam, near Aluva. “The retirement facility, a premium residential complex for senior citizens, is specifically planned as an ‘Active Retirement Community,’ much different from a conventional old age home,” said Gijo Antony, its managing director. The project will be available only for those aged 55 years or above.
The response for the concept is overwhelming with the project receiving 55-plus enquiries and 15 confirmed bookings, said Babu Joseph, in-charge of project promotion.
T P Joseph, who retired from the Delhi Government, is one among the 15. “After retiring from Delhi Government, I have returned to Kerala while my children are still in Delhi. I wanted to move to a place where I can enjoy community living,” he said. Bless Homes is not alone. Others such as Rajagiri Hospitals, at least a couple of real estate developers and a leading businessman, are also looking to enter this segment. Jose Alex Oruthayappilly, chief finance director, Rajagiri Hospital, said the hospital was exploring setting up retirement homes near its hospital. “In Kerala, there are a large number of people having enough money but no one to look after. We are doing preliminary studies to explore the potential,” he said.
At Bless Homes, there are two options: ‘Right to Live’ and ‘Outright Sale.’ NRIs prefer Right to Live concept which is popular abroad.