Everyone is familiar with the idea of a retirement village, but they are relative newcomers in any form to Europe and the common perception first popularised in 1950s America is out-dated. In those days, retirement meant receiving the proverbial gold watch at 65 and moving somewhere cheaper, joining a like-minded community with a golf course, often somewhere with better weather. Some developments became towns in their own right and today over 5% of those aged 65 and above live in dedicated retirement communities.

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