Retirement refugees: British retirees break the mould and branch out to pastures new, seeking a better life abroad

Retirement refugees: British retirees break the mould and branch out to pastures new, seeking a better life abroad

New Office for National Statistics (ONS) data suggests that more than 30% of the UK population is now above the age of 50 – and that they control 80% of the wealth.

The research chimes with last month’s poll of 1,500 over-50s by charity Age UK, which found that 60% of older consumers are open to trying new brands, contrary to perceptions that older customers are likely to stick with tried-and-tested products and services.

With the older generation open to new ideas and holding 80% of the UK’s wealth, more and more are venturing further afield and seeking new options for retirement. A new wave of ‘retirement refugees’ has been created with older people feeling pushed out of the UK due to increasing costs of retiring, cold weather affecting their health and a lack of suitable accommodation.

Gil Summers, Co-founder of Sun Park Living, a Summers’ Villages, a private gated apartment resort dedicated exclusively to active over 50s on Lanzarote, has witnessed a huge increase of retirees visiting the resort since opening in September 2012. His clients are united in their quest for something different from the life they had in their home country. Summers explains,

“Moving to Sun Park Living means you’ll have daily access to the climate, culture, food, amenities and facilities that you’ve possibly only ever enjoyed on holiday. We see retirees visit Lanzarote in their droves, enjoying a near-perfect climate and a relaxing lifestyle. They all have one thing in common: they are not afraid to embrace a new adventure.

“Here we offer retirees a great chance to indulge in their favourite hobbies and activities, and maybe even try something new. Our Villages have great places where you can get together with new found friends, enjoy a cuppa (or maybe something stronger), or just take a bit of time out on your own.

“Moving abroad to the sunshine and learning new tricks – or brushing up on old ones – helps to maintain the grey matter and regenerate both the body and mind. Nothing is as important throughout your golden years as keeping stimulated and living life to the full both mentally and physically.”

Indeed, soaking up the sun has been medically proven to be beneficial. Vitamin D, which the body makes when exposed to natural sunlight, helps bones to absorb calcium, which is vital to bone health, communication between nerves and fighting inflammation.

As well as the medicinal advantages of its warm, sunny climate, Sun Park Living allows residents to get involved with all manner of social and sporting activities. The activities and events are organised by those living on the resort, fondly called ‘SunRockers.’ They vary from Village to Village, but generally include outdoor and indoor bowls, reiki, yoga and even dancing classes, arts and crafts, gardening groups, Spanish and computer lessons, many competitions, charity work and movie nights.

There are also social events to look forward to such as Village dinners, ‘happy hours,’ morning teas, Social Fridays for those not living at the resort to come and meet residents, or group outings to local restaurants and shops, island tours and attractions.

So what are you waiting for? If you are semi or fully retired over 50 and looking to meet like-minded people on sunnier shores then why not consider a stay at Sun Park Living? Become a SunRocker today for the affordable year-round rate of €625 for each four-week (28 day) stay.

Alternatively, if you are thinking of visiting Sun Park Living for the first time to see if the village lifestyle is for you, take advantage of the Taster Week rate of just €250.

For more information, visit or call 0161 408 3360. You can also follow Gil and the team onTwitter or Like them on Facebook.