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Retirement Redefined

03.08.22

Turning old notions of retirement living on its head, Penny Hughes, Chair at Riverstone, explains how they have reimagined the concept. By Julia Millen

How has your experience of working with some of the most iconic international brands equipped you for your current role at Riverstone?

Working with iconic household brands for over 30 years has helped me to understand what it takes to delight your customer. When building a product and a brand, you begin to know your consumer on a personal level – you discover what drives them, their passions, motivations, beliefs and opinions. At Riverstone we are creating luxury integrated retirement communities. Our residents will live independently and help create the Riverstone community, it’s a brand proposition that has increasing relevance to the accelerating number of people looking for a great way to live in later life.

What makes Riverstone unique?

Later living is being redefined. We are living longer and are demanding more from life. Riverstone is leading this movement through the delivery of exceptional individual and community living. We are the only prime central London offering of its kind, an opportunity to purchase a later living apartment; this year we welcome our first residents to our Kensington and Fulham residences. Through the curation of a well-being strategy, Riverstone has partnered with key industry experts to encourage a healthy lifestyle and physical and mental wellbeing. High quality care from The Good Care Group at Riverstone is also available should our residents wish to access these services.

What do you believe are the key elements to retirement living?

Community, well-being and choice are integral, and at the heart of Riverstone. Connected and vibrant in its offering, residents have beautiful spaces – both inside and out – to enjoy. Gardens have been designed by Andy Sturgeon and herb farmer Jekka McVicar VMH, together with state-of-the-art well-being spaces - including a pool, spa, treatment rooms and yoga studio - alongside a cinema, library and espresso bar. “All this, and a new local neighbourhood restaurant, present the perfect and natural meet points for new and good friends.

It’s a common myth that many people, in later life want to be located in the suburbs; can you tell us why this often isn’t the case?

Why not have the best of both? Prime London offers the world’s very best in food, culture, and the arts – why would you want to leave? Many of our future residents love to live a full, and energetic life. Many over 65s want to remain in London but remove the stress of owning and managing a large household. Downsizing and lateral living options are a perfect solution, offering the opportunity to free up equity and space, to remain living near friends and relatives, and with the restaurants, galleries and theatres they have enjoyed for many years on the doorstep.

Can you explain why the 65 plus demographic could be the key to success for many quintessential London villages (such as Kensington and Fulham) and their businesses?

Over 65s are turning to popular, cultural and vibrant ‘micro-neighbourhoods’, surrounded by like-minded individuals, and are supporting the local independent and boutique businesses along the way. Some residents, although retired, might still play a significant charitable, consulting or board member role and still want to feel the coming and goings of a city lifestyle. In a new hybrid world of work, our business suites are available for both personal and private affairs. We will involve the existing community with our residences connecting multi generations. Plans include reading clubs with school children and educative sessions on planting in our herb gardens.

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