1. Someone wrote to the Straits Times Forum proposing the development of retirement housing in nearby countries, where the cost of land is lower.
2. It is economically feasible to build the retirement housing in Singapore. The cost of land can be reduced by better utilisation of land. Here is my concept of a future retirement town to be build in Singapore.
a) Located in a corner of Singapore, say in Lim Chu Kang.
b) Comprise of 100 blocks of 100 units, i.e. total of 10,000 units
c) All internal transport by light rail transport (LRT) and personal automated transport (PAT)
d) LRT to connect to a nearby MRT station
e) Large car parks to be located outside of the town, for use by residentials and visitors
f) Medical facilities operated by private clinics to serve the residetials
g) Housing units to be owned by a residential REIT and rented to residents
g) Residents can invest their retirement savings in the residential REIT
g) Covered walkways to connect to parks, sports facilities, social clubs and food outlets
h) Easy for children to visit the elderly from other parts of Singapore and vice versa
i) Some blocks to be rented to foreigners interested in this lifestyle
j) Employment opportunities for the residents
h) The residential units and public areas are designed to be friendly to the elderly.
3. Employment opportunities. The residents can work in the social clubs, food outlets, care centers, call centers and remote work offices in the town to earn a supplementary income.
4. Residential REIT. The residents can invest a large part of their retirement savings in the residential REIT. The dividends from the REIT can be used to offset their rental payments, and leave a balance for their living expenses. They can also encash their units in the REIT gradually, during their lifetime, to provide a supplementary income.
5. The residents are encouraged to join a social club to meet friends, take part in social activities and also have their meals. This is similar to the lifestyle of the posh social club in London, but can be operated at low cost.
6. I hope that this idea will be taken up by the Government or a private consortium of sector sector developers.
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