Richard and Linda Brewer bought a river cruiser with the difference in price between their semi in Luton and their park home in Lincolnshire. Adventure holidays and world travel have replaced the typical retirement dreams of 20 years ago when pottering about the garden, playing cards and drinking hot milky beverages featured prominently as popular options.

One appeal of retirement developments is that residents can safely leave them empty for months while they go on holiday. Cottages and flats on retirement developments are – square foot for square foot – not cheap. But even though Richard and Linda Brewer did not have a huge house to sell, they managed to trade down and buy their ideal retirement property whilst having enough money left over for a boat.

More like a bungalow

Richard, 60, a retired security officer at Luton airport, said, ‘A park home is more like a bungalow – very warm and comfortable. ‘Our home is 46ft by 20ft and we have a double sized plot with a double garage. We paid the sort of price which would buy only a studio flat for similar money in the Home Counties.’

The Brewers bought their two-bedroom riverside park home on a Tingdene park with an en-suite bath, shower room, walk-in wardrobes, a dining room, sitting room, kitchen and utility rooms decked out in fetching dark oak.

Retirement Park Home Lounge décor

‘The only decision I have to make in the morning is whether to play golf, go fishing in the boat or do the garden. The boat is my pride and joy,’ said Richard. ‘It’s a 27ft-long, four-berth Seamaster river cruiser, and I can see it moored from my patio. We would never have bought the boat if it wasn’t for the money we released from our home. ‘It’s not just the financial freedom that is so appealing. We have lovely river views, a big garden and great neighbours. Although I am 6ft 5in, there were parts of Luton I was afraid to walk around on my own. Lincolnshire is so different. Everyone on the site is friendly and we really feel at home.’