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Life Plan Resorts – The best of life is still to come

Life Plan Resorts will provide a high-quality and comfortable retirement experience, with primary care physicians and gerontologists on-site and more than 100 daily activities.

If you’re searching for the ideal place to spend your retirement, look no further. Life Plan Resorts will offer a unique service in Portugal, standing out not only due to its perfect location, but also thanks to all the services and over 100 daily activities it will offer.

While situated just 30 minutes from Lisbon in the Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve, in Benavente, the resort’s location is capable of transporting one to a completely different world.

With a cork tree forest and lake spanning more than 2.5 kilometres and a stunning view over the beautiful Vale do Cobrão dam, the scenery is almost akin to a film set, conveying calmness and tranquillity. There will even be a promenade where people can walk and observe the area from different locations.

However, there will be no shortage of fun and entertainment. Everyone will be welcome to take part in activities that include everything you can imagine, from cycling, golf, playing cards and chess games to lectures and social activities, including a book or bird club.

“Socialisation and being part of a community is the most important factor,” said Jack Shevel, the Founder and Chairman of the project.

He is originally from South Africa but has lived in San Diego, California (USA) for 18 years, having come up with an idea for “the world’s most comprehensive retirement resort for healthy ageing”.

Jack Shevel, Founder and Chairman of Life Plan Resorts
Jack Shevel, Founder and Chairman of Life Plan Resorts

Jack Shevel first came into contact with Portugal more than 20 years ago but never visited the country. At the time, he was a General Practitioner for a health company in South Africa and was looking to buy a hospital group here.

In 2017, he travelled to the Algarve and visited Vila Real de Santo António. Having fallen in love with the serenity, weather, food, people and safety of the country, he wondered: “Why not build a retirement village in a great country with so much to offer?”

A fan of Portuguese football, Jack always felt a connection with Portuguese culture and people, which together with his knowledge of medicine and experience in managing hospitals led to the creation of a luxury senior resort.

From an idea that was kept on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a three-partner project was born.

Pedro Alfarroba Alves, who lives in Tavira, in the Algarve, met Jack in Vila Real de Santo António seven years ago and is currently Life Plan Resorts’ CEO.  He graduated in Economics, has a post-graduate degree in Fiscal Management of Organisations and Management and Supervision of Credit Institutions, and an MBA from AESE-IESE Business School.

The third member is Fernando Aguilar Silva, Chief Operating Officer. He specialises in Hotel & Resorts Operations Management and has held senior leadership positions in large international luxury hospitality companies.

Aerial views of the area

Initially, they expected their market to be more European, but they quickly realised that Americans would be among their main clients, particularly due to the high cost of living in the US, “where the prices of dependency care are not affordable for many people,” Jack Shevel said.

Brain health is one of the main concerns of Life Plan Resorts, which will always have a primary care doctor and a geriatrician on site. This service will allow the resort “to help and manage people with health issues,” while offering wellness services and a brain vitality programme, said the project’s leader, adding that “social interaction stimulates the brain”.

Once it’s ready to open in October 2025, it will be possible to choose independent living in a studio, an apartment, or a townhouse, as there will be a selection of fully-equipped accommodation.

In total, there will be 1,400 independent living units and 260 beds for health care or continuous care, such as in cases of rehabilitation, assisted living, long-term care, and memory care.

The central village will be open to the public, so residents will interact with different aged people in the restaurants, clubs, and sports activities.

Living room view

There are also plans to build a 60-bed hotel so that family members can visit the residents and stay nearby to spend as much time as possible with them. The site will have accommodation for 300 staff members as well.

Another focus is health care, which includes diet and nutrition. There will be organic gardens and a grocery store for organic food on site, promoting wellness and healthy living.

Recognising that there is a need to adapt to retirement physically and psychologically, “because it’s a big change”, Jack revealed that residents can have either a pendant or wrist bracelet, with a panic button, so that doctors can monitor them regularly and help immediately if they require medical assistance.

Life Plan Resorts has a bright future ahead with people ready to move in from the United Kingdom, Holland, and Luxembourg.

Enjoying retirement has never been so exciting, now without having to worry about whether the cost of living outstrips your pension and savings or whether you’ll have access to health care.

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