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Elderly in Hong Kong Looking to China for Cheaper Care During Retirement

After spending time with his 84-year-old mom in a senior care home in the southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, David Lee walked up to the supervisor and requested to reserve a place there for his retirement.

Lee, a 56-year-old from Hong Kong, moved his mom, who has Alzheimer’s and other illnesses, into Yee Hong Heights two months ago because it became harder for him to look after her.

A rising number of people like him are shifting outside Hong Kong – one of the world’s costliest cities – to mainland China for more affordable and better retirement alternatives.

It is a departure from the skepticism that greeted the Hong Kong government a couple of years ago when it tried to inspire seniors to retire in China’s Guangdong region as a part of an effort to ease a housing scarcity.

Many then were concerned about cultural variations, medical services, and an absence of insurance coverage protection in the mainland.

However, faster transport connects to the mainland, and an integration push by the Hong Kong and Chinese central governments under the Greater Bay Region initiative have helped ease a few of those fears.

The elderly care market in China is forecast to grow to 7.7 trillion yuan ($1.12 trillion) by 2020 and to 20 trillion by 2030, from 5 trillion yuan in 2016. That has resulted in a flood of traders from Hong Kong and abroad.

New World Development, a significant Hong Kong developer, said it planned to increase “Humansa” – a senior healthcare and rehabilitation service it started in late 2018- into Shenzhen, Foshan, Shunde and other towns in the mainland china this year.

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