Retirement housing is a form of sheltered housing, being exclusively for older people and consisting of groups of independent accommodation, usually flats with communal facilities, linked to a resident warden by an alarm system. Various studies have consistently shown that nearly three quarters of older people living within such accommodation are female single persons, leading some researchers to argue that sheltered housing is essentially a gender related issue, which can be explained demographically. But, any suggestion that it is widows' accommodation seems both dismissive and pejorative; particularly if it has not been established whether differences in gender and marital status have a significant effect on the decision process when buying retirement housing. If men and women or single people and married couples do differ in their behaviour, then approaches adopted by not-for-profit agencies to improve the decision-making process may need to differentiate between the sexes and marital states. This paper, therefore, comments on the differences in the process that are determined by gender or marital status and contrasts some of the results of the research. Data were collected principally by questionnaire, to which there were 189 respondents, from a sample of all purchasers of retirement housing in the West Midlands region of the UK. The findings demonstrate that differences exist in respect of less than a fifth of the matters explored in the study.