Time to upgrade your ideas about retirement living?

A lot has changed in recent years, especially when it comes to your living options in retirement

Retirement living can offer much more than it once did. One thing’s certain: you don’t have to feel as though you’re losing your independence and freedom when you move on from the family home.

Imagine your own precinct where you can get good coffee at the nearby café before a round of golf or doing a lap or two in the pool as you please. And all a short stroll from your own designer living room.

Aussies enjoy village life

Retirement villages are a popular accommodation option for older Australians, with more than 184,000 people calling a retirement village home1.

Nine out of ten residents use the money from selling the family home to pay their ongoing contribution to village living2. And according to the Retirement Living website 95 per cent of people who live in retirement villages say village life is as good as―or better―than they expected.

These days the number of retirement village developments is on the rise with some being shortlisted and awarded prizes for the services they offer.

What to look for

If you are considering moving on from the family home, you may not have to give up any of your pleasures in life. And if a retirement village sounds like an option, there are things to consider when searching for the right place:

  • What’s important in your lifestyle―it could be golf, regular Pilates classes, an onsite beauty salon or medical consultancy rooms, or living with your pets 
  • Whether you want a social lifestyle or a more private one―you may choose to live in an apartment, townhouse or bungalow that offers the security you need but allows you to live independently
  • Where you want to live―some retirement precincts are located close to local shopping centres rather than being gated-precincts that cut people off from the local community
  • The ownership structure which will affect your legal rights, determine your security of tenure and the tax and stamp duty you may need to pay―you may have the option of a lease, strata title, company title, rental or licence.
  • Your preferred proximity to what’s important to you, such as family and friends, and public transport
  • The local facilities you’ll need, like supermarkets and cafes.

When it comes to choosing the right option for you, consider what’s available and the costs involved. Living options can range from serviced apartments to extra-care units. And costs will depend on the ownership structure you choose and can include an initial purchase price, maintenance fees and departure costs.

When to consider your living options

Almost 1 in 4 Australians between 55 and 64 years of age moved house in the last five years3. And at some stage you may want to downsize. When looking into retirement living, it’s important to think about your needs today and in the longer term.

Explore our education module Selling the family home to understand all that’s involved in downsizing.

Retirement living may not be something you want to consider right now―or ever. It’s not for everyone. But if you or your partner reaches a stage where convenience or a sense of community is important, you may be pleasantly surprised when you look into the retirement living options available.

Plan ahead

If you’re thinking about downsizing, our home and retirement planner can help you explore your financial position and how your home fits in with your plans. We recommend speaking with a financial adviser too. That way you can put a plan in place early on and live your best life.

1 http://www.retirementliving.org.au/industry/services/facts/.

2 http://www.retirementliving.org.au/industry/services/facts/.

3 ABS Census 2011, AHURI Downsizing Amongst Older Australians.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.