Retirement Planning
7 minute read

What are the different retirement living options?

Ocean Grove Entrance with car

So, you’re preparing to dive into retirement. Trying to decide where home sweet home will be is just one thing on your retirement to-do list - probably somewhere between ‘Access my super’, ‘Try on all these old clothes I just found in the cupboard’ and ’Find moving boxes’- although it’s arguably one of the most important. There are heaps of options available, so let’s discover your perfect match for retirement living!

Relax into a Retirement Village
Perfect for those ready to slow down

Retirement Villages are one of the more traditional retirement living options. It’s a community of homes and facilities designed for over 55's who are active enough to live independently in their own home, without current need for additional care. However, the houses are designed to age in, usually with no stairs in the home, wide corridors and doorways, and bathrooms adaptable for mobility devices. Whilst available for over 55’s, the typical entry age for a retirement village in Australia is between 65 - 75.

Most retirement village homes are leased, rather than purchased. There will be upfront, ongoing, and outgoing village costs to be considered, along with deciding between a private or non-for-profit company. Many villages you’ll have to pay a lump sum up front (which is essentially viewed as rent in advance), usually for around 80% of a house price in the same area, part of which will be returned to you when you leave.

Live it up in a Lifestyle Communities
Perfect for active, adventurous retirees (and pre-retirees!) ready to live life to the fullest

Lifestyle Communities offer a unique way to live in retirement. With a resort style life, whether you’re ready to dive into coastal living or relax into a country vibe, there’s a Lifestyle Community with your name on it.

These communities are for people aged 50 and over who know retirement is just the beginning of something amazing. They’re perfect for those looking to spend their retirement with like-minded neighbours, in homes they can be proud of, and catching some rays in the pool. They offer affordable but upmarket housing options, and sit within the safety of a gated community. With luxury perks, like pools, spas, tennis courts, cinemas, and a variety of location specific goodies (like community boats ahoy for those chasing a sea change) it’s no wonder this style of retirement living is also known as a Resort Community.

With this model of retirement living, you own the physical home, and then lease the land it sits on, meaning you’ll keep the majority of the profits from the sale, freeing up lots of equity if you choose to move again, whilst enabling common spaces to remain beautifully maintained, including your front yard, which will be looked after by the tender, loving green thumbs of the Lifestyle Communities Gardening team. With Community Managers on site to help make your life easier - or just to have a chat with - you’ll have everything you need to live a bigger life in retirement at a Lifestyle Community.

Downsizing to an independent property
Perfect for those looking to sell up and buy up

Does downsizing and purchasing a smaller property outside of an established community network sounds more your speed? Many downsizers who choose this option opt to move into apartment buildings, where they have access to amenities and security. There are a few adjustments that will come with apartment living, such as saying goodbye to additional storage space and to your garden. However, if you’re willing to run the risk of potentially thin walls (here’s hoping your neighbours have good taste in music, because you’ll probably be hearing it!), can stomach the body corporate fees, and aren’t too concerned about the stairs, you’ll get to enjoy having a much smaller space to clean, on-site building management to help when you need it, and a secure building with fob or key code access required to not only enter the building, but probably to get to your apartment’s level too. Safe and sound, up on the 5th floor.

Independent living apartments
Perfect for those who want peace of mind as they age

Independent living communities are all about lifestyle preference, and are not technically a form of senior care. Independent living can provide peace of mind to people who no longer feel comfortable living alone though, and many people who have an underlying medical condition that isn’t actively affecting their day-to-day, but concerns them, or who are seeking connection and companionship may thrive in this living arrangement. They offer a ready-made community, along with help when required, without putting an end to their independence. Access to transportation, meals, classes or activities, and other amenities are often available, but may come at a steeper cost than other senior living options due to the level of care available and lack of Government support available.

Assisted Living

Perfect for those who aren’t ready for aged care but need a little more help than they used to

Not ready for Aged Care but finding that you need a little more assistance day-to-day? An Assisted Living facility may be the right fit. It’s a good alternative for people who are not able to live alone, but don’t need intensive nursing support, just some assistance with medical or personal care. It could be in an individual room, or an apartment, and the facilities are designed to promote independence in a home-like setting, with various services offered to assist with daily living. The level of care in an Assisted Living facility is at a lower level than in Aged Care, and there are many financial models available.

Hit the road full time
Perfect for those ready to drive towards adventure

Beep beep, coming through! If you’re not quite ready to put roots down for your retirement, well, there’s a whole world out there to see, and who wouldn’t want to do it from the road?! Whether it’s a caravan, a motorhome, or a sweet decked out kombi van, seeing the sights from the driver's seat is a great way to spend all your new-found free time. Live and travel around the country, waking up to new sights, meeting new people, and try to discover which bakery really has Australia’s Best Sausage Roll.

Many people combine this lifestyle with a Resort community or Retirement village home. You might want to travel for a few weeks, a few months, or a few years, but having a home base to come back to when you want a real shower and the rest of your clothes is the best.

The home you live in now
Perfect for those who have already nailed Home Sweet Home

Hate change? Love your neighbours? Really can’t be bothered packing? Can’t bear to leave your favourite cafe down the street? You can stay right where you are if you want to! Retirement doesn’t have to mean moving if your current home is your forever home and will continue meeting your needs. If you’ve looked around your house and decided you’d be happiest staying, then by all means, sit on that couch you don’t have to worry about moving and stay comfy!

Choosing not to downsize means you won’t unlock the equity in your home to help fund your retirement, but does mean you get to avoid the stress of real estate agents and having to go through the miscellaneous contents of the boxes you’ve stashed under the house.

Your children’s property
Perfect for those who want to be really close to their loved ones

They lived under your roof for 18 years, now it’s your turn. Many families may build a self contained bungalow, or have a room available for you to move in with your family again. This is a great option for deeply involved grandparents, as you get to spend an almost unlimited amount of time with your grandkids; aka this is the option that gets you an endless supply of snuggles. This choice is also a strong financial option, as you will keep a large chunk of the money from the sale of your home, and costs such as bills will be split. Your presence will also help your own children with their life workload, as a live-in grandparent can help share childminding responsibilities, or cooking and cleaning to help out.

There’s a perfect lifestyle for every retiree, from motorhomes to resort-style living, it’s just figuring out which option seems like the right match for you and the life you want to lead. With so many options available, where you live will be an important part of your retirement planning journey.

We’re here to help you figure out the right move, and we’d love to chat with you about what retirement could look like for you in a Lifestyle Communities home.