Survey reveals surprising retirement trend

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A survey of the retirement living sector reveals that more older Australians are choosing to move into retirement villages, freeing up capital to fund their lifestyles as they age.

The latest PwC and Property Council of Australia (PCA) Retirement Census released yesterday shows that, despite the sector copping flak this year, an increasing number of Australians have made the switch to retirement village living.

Why? While retirement villages may have a reputation for being expensive, turns out that the average entry living, two-bedroom unit in a retirement village costs about one-third less than the median house price in the same postcode.

“This frees up equity for older Australians to fund their lifestyle and care as they age,” said IRT Lifestyle Communities Chief Executive Stig Andersen.

In addition to reeling in retirement costs, for an ongoing monthly fee, providers are also offering increasing lifestyle and health services aimed at meeting the needs and expectations of residents.

“The research found most residents join a retirement village in their mid-70s and were 80 years of age at the time of the census,” said Mr Andersen.

“This is consistent with the 2016 Census, but what’s interesting is that more providers are making changes to better support these residents to age in place in their community.”

Health services include in-home care options, as well as co-located independent living and residential aged care services.

“More and more we’re finding that older Australians are looking to the future when making choices about their housing and lifestyle as they age,” said Mr Andersen.

“They want to know how we’ll support them to achieve their goals to live independently for as long as possible and keep socially engaged.

“It’s great to see that other retirement village providers are answering the call by delivering more services or partnering with home and aged care providers.”

More than 75 per cent of villages that participated regularly host visiting health professionals, while 91 per cent have community centres and 84 per cent organise regular community outings and social activities.

Currently, around 93 per cent of retirement units are occupied.

“With a growing cohort of older Australians, we need to boost the supply of retirement units or risk facing a shortage of affordable age-appropriate housing,” said Mr Andersen.

Read the 2017 PwC/PCA Retirement Census.

Would you live in a retirement village? What attracts you to this type of living? What prevents you from moving into a retirement village?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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