Survey reveals surprising retirement trend

Survey reveals that more older Australians are choosing to live in retirement villages.

older people painting activity

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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    13th Dec 2017
    I like the idea that some have of sharing so that there are several ages and skill sets and sharing of costs. Sort of their own little retirement village.
    13th Dec 2017
    I think it may work for some, but for others, not. I hold a serious lack of trust that the providers are going to really do a good job and also that the old folks are basically cash cows for the greedy. That is the main problems I see.
    13th Dec 2017
    It says here, that most residents join a retirement village when they are in their mid 70's.

    I will never be in one, but I have relatives who were forced to sell their old home to get the health care they need in a retirement village. They suddenly had to make decisions about things, they had never thought of before.

    There can be a lot of complications selling the family home and moving to a retirement village especially when health is in poor shape. It is easy to mislead people, if they don't get trusted and professional advice.
    13th Dec 2017
    Charlie, I have looked at these villages and they do have very attractive features but as you say there are downsides. I have stats setting out all the Associated costs of selling, moving and buying again - about 80,000 dollars. On top of that the ones I looked at charged a minimum of 1000.00 a month fees plus of course all the rates, costs and taxes we pay now. One village advertised onsite medical care - a 15 minute visit from the nurse was 100.00! Then there was 10.00 to change a light globe etc. A friend bought into a village only to find that even though she’d only been there 8 weeks she was expected to cough up 10,000.00 to repair the pool and spa. Then she had to pay 5,000.00 up front to paint common buildings. She didn’t realise what the clauses about ‘contributions to capital costs’ meant or that she’d have to pay the whole lot within the first 6 months of moving.
    13th Dec 2017
    Better quality retirement villages are attractive for older people. Developers build them to make enormous profits not because they care about older people’s lives. Of course the developers will cut corners in terms of buildings, infrastructure, design and decor. Light fittings etc are poor quality, insulation is basic, not enough power points etc, very basic stoves and bathroom fittings etc. They also make as much profit as possible by charging for every service they can. Yes, the pools, gym, community centres look a lot of fun but residents pay through the nose for them irrespective of whether or not they use them. The really big money for developers comes from what they term quick input and output - and this is where so many of us become unstuck. Owners/lease holders lose thousands if they want out - perhaps because they develop dementia or one partner dies making it almost impossible to buy into other services. I’d never buy into one of these places, however nice they look, unless I had enough income to buy into another service, most likely a unit for people with dementia. I’d also need to be sure I could pay ‘fees’ of at least 1000.00 a month on top of rates, taxes food etc for about 15 years,
    13th Dec 2017
    So, our criteria for a "Retirement Lifestyle Resort" were: 1. NO entry fee, 2. NO Infernal exit DMF, 3. NO Refurbishment charges on exit, 4. On exit, sell through a normal real estate agent and keep ALL the capital gain. 5. Reasonable weekly fee with NO extras and add-ons. Visited several villages around the West & North West of Melbourne, and quickly knocked them off the possibles list - bang, bang, bang! All failed our criteria tests. Then, we came across GemLife ( and now have paid a (refundable) deposit to secure our choice of block in their new Woodend development. Congratulations to Gemlife for bringing the Queensland Retirement Village model into fusty old Victoria !
    13th Dec 2017
    Golly and well done! I like your list of essential criteria and have copied for my searching! If we all take these lists when we negotiate with the devlopers they’ll realise they they’ll have to move ethical practices. I am going to see if gemlike is in WA.
    13th Dec 2017
    Puglet, if you change your mind and consider QLD, look at the Living Gems resorts
    13th Dec 2017
    some good comments here esp. from fearless. Avoid AVEO at all costs and follow what puglet and fearless say
    13th Dec 2017
    Retirement villages are for women who's husbands have died and they don't want to mow the lawn. Usually the retirement village cons them with an Open day where they give them a glass of champagne and canapés and they sign..... Takes them a while to realise they have done their money and they no longer have any opinions.
    Old Geezer
    13th Dec 2017
    Now if I had said that I'd be in big trouble..............
    13th Dec 2017
    It because Tib says it with tact not with a sledgehammer
    13th Dec 2017
    Most women are not that stupid. In my experience it's been the males I've know to get sucked in.

    There's plenty of other ways to get the lawn mowed, why I even know women who'll do it themselves!!!!
    13th Dec 2017
    Not that stupid ?
    14th Dec 2017
    52-KID retirement villages are filled with women and they know the truth. I'm not surprised you think you're not THAT stupid.
    14th Dec 2017
    Tib, your sexist attitude and repeated insults against women are really tiring and show you to be a very obnoxious male. I think it's you who is stupid, because anyone who generalizes like that is an ignorant fool. Women are NOT stupid. Some are, and some are highly intelligent and very capable. Overall, both sexes have about an equal share of intelligence, skill and common sense, but I'd be surprised if women didn't come out on top in an objective survey.
    14th Dec 2017
    Mate there are more women because they tend to outlive males and in many situations the family would be involved in the decision about where "mum" goes, this decision being highly influenced by the male/males in the family.

    Your sexist attitude is appalling and not welcomed by me and I think the majority of readers/contributors to this site.

    13th Dec 2017
    Retirement villages are a scam designed to line the pockets of their wealthy owners. The elderly are being conned. It's the home care package industry that needs to be supported.
    14th Dec 2017
    I agree.
    14th Dec 2017
    Shows a clear need for improved financial literacy for older Australians when it comes to retirement villages. Many know the price (entry fee), very few understand the total financial cost and will not realize that total cost until it is too late. Go here to see what some of those total costs can be and the obscene transfer of capital wealth from retirees to village operators over their period of occupancy. The shorter the occupancy period the greater the obscenity. All this for simply residential accommodation with a few treats.

    14th Dec 2017
    My partner would never consider any living arrangement that meant living close to other people. For my part, I'd love a retirement village if I could find one that was affordable. I am in a club that meets at a retirement complex in which many members live and they love the support and practical help that is always on hand from other residents, the great social life, and facilities like gym and swimming pool that they don't have to maintain. I agree. I would find those features - and not having to worry about external maintenance and gardens - very appealing. But while my partner is alive, it's not to be. And it sounds as though I might struggle, anyway, to find a place that doesn't have an outrageous overall price tag. Fortunately, I love our home and for now I have no desire to give it up.
    golliwog gran
    10th Jan 2018
    Residents can get on well if they don't dare to question management, and if they do - prepare to get answers that avoid, dodge and misrepresent the truth. An intelligent articulate resident becomes a target not only for management, but for other residents that 'don't want to be involved' for fear that they will be punished in some way also. My persistence in legitimately querying management's policies and handling of our monthly services fees has resulted in management's threats to remove me from my unit in their village. And this is a church organization!!!

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