Retirement villages growing in popularity

Baby boomers are the healthiest and wealthiest generation of retirees ever and they have no plans to slow down.

With abundant energy and a zest for life, Australia’s over-55s are increasingly looking for residential options that provide a rewarding lifestyle.

Currently, more than 184,000 Australians live in retirement villages throughout the country and that number is projected to double by 2025, according to a recent Property Council of Australia report.

Australian research shows there are several reasons for the growing popularity of retirement village living:

Community

Village residents highly value the benefits of living within a community of like-minded people at the same stage of life. The increased social opportunities offered by a village setting lead to richer and broader social lives. As one resident told an Australian National University (ANU) survey: “It is delightful to be part of a social group and to have new friends.”

Quality of life

Freedom from home maintenance duties and heavy gardening work is another prized aspect of village life, the ANU survey shows. Fewer chores leaves more time for leisure activities and socialising. With modern villages offering resort-style amenities like swimming pools, gyms, libraries and games rooms, there’s never a dull moment.

Convenience

Most villages are located close to amenities and services and provide reliable transport to nearby metropolitan centres. For residents who enjoy travel, the ability to simply “lock and leave” their home at any time, safe in the knowledge that it will be taken care of in their absence, is a significant advantage.

Security and independence

A 2013 study on housing choice in retirement showed that village residents enjoy a greater sense of security and independence than the general community.

Overall, satisfaction with village life is extremely high. A 2013 survey conducted by McCrindle Research found that 98% of newly ensconced residents were happy with their decision to move into a retirement village and would do so again, given the choice.

The survey also found that more than 90% of residents had experienced improved physical and emotional well-being since moving into their new homes.

These outstanding results come as no surprise to Retirement Living Council executive director Mary Wood. With so many support services and the company of compatible neighbours, “Life is happy and comfortable in a retirement village,” she says.

References

Property Council of Australia – National Overview of the Retirement Living Sector, 2014 report
http://www.retirementliving.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/National-overview-of-the-retirement-village-sector-Grant-Thornton.pdf

Australian National University – An Investigation of the IRT retirement community landscape: a pilot study
http://www.irt.org.au/images/IRT_Foundation/Foundation_PDFs/Investigation_of_the_IRT_landscape_-_Pilot_research_report_Oct.2014.pdf

McCrindle Baynes Villages Census Report 2013
http://www.mccrindle.com.au/ResearchSummaries/2013/McCrindle-Baynes-Villages-Census-Report-2013-Executive-Summary.pdf

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