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Why you should consider a retirement village

Most homes in Australia are not very senior-friendly and can become more difficult to live in overtime. They may be too big to maintain after the kids moved out or have stairs that can become too hard to go up and down as you age.

Key points:

  • Most homes you have lived in for 20 years are not very senior-friendly

  • Villages tend to handle the harder stuff, like gardening or maintenance work

  • Moving into a retirement village is a great opportunity to downsize

Group of retirees playing cards
You may decide to move into a friendly retirement community with lots of exciting amenities right at your doorstep. [Source: iStock]

While living in your own home can make you feel independent, it is also possible that they can develop into a dangerous place for you over time.

Homes within villages are usually designed to accommodate for ageing including large doorways, bathrooms with grab rails and curbless showers, and safe bench heights in kitchens.

A retirement village may be a great option to downsize and move into a community of like-minded individuals, with the added bonuses of having extra security and a wide range of amenities at your fingertips.

Amenities and environment

When living at home, you have to undertake all the maintenance and gardening, but in a retirement village, they generally have maintenance or garden staff to keep the village looking nice.

So you are able to enjoy a beautifully curated village while not having to raise a finger. And that doesn't mean you don't get to do your own gardening! Most villages have gardening groups as a community activity.

If you have a maintenance issue in your home, your village will be quick to get it fixed for you, whether they call in a third party or send over their onsite maintenance person.

You may decide to move into a friendly retirement community with lots of exciting amenities right at your doorstep. Some villages may have a swimming pool, lawn bowl greens, social areas, cafés, hairdressers or beauty salons.

Some even have physiotherapists, podiatrists and other allied health professionals onsite.

Villages are also a great place to meet new people who are on the same journey as you in retirement. 

Downsizing and preparing for future aged care

Moving into a retirement village is a great opportunity to downsize your assets and prepare yourself for when your needs increase. It is quite common for people to move into a village to do just that.

While your possessions hold precious memories for you, reducing what you own and decluttering can be quite liberating.

Even though you may have to downsize when you move into a retirement village, the great thing is, is that you get to decide what you want to keep and what you don't need anymore. 

And you don't have to get rid of everything. Items that are ideal to get rid of could be things that are unused, taking up space, broken, or you have another item that does the same function.

Additionally, if you do sell or get rid of something, you can always replace it with a better, newer version.

Downsizing also prepares you for your aged care journey that may come in the future. The average length of stay for a resident in a village is seven years. You may end up needing to move into supported living or aged care to assist with your increasing care requirements.

Added security

Retirement villages provide many new residents with added safety and security that they wouldn't normally feel at their old home. 

Many retirement villages provide a higher level of security, like onsite security, gated communities, and potentially 24/7 emergency call alarms.

Villages can be apartment blocks or groupings of houses, so generally, you know everyone around you.

If you go away on holiday, rather than asking someone to keep an eye on your property, you have a whole street and village management. It means you never have to worry about the safety of your home while you are away travelling.

Your friends and family can also be assured that there will be someone who will notify them if an emergency arises.

Some villages have inbuilt emergency buttons for medical or other emergencies. This can also bring a level of security to older people who may be becoming frailer.

If you need some in home assistance while living in a village, you can still access home care services. In some cases, your village may provide home care services alongside their other duties or you may be eligible for Government funded supports.

Closer to family and services

For some people, moving into a village might be ideal if they want to be closer family. While you can buy a new house nearby, retirement villages, for the most part, can be cheaper than buying a house.

Most organisations try their best to build a village in close proximity to main streets and shops in towns, near transport, health facilities, and other services in cities. This means you will be situated in a great location while still being near family.

It also means you have fewer issues selling the home when you leave, as the village may handle the resale of your property once you start the exit process.

Why are you considering moving into a retirement village? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

Downsizing and moving into a retirement village
Finding the right retirement village for you
Should I rent or own a place in a retirement village?

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