What is it about simplifying our life that seems to increase our wellbeing and happiness? Maybe it's because when you have less, you have less to worry about.
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Edwin Way Teale, said, ‘Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labours of life reduce themselves.’
And we think he’s onto something.
Because downsizing into a retirement village can be the start of a vibrant, happy and less complicated life.
It’s not surprising that more people over 55 are selling their family homes to move into something smaller. While the booming property market can take some credit for this rising trend, the benefits and rewards retirees gain from downsizing plays a big part in the growing desire for a smaller home.
Moving from your family home to a retirement village ticks many boxes for your wellbeing. You can enhance your health and social circle through village amenities and activities. Whether swimming in the pool, working out in the gym or strolling around immaculate grounds, there’s plenty to keep you active. (And you won’t ever have to think about scooping leaves, costly gym fees or mowing the front lawns.)
These days, being retired means different things to different people. You might still work in a professional capacity or be a volunteer. You might look after the grandkids or spend time perfecting your golf swing. Maybe your retirement ambition is to travel the world, run marathons, or catch up with friends at local cafés.
We've come to a point where once we stop working, we start living a whole other life. With less responsibility and more opportunities to finally do everything that makes us happy. And a retirement village offers a lot of flexibility and opportunity to build a life filled with all the things that are important to you.
Want to travel? When you live in a retirement village, you can lock up and leave, knowing your property is safe and secure. You won't have to worry about watering the communal gardens or sweeping the paths while galloping around the globe. And when you get back, your home will be as you left it, perfectly maintained and ready to welcome you home.
People who live in retirement communities know something the rest of the ageing population doesn’t. That villages are vibrant social hubs where friendships flourish. And science has found that beyond the joy of always having someone to have a cuppa with, the benefits of having friends and friendly neighbours are immense.
Researchers from Brigham Young University discovered that people with many close relationships have better odds of living a longer life than their lonelier counterparts. The study found family and friends can influence health for the better, from providing the comfort of physical contact to providing a sense of life meaning. ‘When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks.’
Retirement living enhances the social side of life. Neighbours become friends, regular events bring people together, and knowing there's always someone looking out for you is a shortcut to serenity. You could be forgiven for thinking Irish poet William Butler Yeats was familiar with village life when he said, ‘There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't met yet.’
Of course, once you’ve decided to move to a retirement village, transferring the contents of a family home into a smaller space has its challenges. Choosing what to keep and what to leave behind can be an emotional process. Especially when the objects you've accumulated buzz with historical context, reminding you of your experiences and conjuring up memories.
But take it from Oprah's decluttering guru, Peter Walsh; less is definitely more. His book Lighten Up says, ‘If I had to give you one word that lies at the root of most people's emotional pain and anguish, it would be stuff. Having more stuff doesn't equate to a better life. Stuff has a way of creeping into and taking over our homes.’
So it makes sense that sorting through a lifetime of possessions and personal treasures can be a liberating exercise. But how do you get your head around where to start? Walsh has some sound advice.
‘If you really value an item and think you need to keep it, then why don't you show it off as a way of honouring and respecting it? Either you value something, or you don't. Either you have room for something, or you don't.
Either you truly need something, or you don't.’ Do you need the five-seater Chesterfield that's been in the family for decades? Or would starting fresh with something suited to your new space be better?
Whatever the answer,
downsizing gives you the perfect excuse to create a new home with new memories.
If you focus on ‘less clutter and more meaning,’ you’ll be ready to start a fun and fulfilling life in your new easy-living home.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
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