There’s no denying that selling and moving house is an epic task. And when you’re about to start a new life in a retirement village, there’s even more to think about. There are contracts to sign, fees to pay, solicitors to engage and movers to coordinate.
It's a big decision, but one that will ultimately enhance your life once you downsize, move into a ready-made community and immerse yourself in enjoying your new village lifestyle.
This is something Ian and Jenny Hansen experienced first-hand when they moved from their family home in Maleny, Queensland. With an expansive yard, the home had become increasingly hard for the couple, aged in their 70s, to maintain. ‘Nothing grows like it grows in Maleny. I'd have to mow 3 times a fortnight in the summer,’ says Ian. ‘Like a lot of people our age, we started thinking about downsizing when we started having health issues,’ adds Jenny. ‘We wanted to be near family. We have a daughter who lives and works in Bundaberg, and there’s medical help close to hand.’
‘We hadn’t actually considered living in a retirement village. We were looking at private, independent units, but none of them were as good as what we have now.’
It was Jenny and Ian's daughter who found their unit at The Lakes Bundaberg. ‘We hadn't actually considered living in a retirement village. We were looking at private, independent units, but none of them were as good as what we have now. And they were all more expensive,’ says Jenny.
‘To be honest, our kids were a little bit worried as they'd heard the stories about retirement villages,’ she adds. ‘Of course, there's an ongoing expense of living in a retirement village, but we looked at everything. We looked at the fees and contracts, and it all seemed fine as far as we were concerned. At our age, we're happy to pay an exit fee. We're not going anywhere. We signed the contract, and there were no problems at all.’
The physical task of moving your belongings from one home to the next is not meant to be fun, but Jenny and Ian got through it without much ado. ‘Moving was a big deal, but it all went fairly smoothly,’ says Jenny.
‘It took us a couple of weeks to get the garage clear enough to fit the car in, but we've got it all sorted now. We like the unit. It's much smaller than what we were used to, but we have absolutely everything we need here.’ Ian adds. ‘I don't have to worry about mowing the lawns any more. All the lawns and hedges are trimmed for you here, there's no hard work at all.’
After living at The Lakes Bundaberg for their first 50 days, Ian and Jenny are well into the swing of village life. The initial welcome they received confirmed their decision to move in. ‘The people who run the village are so friendly, and they've been very generous.’
‘When we arrived, they gave us a voucher to attend the social dinner they throw monthly. We've already been invited out to lunch to discuss any problems we might have,’ says Jenny. ‘Neighbours on both sides have come over to say hello and introduce themselves. We haven't seen much of them since, but that's because we've been coming and going all the time! I like knowing we can do that, and the place is always secure.’
‘There haven’t been any negatives for us since we moved in… It ticks all the boxes for us. We can’t ask for anything more.’
One of the major drawcards of retirement living is the established community. There’s a sense of camaraderie and support among residents.
‘At the first social dinner we went to, Ian met a bowler, and he's since played bowls a couple of times with the same fellow,’ says Jenny. ‘We both went to bingo last Tuesday, and I've got craft and painting groups I go to. There's a group of men Ian met who he plays snooker with now. It's lovely.’
‘The most important thing is to do your research, look around and find the place that's right for you. Think about the facilities you want, what suits you financially and any other needs you may have,’ she adds.
‘There haven't been any negatives for us since we moved in. The management here is so helpful, the people here are all friends, we've had great entertainment, and there's a nice atmosphere. It ticks all the boxes for us. We can't ask for anything more.’
Learn more about The Lakes Bundaberg, QLD.
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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