For many retirees, recent booms in property prices mean they can capitalise on the value of their family home to invest in a lifestyle of freedom and friendship.
With less maintenance, a built-in community, and the security to lock up and leave whenever you want, downsizing to a retirement village makes a lot of sense. For Lyn Hosking, life at The Links at Waterford means plenty of worry-free travel and lots of community connections.
Lyn says moving into The Links at Waterford was the perfect solution to her regular jet-setting, which takes her away for up to 4 months of the year.
‘I manage tours for travel agents. Mainly seniors cruises and some specialised ones too. It's all organised ahead of time, and then I go and escort everyone. It's my retirement job,’ she says.
‘In a couple of months, I'm off to Amsterdam, St Petersburg and around the Baltics for 3 weeks. Then to Paris for a few days. After that, I have a 10-day break in Paris and London to meet my daughter, who's flying over from America. Then I’m meeting a seniors group and taking them on a cruise down the coast to Iceland. It's so good knowing that when I have to go away, I can just walk out the door, and everything will be looked after. It's a great feeling of security.’
Lyn’s not the only one reaping the rewards of downsizing. A survey by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute revealed that 43% of Australians aged 50 to 59 either moved location or downsized in the years leading up to their retirement. This is a huge shift from the 3% reported in early 2000.
‘Once the kids move out, the family home just becomes too big for many people. If there is only one or two of you, what do you need 4 bedrooms for? Downsizing offers freedom. There's less maintenance required in a small apartment. And you can lock up and leave without a worry in the world when you go on holidays. It's a much easier lifestyle,’ says director of Home Property Agents, Gabi Somlai.
‘I've found, especially in the North Shore of Sydney, the kids are growing up and moving away or going travelling. A lot of their parents are selling up and moving to be closer to their friends on the other side of the bridge. The market is so hot at the moment that people are selling their homes for much higher prices than they'd get ordinarily and making considerable profits.’
‘To be able to leave my place without having to worry about anything is great.’
For Lyn, the most rewarding aspect of living in the village has absolutely nothing to do with money.
‘I'm often away for at least 3 weeks at a time on tours. And I might go off in a caravan for a few weeks or visit my daughter in the US. To be able to leave my place without having to worry about anything is great,’ she says.
‘But more than that, we all get on so well here. You have to allow half an hour to get to the rubbish bin because you have so many conversations along the way. And if you're unwell, there's always someone knocking on your door with soup or something. It's a real feeling of community. Moving here was the best thing I've ever done.’
Learn more about The Links at Waterford, VIC.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
If you think your family or friends might enjoy this article, please share it with them.