Question for our readers aged 55-65 years old; are you searching for an easier life as you transition to retirement? Do you want to reclaim your weekends?
Home is wherever you choose to be, right? We’re guessing that some of you took a gap year to travel, but most of you travelled more or less with an annual vacation as soon as you got your passport. Perhaps you love exploring new places but since the pandemic, the whole idea of organising someone to look after your home as well as planning the trip itself is overwhelming.
Today, we are going to discuss lock-and-leave living and the benefits it brings.
What do we mean by ‘lock and leave’?
Picture yourself flicking through your regular TripADeal or I Know The Pilot emails. You see a great deal for a holiday in Borneo. The only catch is, you leave in two weeks. When you live in a managed community like a retirement village or land-lease property, you don’t need to worry about who will water the garden, manage your mail or stop the pool from turning green. There are people who will take care of all that. All you need to do is book your trip, pack your bags, lock up and leave.
The big house
While your home with a backyard, pool and lots of grass might have made perfect sense when you had a family or entertained often, it seems a bit of a waste now the kids have flown the nest or at least, they are not spending much time at home.
Even if you’re fortunate enough to have a regular gardener and pool person, you still need to do a bit of home maintenance yourself. And if you are a DIY person, why deal with a lazy lawnmower or annoy the neighbours with a leaf blower? Do you still need to waste your weekends cleaning the pool and barbecue and keeping the rest of the garden under control?
We say: NO.
Retirement villages and land-lease properties
For those of us still active, entering a retirement village ‘early’ (before you’re 70) might seem like you’re giving up. That’s not the way to look at it. A home in an over-55s community gives you all the benefits of a large house (and usually much more) without the drudgery or the worry.
Who wouldn’t want to live in beautiful surroundings and still be close to family and friends? To have facilities like a pool, tennis court and entertaining areas that you don’t need to touch as far as maintenance is concerned? And the security of knowing that you’re in a safe environment?
Retirement village operators recognise the trend towards lock-and-leave, building beautiful properties in desirable locations with all the amenities you could wish for. And a huge bonus is that the village management team cares for the grounds and the facilities.
Why wouldn’t I buy an apartment for lock and leave?
We believe the main difference in buying an apartment in a complex versus buying in a retirement village is quality and lifestyle. Usually, retirement villages offer quality units or housing with various facilities to make life more enjoyable – like a pool, a spa, a bowling green, a tennis court, barbecue and entertaining area, a community room and more.
It’s rare to find apartment complexes that offer as much for as little.
Am I suited to a lock-and-leave lifestyle?
If your garden is your therapy, you need to be on hand for family emergencies or you are so deeply rooted in your community that you couldn’t exist without it, then this lifestyle might not be for you.
However, if you love to travel, scour publications or social media for travel ideas, want the flexibility to be able to act quickly (and don’t mind swapping a garden for a few plants by the door), then this lifestyle and type of housing would suit you.
A lock-and-leave lifestyle lets you take off on a whim – to take off across the globe or across Australia, to volunteer in Brazil, or to take a campervan around Australia.
And we shouldn’t forget a new favourite for Boomers: house sitting. Feel like a break and have all your house-sitting references in order? Then browse your house-sit community like TrustedHousesitters for offers that will take you to a location you’d like to explore, or go random and choose somewhere you’ve never been based on homes listed.