Imagine starting every morning with a refreshing dip in the ocean, or a peaceful stroll through a beautiful forest. And then perhaps a glass of local wine on the veranda in the evening, accompanied by the fish you caught that morning.
Happily, if you’re downsizing and looking into your options, that lifestyle may be closer than you think. Many modern retirement villages or land lease communities are designed and located to offer their residents a peaceful holiday feeling – is there one out there for you?
Turning a holiday into reality
If you are thinking about a move to a coastal town, or to a rural community, it’s important to research the area carefully. Unlike a holiday, you can’t come home after two weeks, so doing your due diligence is essential.
- Look at the year-round temperatures so you know what you’re in for when it’s not balmy midsummer. Visit in winter if you can, to see what the place is like in the off-season.
- Walk around the area at different times of day to get a sense of how friendly it is and what the locals are like.
- Research all transport options, healthcare providers, and other public services, such as libraries and community centres.
- Check if there are any opportunities for part-time work or volunteering, and local community events on offer. (The council website is good for this kind of information.)
- Research crime statistics and chat with locals about the area. Local Facebook groups are often a good way to get a sense of an area and its people.
What about retirement villages or land lease communities?
The developers of new land lease communities (where you lease the land but own the property) and retirement villages (where you buy the home) often choose to build them in particularly lovely rural or coastal areas. Retirement is, after all, a time to slow down and enjoy life a little after the rush of work and, for some, raising kids. Particularly after the pandemic, and with the rise of remote working, more and more Australians are feeling the pull of beautiful surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You may find the perfect new home in one of these places. The benefit of moving into an established land lease community or retirement village is that you have a built-in community, and can enjoy your new surroundings without having to worry about gardening or renovating, or cleaning the pool – it’s all done for you.
What are the benefits of a sea or tree change?
The biggest benefit is that you can finally move to a location that suits your lifestyle, whether that is going wine tasting or relaxing under a beach umbrella and getting lost in a good book. Nature is powerful medicine, too, and having the ocean or forest nearby will do wonders for your wellbeing and general outlook. Finally, there’s no being beholden to a particular school or commute – this is your well-deserved time to be completely indulgent.
On that note, downsizing will also release the equity you’ve had locked up in your property, so you can travel, take up a new hobby or simply enjoy life without the costs and pressure of running a large family home. Always talk to a financial adviser so you know exactly where you will stand if you sell your home, and what your retirement budget will be.
If you move to a land lease community or retirement village, there are even more benefits. These include:
- Greater security and peace of mind.
- Reduced insurance premiums.
- Lots of built-in entertainment and activities, from movie nights to swimming.
- Ready opportunities to meet like-minded people at the same life stage as you.
- Less maintenance, as it’s all done for you.
- The opportunity to reinvent yourself and embrace a new chapter in your life, surrounded by natural beauty.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest.