When you retire, you have the option to stay in the suburb you have been in to raise your family or relocate to a different area.
No matter where you are from, the discussion will arise as to whether you want to enjoy country life or spend your retirement in a major city.
Both options have a lot to offer, so let’s break down how to make the decision.
Urban living for retirees
Retiring in the city comes with a considerable array of conveniences including public transport, shops, cafe culture and time to visit the parks, museums and theatres you have always been too busy to enjoy.
Your local council probably has programs for seniors, from bridge and bingo to computer skills and book club. You can also join your local Probus group and enjoy exploring the city with people from your demographic.
When you are based in the city, it is also often easier to get access to the best healthcare and hospitals. Specialists tend to operate in urban centres, so getting the best medical attention is generally easier.
If you already live in the city, there is also the draw of the familiar. You may not want to leave the place that is home to you, and, of course, you don't have to.
A final benefit of retiring in a city area is that you can usually find a quality apartment or retirement village that suits your lifestyle preferences.
In terms of drawbacks, cost may be a factor. Prices are always higher in metropolitan areas when compared to the country. With this being said, it’s likely you can downsize and free up some capital.
The other issue may be traffic and general busyness. Many retirees prefer a slower pace of life than the city or suburbs offer.
Country life for retirees
The charm of country life as a retiree lies in its peace and natural beauty. Australia’s countryside offers picturesque landscapes, clean air, and a slower pace of life.
Country towns also tend to be more convenient than many give them credit for. There may not be as many shops to choose from, but they are all usually in a central area and, unless you intend to live outside of town, are usually easy to get to. As a bonus, parking is easy and usually free.
Country towns also usually have an excellent sense of community. While there may not be the number of clubs to join as in the city, there will still almost certainly be something that will interest you and a group of people you can connect with.
There is also access to nature that the country provides, which is very appealing to rural retirees, especially if you can afford to buy a larger property. This might be the time in your life to purchase a small acreage and try your hand at hobby farming.
Then, of course, there’s the affordability. It’s already been touched on above, but it’s worth reiterating that buying property in the country is considerably more cost-effective. This is why retirees flock to areas like the Central Coast in NSW, where the population is growing impressively and Geelong in Victoria, with almost as impressive numbers. The Gold Coast is also seeing a surge in popularity for retirees and downsizers, as is Port Stephens in NSW.
If you’re selling a city property, you may be able to purchase two homes; one to live in and one to lease. This will give you potential income in retirement.
Before you decide on country life as a retiree, check out the healthcare and transport services available. As you become less mobile, you may decide you need to be closer to hospitals, doctors and bus stops.
Another factor to consider
Retiring and moving away from the home you have enjoyed for many years also comes with the question of family.
Will your children be happy to jump on the freeway or fly to visit you? How much will it cost to spend time with them, and how will you feel when grandchildren come along? Keep these questions in mind but don’t be afraid to explore every option; your dream downsizer property may be waiting for you right now.
IMPORTANT: Any tips or advice contained in this article are general in nature and you should always seek professional advice from expert advisers about your individual situation before making significant financial decisions.