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Retirement living – better for your health, happiness and wallet!

A recent report (October 2017) from the University of Technology, Sydney shows that retirement living is better value than residential living once you add up the financial costs plus the intangible benefits, like social connection, security and peace of mind. You can view the full report by clicking here – UTS res.

What are the benefits of a Retirement Village versus residential living?

When most people think of retirement villages they think of all the activities and social events they’ll have at their fingertips. Of course, this is a massive benefit of retirement living (if that’s what you’re after – you can participate in these as much or as little as you want) but it’s actually the knock-on health, social and wellbeing effects that retirement living brings that provide the most benefit.

  • You’ll have less worry – you’ll be sharing a space with like-minded people of a similar demographic, so no need to be concerned about who’ll be moving in next door
  • You’ll have more peace of mind – from knowing you’re in a safe and secure environment, surrounded by neighbours who know you and are watching out for you
  • You’ll be more socially connected – whether you participate or not, just having easy access to social events and activities can reduce feelings of social isolation and negative emotions like boredom and depression
  • You’ll spend less time on the boring stuff – whatever that is to you; it may be weeding, gardening, cleaning, maintenance or watering – you choose what chores you do, and what you never need to do again

It all adds up to better overall wellbeing, which means a healthier, happier lifestyle – and who doesn’t want that?!

How do the financial costs stack up against the alternatives?

There are plenty of alternatives to choose from – you can stay at home, downsize to a new place or even build a granny flat. When you look at capital costs alone, some of these can appear to be a better financial decision than retirement living – and they continue to be, as long as you stay at home and do nothing again!

Add in lifestyle costs, like entry costs for use of local amenities, club memberships, social activities and so on – all of which we put at your fingertips – and these alternatives end up being financially comparable with retirement living.

The reality is that retirement living is a lifestyle choice, not an investment decision, so it comes down to a choice about what kind of lifestyle you want to lead. Downsizing can be lonely, residential living can be a neighbourhood lottery and granny flats…well, do you really want your daughter-in-law seeing you in your PJs each morning?!

The best action to take is to explore each alternative, including booking in for a tour at a number of retirement villages to find the one that’s right for you. And before you made any decision please make sure to chat with an independent financial advisor.