Deciding to downsize

KEEPING ACTIVE: Allen 'Ben' and Laurel Hall enjoy the lawn bowls, library and swimming pool that are easily accessible in their retirement village in rural NSW. They downsized from their rural acreage.
KEEPING ACTIVE: Allen 'Ben' and Laurel Hall enjoy the lawn bowls, library and swimming pool that are easily accessible in their retirement village in rural NSW. They downsized from their rural acreage.

BABY Boomers wanting to downsize and enjoy an easier lifestyle are driving the popularity of retirement villages across Australia.

Maintenance free living and the security of a gated community with others living nearby, are two of the primary drivers for downsizing to a village in retirement years.

Allen “Ben” and Laurel Hall just moved into Oak Tree Retirement Village Gunnedah, in NSW and advise downsizers to “not leave it too late”.

“Living on an acreage and being a couple who have always liked to have a well maintained home and garden at all times, we found it costly and time consuming,” Laurel said.

They attended an open day at a retirement village and decided to downsize to a villa in Gunnedah.

Ben said: “We consider this decision to be the best we ever made.

“Gunnedah has always been our home town, since our marriage more than 50 years ago.”

It was important to move into a retirement village that was close to family and friends.

“We have found living at Oak Tree Retirement Village with people of similar age has been very easy living.

“We all have different ideas and interesting conversations among ourselves.”

The Property Council of Australia has useful fact sheets about residential villages on its website. 

It explains differences between residential “lifestyle” villages, where the agreement is a rent over the land, and retirement villages, where the agreement is a lease or licence over the building.

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Some villages with independent living units are co-sited with aged care facilities; access to funded services in any care facility is subject to assessment by authorities. Many residents in retirement villages that are not co-sited access funded home support services while continuing to live independently; assistance with cleaning and transport right through to medical assistance is available to residents in their own homes.

Oak Tree Gunnedah village manager Kathryn Blinman says the aim is for residents to live independently for as long as possible.

“We actively work to keep residents aware of the third party services that are available as they age in place,” Ms Blinman said.