Great Expectations: Retirement Living
There are few things that conjure up the same level of wistfulness than moving house. Packing boxes; sorting through a lifetime of accumulated possessions; leaving behind the history you created within its walls.
Downsizing presents an even greater emotional roller coaster: wondering what to take and leave behind; how you’re going to feel in your new (smaller) environment; whether you’ll like the neighbours. But there’s no denying there’s something liberating about a new beginning. Shedding the shackles of an old life, stepping into a vibrant future and preparing to create fresh memories.
Change can be as hard as it is refreshing, and if you’re considering transitioning into a retirement village, it’s only natural you might have some jitters. The good news? The following insights will give you an idea of what to expect before you make a decision.
You always have options
Independent Living or Serviced Apartment? Long term or short-term? From the style of unit you choose to live in to the type of contract you sign, you’re in control of your life, finances and future. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do – but being well-informed is essential because…
Transparency is key
Understanding what you’re financially responsible for is essential for your sense of security and wellbeing. It’s a given you’ll have to sign a contract, pay an initial investment fee and monthly levies. Ask questions about long-term costs, and become acquainted with the notion of Deferred Management Fees. Speak to trusted advisors about your concerns because knowing exactly what your contract stipulates before you sign it will ensure there are no surprises down the track.
It’s a lifestyle investment
Moving into a village will not make you a fortune if you decide to sell on. But what you do gain is a lifestyle that provides security and convenience, along with a ready-made community. Expect facilities that enhance your health and wellbeing and a robust social scene fuelled by like-minded neighbours. With villages set in thriving locations and all the amenities you could want, it’s a comforting environment that provides a balance between the money it costs versus a lifestyle you’ll love.
You get out what you put in
Everyone on the planet is different. Introverted. Extroverted. Loves karaoke. Can’t sing for quids. Has a green thumb. Kills plants in a heartbeat. Whoever you are, and whatever your vibe, villages are socially diverse environments within which you live your life, your way. There are always going to be excursions to join, events to attend and community initiatives to get involved in – but it’s entirely up to you how much or how little you do. Don’t want to interact? That’s your choice.
The community vibe is real
When asked what they love about village life, one of the most common answers from Lendlease Retirement Living residents is the overwhelmingly positive sense of belonging. Living amongst people who become life-long friends is infinitely rewarding, diminishing feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s nice knowing that you’ll always have someone to catch up with for a cuppa, have a chat to, or join for a walk.
It’s not just for the elderly
There’s a serious misconception that retirement villages are for ‘old’ people - and the so-called ‘aged’ are the proof in the vibrant pudding. Seventy-year-olds are living as colourfully as they did decades ago. Even 80 or 90-somethings know how to party. And many residents who move in earlier – veritable spring chickens at 55 or 60 – do so because they know that village living equals fun and flexibility to live how they choose. If you’re going to party in the Community Centre, socialise every Happy Hour, and make regular use of the facilities many villages offer, you have to have stamina. This is a place to which you’ll be proud to invite your friends – and they’ll always be welcome.
Be a big fish in a small pond
One of the benefits of living in a community is that you can make a positive impact: Start a monthly movie club, launch a weekly yoga class or create an initiative that enhances the lives of your neighbours. The village community is a living, breathing, inspiring force, which welcomes new contributions and encourages residents to get involved.
You have support – if you want it
Whether you’re physically healthy or feeling a bit creaky, you can have as much or as little support as you need. Lendlease is serious when it comes to prioritising your wellbeing, providing health and wellness initiatives, offering a schedule of health-enhancing programs and connecting you with medical and natural health practitioners. It’s a collaborative, holistic, completely customisable approach.
Safety and security is a given
There’s something to be said for knowing that not only are you safe and secure in your environment, but should you decide to go on an adventure, your place will be well looked after. The lock-up-and-leave phenomenon, (for those with a serious case of the travel bug) means you can head off on epic adventures – and when you get back, your home will be secure and the gardens will still be alive.
It’s not always easy
Moving house can physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. But if there’s a silver lining to this exhausting cloud it’s that once you’ve moved, the boxes have been unpacked, your old possessions feel at home in their new space, and you’ve met (and like) the neighbours, you can start looking forward to everything the move represents. Fun and friendship. Safety and security. Absolute independence, but also support if you need it. Retirement offers a whole other life to live – and being in an environment which nurtures and supports that life is worth its weight in gold.
For further information connect with our Customer Support Team on 1800 550 550.