Retirement. It’s something many of us dream of during our working lives but when the time comes, the reality can be a little more difficult to navigate than we had imagined – in fact, it can be downright daunting.
So how do you start preparing yourself for a future that contains so many unknowns? Though many of us would like to think that we can predict how healthy and active we’ll be (or intend to be) over the next 10, 20 or 30 years, the reality is that our needs and circumstances can change in an instant.
Determined not to burden our kids with hard decisions ‘when the time comes’, retirees are increasingly taking matters into our own hands – much earlier than our parent’s generation did – downsizing in our 60s and 70s and creating a lifestyle for ourselves that will enable us to live the carefree retirement of our dreams for many years to come.
Thankfully, a lot has changed since we helped our parents transition into the retirement villages of yesteryear with their ‘institutional’ feel and restricted access.
Today, Retirement Living has become a lifestyle of choice with endless opportunities for fun, new friendships, the joy of community and freedom from the responsibilities of a big family home.
How do I know if Retirement Living is right for me?
As we get older and settle in to this next stage of life, often the things we ask ourselves are the start of some important realisations.
If any of this sounds familiar, take our ‘Am I Ready for Retirement Living?’ quiz and see how you score.
The reluctant questions and niggling acknowledgments that cross our minds as we get older, lead us to thoughts of the future that can only be subdued with a thorough bit of research and a well-thought-out plan.
Do I want to downsize and is now the time?
Whether it’s the family home or one you and your partner purchased once the kids flew the nest, you might both find yourselves acknowledging how much wasted space you have now there’s only the two of you.
And what about all the day-to-day chores you find yourself slaving away over. Wasn’t retirement supposed to be LESS work?
Undoubtedly, you’ve dreamed – even just momentarily – about a smaller, more cosier space where you could enjoy the freedom to entertain or relax without having to spend several hours cleaning beforehand.
If that sounds familiar, then it might be worth a trip to check out the luxury apartments at a community like Kingsford Terrace which offers modern, open plan independent living with city or courtyard views and a range of stunning facilities all in the one place.
Remember, downsizing does not have to mean downgrading. In fact it could actually lead to a lot more free time, cash flow and energy for you to spend on living some of the best years of your life.
How will I maintain my home as I get older?
When many think of retirement they think about the joys of never having to go to work again. But the mental shift from a structured professional and family life to one where YOU decide how each day will be spent can be a big one. And the unpredictability can sometimes be a surprising source of overwhelm.
When key aspects of your life change, your family home can feel like the only source of security left, holding treasured memories from the past that are comforting to you.
However, the size of the garden, associated costs of rates and maintenance can become an ever-growing financial burden, especially now you’re living off savings or your super.
But what if you could invent a future for yourself where you could enjoy your home without having to worry about it? This is the appeal of independent living Retirement Villages which offer beautifully appointed, no-maintenance living in a community where you’re surrounded by people who are enjoying their retirement just as much as you are.
How will I stay social and active in my retirement?
In addition to the ongoing maintenance and stress associated with an aging home (and similarly an aging body!), it’s probably also no surprise that living in your large home can be isolating as you grow older.
Remaining active and social can become more challenging and this isolation can compromise your physical, social and emotional wellbeing.
These days, Retirement Living is about joining a community of like-minded people, in a similar stage of life, who delight in sharing experiences and are always around for a good time. It is about shifting your focus from the day-to-day goings-on at home to a lifestyle where health, vitality and socialising are a priority.
Because less time spent looking after your home, means more time to spent holidaying, enjoying hobbies and sharing the company of friends and family.
So what is your next move?
There is often a lot of emotional attachment to the things that you know and the life that you’ve led to this point that can be overwhelming when considering what your next step will be.
Change can seem scary but it doesn’t have to be…because a bright future awaits.
Take our ‘Am I Ready for Retirement Living’ Quiz and see whether now is the right time to be thinking about whether to make the move.