Comprehensive and informative retirement solutions for Australians.

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Staying or Moving in Retirement

Staying in the family home

Retirement isn’t what it used to be. Many people work until they’re much older and others are interested in travelling and retiring overseas. Retirement villages aren’t what they used to be either. People don’t necessarily move into villages because they can’t live independently in the family home. It is possible to live in a retirement village even when you’re in good health, and an active member of the community. Many people like the idea of a retirement village so that they can age in place.

Ageing in place has extensive benefits, whether you choose to stay in the family home or relocate into a retirement village. If you choose to stay in the family home you’ll have to consider your future needs. Your physical needs may change and you might develop age related health conditions that require additional care. Additionally, if you’re living alone, social isolation can become a real concern. With all that being said, a major factor in being able to stay in the family home is the layout of the home and whether you can age in place with that layout. You might need to make some home modifications to make this possible. And finally, ageing in place in the family home will be simpler if you’re close to shops, doctors, hospitals, family and friends.

Big house

Staying in the family home isn’t an option for some people during their retirement years. Their preference or need is to sell the family home and explore other accommodation options that allow them to age in place. Several retirement villages offer independent living and assisted living, as well as high level residential aged care. Considering these advances by providers of accommodation, particularly involving high care, ageing in place for Australians is becoming increasingly feasible.

It is important to consider the pros and cons of selling the family home and moving into a retirement village when the time comes.

Pros of living in a retirement village

Many retirement villages offer both retirement living as well as residential aged care. Many people feel a sense of calm knowing that their future care needs can be met where they live. Also, many people feel safer when they know their neighbours, and live in a community with people of similar age.

Retirement villages are also considerably smaller, are typically on a single level (or have elevators), and are generally easier to maintain than the family home. There will be little to no gardening required, reduced house maintenance and much less cleaning to do. This will free up your time and reduce the physical burdens associated with managing a family home.

With more free time you’ll be able to enjoy the social activities that many retirement villages have to offer. Some villages offer free concerts, high teas, wine tastings, and religious based activities to name a few. There’s often transport services available and regular outings planned as well. But retirement living is definitely not for everyone.

Pros of staying in the family home

Moving house can be expensive. Staying in the family home means that you don’t have to worry about the financial burden or the stresses of moving, such as removalists, buying and selling furniture, stamp duty and legal fees.

Also, you might have been living in that house for many years, and have so many wonderful belongings that you’ve accumulated. If you downsize, you might have to sell off some of those adored treasures.

Additionally, you can do activities on your own terms if you remain in the family home. There’s no pressure to participate in a new social environment that involves communal living. That way you’ll have a sense of control over your schedule and activities.

Staying in the family home is possible for many people nowadays and there’s availability to age in place in the family home. The Australian government offers in home care to eligible Australians, offering support services via the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP). Services that you can receive at home to meet your care needs and goals are vast, ranging from help with activities of daily living, nursing care, home modifications, transport and much more.

At the end of the day, do what is right for you and your family. Moving during retirement can be really challenging. We all have emotional attachments and long lasting memories of places we’ve spent so much time at. Looking towards the future and what is best for you will have its rewards whether you stay in your family home or move on when the time comes.

Moving into an apartment

There are many options when you consider moving homes in the retirement years. These days, some Australians are opting for over 55s communities or retirement villages as their housing preference, but there can be ongoing costs associated with choosing these options, and often there is a hefty exit fee when the time comes to sell your villa.

Another option to consider is buying into an apartment. Although there will be body corporate fees, there is a sense of freedom in making this choice:

  • An apartment is often more affordable than the family home, giving you additional funds when you make the move.
  • An apartment is much easier to maintain than a big house, and it is usually easier to clean as well.
  • Many apartments offer additional security.
  • There are usually lifts in an apartment block, eliminating the need to navigate stairs.
  • Apartments are often centrally located to shopping centres and amenities such as pharmacies, doctors, public transport and restaurants.
3 floor new apartments

Moving into an over 55s community or retirement village

Retirement villages are housing developments that are designed to accommodate people as they age, often offering services and facilities that specifically cater for the ageing person. Retirement villages may consist of self-contained units, villas or serviced apartments where assistance with certain activities of daily living is offered. Some retirement villas are owner occupied and others are rental properties. Many people choose to live in a retirement village community to surround themselves with like-minded people of a similar demographic, or to enjoy the facilities that are on offer such as golf courses and swimming pools, domestic support or meal preparation. Many people enjoy the security that they feel in a retirement village and they may also enjoy the additional funds that they acquire from selling the larger family home, while still allowing them to live in a similar area due to the affordability of retirement dwellings. There are many different retirement village models on offer:

  • Privately owned retirement villages where you purchase an apartment or villa under a tenure agreement.
  • Non-for-profit funded retirement villages where entry to such a village is on a need basis.
  • Retirement villages that offer services such as cleaning and meal preparation. Please note that these services may still be accessible if you are in an independent living unit via a home care package or the commonwealth home support programme. Please contact My Aged Care to discuss your eligibility for these services by calling 1800 200 422.
  • Retirement villages that have different levels of residential care attached to the premises including low care and high care. Remember that to access residential aged care, an ACAT assessment is necessary. To discuss this further please contact My Aged Care to discuss your eligibility for these services by calling 1800 200 422 or have a chat with your G.P.
  • Whether you are moving into an over 55s village or retirement village, consider the various ownership structures first and seek legal advice before entering into any agreements. The ownership structures and fees will vary from place to place.