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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Oct-Nov
COVER STORY one bedroom. “They also generally want a garage,” he says. Safe and sound Security is also a high priority for people in retirement who are downsizing, but Mann says it’s not about building gated communities. “We only close the gates late at night so residents and guests can come and go, but the property is still secure.” Peter Sherrie, national president of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, also agrees a secure property is a key consideration for people who want to downsize, especially for the grey nomad variety of retirees who want to be able to head off in their caravan for extended periods. “What’s often important is an ability to lock up your place and know it’s secure,” he says. People who are downsizing also want to maintain a social life and many villages have features such as community centres, libraries, bars and restaurants, bowling greens and art and crafts rooms, as well as areas where residents can entertain family and friends. Some also offer doctors’ rooms, pharmacy deliveries, swimming pools and gyms so residents can maintain their fitness and wellbeing. Homes are often built to be retiree- friendly and include flick mixer taps that are easy to use for people with arthritis, handles on doors rather than door knobs and wide corridors so that residents or their guests can easily manoeuvre a walker or a wheelchair through the property. On a budget Sherrie acknowledges that not all retirees are wealthy and an option for people on a budget is a lifestyle village of relocatable homes. “You might pay a ground lease of between $100 and $150 a week and you don’t need to pay deferred management fees when you exit the property. We also see people who move from a family home to medium-density apartment living, but that also means getting used to paying body corporate fees.” If you’re thinking about downsizing, it’s important to remember it doesn’t necessarily mean moving to a pokey apartment to wile away your twilight years. You can still downsize your home and have space for family, friends and hobbies, and at the same time move to more appropriate accommodation that takes a lot less looking after. It might also mean you get to engage more in the community around you. As the saying goes, a change is as good as a holiday. •• R Downsizing and moving into the Woodlands has meant the Ellards are closer to their family. Why we moved For Colin and Bev Ellard, the decision to downsize and move to a retirement community has not only given them a new lease on life, it has also enabled the couple to ‘pop in’ on their daughter for the first time in 25 years. “After living in the same home for 43 years, we decided it was time for a change. So we looked at our options and realised we wanted to downsize to a smaller property which would allow us to spend more time with family and friends,” Colin said. The Ellards moved into Lend Lease’s Woodlands Park in Berwick, Victoria, and couldn’t be more excited about what their move has meant. “The location is probably the biggest change for us. It has brought us a lot closer to our eldest daughter and we actually dropped in on her the other day for a quick chat and afternoon cup of tea. “It’s the first time in more than 25 years that we have been able to do that!” The Ellards have well and truly become part of the Woodlands Park community and are already involved in activities in the lifestyle centre and across the village. “I’ve started using the gym while Bev has become involved with the ladies sewing group,” said Colin. “We’ve taken up carpet bowls, joined the exercise class and attend Happy Hour on Friday nights. “The sense of companionship here is overwhelming.” It has brought us a lot closer to our eldest daughter and we actually dropped in on her the other day. 32 | www.probussouthpacific.org
Active Retirees Aug-Sept
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012