A walk around the neighbourhood   14



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People often worry about moving to a different place in retirement. Many are concerned about living in a street with people who are simply not like them.  As we get older the difference in a neighbourhood is part of the fun but so is being around like-minded people. Today we worked with Living Gems to create a real life snapshot of a lifestyle resort. Do these people sound like the sort of people that could make life a little more interesting?



Frank and Clare, originally from Belmont

Frank and Clare Shaw moved with their standard poodle Piper from the Brisbane suburb of Belmont to Opal Gardens three and a half years ago. Frank, a retired publican, had enough of living in a suburb with too many teenagers and a large home with a quarter acre block to mow. He says deciding to downsize gave them a chance to build up the cash reserves and buy lots of new stuff. Now Clare and Frank enjoy nothing more than a game of golf or bowls and regular trips in their caravan. “We travel with three other couples who live at Opal. We can go away whenever we want knowing our home is secure and the caravan is stored in the onsite compound.”



IMG_0015[1]Robyn, originally from Lismore

Robyn Tomlinson was home alone in Lismore when she began looking at the options of moving closer to her daughter who lives at Helensvale on the northern end of the Gold Coast.

Robyn’s job in newspaper advertising put her in a prime position to research what was on offer; she did her homework and decided to move into Opal Gardens 18 months ago. Robyn now enjoys socialising with her neighbours, occasionally riding her bike around the resort and swimming in the pool everyday. Robyn says she feels safe at Opal Gardens and enjoys joining in with the mah-jong and crafts groups. “I have lots of projects on the go including my family history.”



nolaNola and Hedley, originally from Sydney

Nola and Hedley Green put a lot of time and effort into planning their retirement. They used the planning experience Hedley gained during his career in the public service and Nola’s office administration expertise to ensure everything went smoothly.

They planned to move from Sydney and retire in Queensland so they flew up to visit the Brisbane Retirement Expo and collected all the information. They came back to Queensland for two weeks to check out the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and Brisbane before deciding on Opal Gardens.

Nola and Hedley moved in with their cat Tiga in February 2013 and now enjoy the benefits of the resort lifestyle. Playing mah-jong, working out in the gym and swimming in the pool are among their regular activities but they also enjoy happy hour in the country club, the weekly lunches and being part of the welcoming committee. Nola has now taken up genealogy and is part of the move to start a family history club as so many other Opal residents are keen to investigate their ancestry.


This article has been sponsored by Living Gems Lifestyle Resorts for Active Over 50s. Living Gems is recognised as an international over 50s housing industry leader. Independent industry monitors presented Living Gems with The Best Over 50s Housing in Australasia Award last year. These lifestyle resorts have now been nominated for The Global 2015 Best in the World Awards to be announced in London later this year. Contact us now on 1800 785 594 to discuss the best active lifestyle options for you.


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. “Sigh’, I like the sound of this – however I still have a son living at home (30 this year!) so will have to wait a while yet …..

  2. People who have become insular and scared of living. There’s a great big wonderful world waiting for us over 55s so get out there and enjoy it.

  3. Be careful, VERY careful of the hidden fees eg. monthly levy, and EXIT fees. Yes you have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to leave.

    1 REPLY
    • Not all over 50’s villages charge exit fees.Mine doesn’t.The site fees{which are necessary to maintain the village} are very reasonable .We have 2 swimming pools,a gym,lawn bowls,sauna and various clubs.Don’t knock something until you have done your homework.I have lived at Claremont resort for 3 years and it is the best move i ever made.We own the house and when we die the money from the sale will go to our children except for the normal estate agent fee.

  4. Watch out for all the hidden costs, fees and the like. you may own the home but do you have to ask if you like to alter something or the plants in the garden.Not my way of living, but may suit others.

  5. Seems lots of people are concerned about fees. Living Gems does not charge any entry or exit fees, home owners can sell at any time and retain all of their capital gain. By the way, the article featured Opal Gardens at Logan Village but Ruby Gardens at Eagleby is just as good.

    1 REPLY
    • The problem with retirement villages that don’t charge exit fees is that you don’t own the land and banks won’t lend to buy. This means that when you come to sell you might not be able.

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