Where should you retire? Here are some things to think about…

After a relaxing holiday by the beach, a river or the mountains, it can be tempting to start thinking that

After a relaxing holiday by the beach, a river or the mountains, it can be tempting to start thinking that the area may be a good place in which to retire. It sounds so easy, just ‘pack up and go’.

We met a couple who had moved from Melbourne to Port Douglas because they ‘had nice holidays there’. After around 18 months they said it ‘was too hot’. We could all say ‘really!?’ However, sometimes our heart rules our head and it can be too easy, for example, to think of the tropics on a freezing, grey day in Melbourne.

Before you start thinking of moving it’s helpful to make a checklist of all the things you are wanting in your new location. If you have a partner it may be advisable to do separate lists and compare them later. What are the things you really want in an area and what are the things that are ‘desirable’? Perhaps you will find that your needs and wants are not that far away.

As we get older it’s wise to think of medical facilities (are there doctors that live and practice in the town, are there all types of specialists?, would you have access to other medical facilities?), and don’t forget transport (is the desired area near an airport for medical emergencies and, on a more positive note, for visitors to come and stay).

If your idea of bliss is trying a different and affordable coffee shop or restaurant each week, then some areas may not cater for you. Perhaps your idea of fun is to play as much golf as possible, fish, join clubs or learn new skills. Visiting the Information Centre and chatting with the volunteers is a good start as is subscribing to the local newspaper (for at least 18 months). Reading the local news should give you an idea of ‘what’s happening’.

Will you ‘fit in’ to the town? A waitress in a cafe once asked us why we were staying in a regional town in New South Wales. We told her that we look at towns in terms of good retirement locations. She then told a man in the next room and we heard his loud reply, ‘Tell them we don’t want anyone else here!’ Some towns in Australia have few newcomers, whereas people in an area on the Sunshine Coast said it was particularly friendly because, ‘most people had moved there, so there are a a lot us who are newcomers’

It may be a good idea to visit an area when it is not busy. Visiting a town when the tourists have left may show you a different side to the area. Staying in a place ‘out of season’ may give you a different impression (and this may not necessarily be a negative experience).

Wherever we go, remember, we are fortunate to have many choices in Australia, do your research and enjoy the journey.

Where would you like to retire? If you have already retired or relocated, why did you chose that place?

  1. You want medical care? Stay in the Big Smokes. Want a quiet life, move to the bush and forget about adequate, nearby, medical care.

    • Frank  

      yep – as I’ve read it – increased mortality in rural areas is associated with further distance from emergency medical services – more than 20 minutes is a problem, more than 2 hours and you may not make it out of there alive.

  2. Obviously, proximity to medical facilities becomes more important as we age, but that doesn’t mean you have to live within a stone’s throw of a hospital. The other big consideration is transport – particularly with most of our state governments trying to make it harder for us to keep our driving licences. I would prefer to stay where I am for as long as I can. Other than that, Tasmania would be my choice.

  3. Well I downsized to a nearby suburb to where I was living, I had in mind because of my medical problems I needed to stay close enough for me to travel to my doctor, yet live close to wonderful facilities I could use on a daily basis. The Retirement resort I moved to covers all of my expectations, and couldn’t be happier.

    • Someone I knew went into a care centre and almost died one night because another patient, angered by the sound an oxygen machine was making, got up and unplugged it. The night ‘nurse’ was busy caring for other patients and showed up in the nick of time.

  4. If you want to have a recovery chance after a stroke or heart attack then be within 15 minutes of a major hospital.

    • So right. My husband survived his major attack because the ambulance station is at most 5 minutes away and so is our big public hospital.

  5. I want to move to Bateman’s Bay from Wollongong in a couple of years. It is not too small and not too large and I’ve been researching house prices, public transport links and social activities. Husband wasn’t that keen to start with but now he knows they have a Bunnings he is happier. Also their U3a has even more activities than the one I now belong to. House prices are cheaper than the area we live in now. We have to look at other things like type of housing (no double storey) a flat block of land, what are the neighbours like, how close is it to the bus, is it in a bushfire or flood zone etc. This will be our last move so we must get it right. I couldn’t imagine living where I am being fearful of flooding for much longer.

  6. I am already here, Carlyle Gardens Retirement Resort in Townsville….a great place to be!

  7. I will continue my retirement years where I am living now. I am near my 3 sisters., son & their families, my doctor/medical centre,Westfield shopping centre, church & because I don’t drive, bus stop is just a few steps from my house, to catch my train is only 8 mins away to go to my Voly work. My son takes me for holidays to country areas anyway…😊 💜 😊👍

  8. Downsizing to an affordable two bedroom or one bedroom unit under $150,000 was a challenge. Eventually, I found a surrounding suburb of Albury with a five minute drive to all the major retail shops, banking and medical facilities including a major hospital, regional airport used by Virgin and Qantas. A major railway station. A village style 2 bdrm strata uni. No stairs to climb and luckily, good neighbors. Albury sits on flat terrain near Murray River and a twenty or so drive to Lake Hume, if you like the water sports and fishing environment. It is a major regional city. Imagine the size of five or 6 large Sydney or Melbourne suburbs adjoined together, so it’s not that small and….hardly any high rise apartments to spoil the atmosphere. Wodonga , Victoria is on the border of Albury, New South Wales. If you are an Age Pensioner and if you are buying a property in VIC then you will be exempt from purchase Stamp Duty. The R/E prices in Wodonga are bit higher than in Albury. If you need to rent a home then rentals are around $160 per week for a nice 2 bedroom village style ground level unit in adjoining suburbs of Albury One of Albury’s major industries is the Healhtcare Industry. So this is my home now after immense research and two personal; visits to make sure I’d be satisfied with the environment. I also considered Port Douglas, nice area but, it is subject to QLD;s volatile destructive weather, high cost of living, limited healthcare services and wandering constrictor snakes not to mention the odd crocodile.

  9. One should inquire retiring o/seas. E/Asia Hospital cover is 1/3 cheaper with better entitlements . Costs of living is 1/3 (incl. Electricity/petrol) and of coarse they do speak our lingo. But our government won’t let you out that long.I think it used to be 26 weeks.Now they decided on 24 weeks) They want us to spend money here in Australia. We are classified “Parole aged pensioners”.

    • After 24 weeks you will lose all your entitlements from Centrelink. Yes, you”ll get back to normal Centrelink after you told them “I am back”

      • Steve  

        all entitlements Paul? or just the supplementary type ones? I thought you could live overseas indefinitely but after the 26 weeks (now 24 from what you are saying) you only lost some of the extras?

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