When you picture your retirement, does it include enjoying the type of ease and luxury that only a fancy resort can offer? How does the thought of waking up in your modern two-bedroom home, complete with high-quality finishes and open plan design to make life more comfortable, sound to you?
You could start your day with a swim in the pristine pool, a walk through manicured gardens or tick off your exercise early in the state-of-the-art facilities, then pop by your neighbours’ house for a coffee mid-morning all before enjoying lunch on the patio (if you’re not attending a social event).
If all of this, plus the prospect of living in a supportive community with like-minded neighbours, appeals to you, then a land lease community could be your perfect retirement property option.
Plenty of retirees say that retirement is when life truly begins – it’s not called the golden years for nothing! – so why wouldn’t you want to live it in the best possible way? After all, you’ve just spent your whole life in the workforce – this is your time to relax and do whatever you please, whenever you please.
More and more older Aussies have embraced life in a land lease community over the past 10 years or so, as a luxury approach to downsizing that’s surprisingly affordable. And more than 3,500 of those downsizers found the retirement location and property of their dreams with Ingenia Lifestyle, the largest and best-known land lease community provider in Australia.
Ingenia Lifestyle builds high quality, modern homes within a safe, master-planned community that uses landscaping, open spaces such as parks and gardens and resort-style facilities (think pools, bowls greens, gyms, clubhouses and more) to give its community an exclusive, and very secure, feel.
Nikki Fisher, chief operating officer of Ingenia, describes Ingenia Lifestyle’s communities as designed to give residents a sense of belonging.
“Whether it’s time to unwind and relax or get adventurous and try a new hobby Ingenia Lifestyle deliver a range of lifestyle facilities to offer a variety of choice,” Nikki says. “We’ve removed the hassles that are generally associated with ‘seniors living’ to make this your place to call home, in a safe and secure community, for a future filled with happy days.”
(If you aren’t familiar with the financial benefits a land lease community offers retirees, you can read more here. And if grey nomadding or lengthy holidays are your thing, we explain how land lease communities are built for that lifestyle here.)
In addition to new or near-new homes, fitted with quality appliances and low-maintenance finishes, perhaps the biggest drawcard for people looking into land lease communities is the facilities that come as standard.
Each community is unique so facilities range from location to location, but they’re commonly fitted out with swimming pools, bowling greens, entertainment areas and libraries, to name a few.
While the current coronavirus crisis and the social distancing and self-isolation measures that have been instated as a result have meant Ingenia Lifestyle communities have had to close many of their resort-style facilities temporarily to ensure the safety of residents, once we make it out the other side, residents will be able to get back to enjoying their resort-style lifestyle.
To paint a picture, residents of Ingenia Lifestyle’s Latitude One community enjoy a community clubhouse, swimming pool, library, gym, pool table with darts and an alfresco barbecue area. There’s also a bowling green and storage for boats and caravans available, plus lovely gardens and entertaining areas dotted around the community for residents to use.
Meanwhile Lorraine Ferguson, a resident at Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines, is one of the happy Aussies who’ve embraced the downsizer lifestyle that living in a land lease community can offer.
“Now that I have less housework to do, it means I have more free time to myself,” Lorraine says, adding that she enjoys spending time in the pool or reading in the library.
Another perk of living in an Ingenia Lifestyle community is its low-cost Be Active program. The events-based program includes everything from health and wellbeing, socialising, fundraising events and more all designed with the residents in mind, to encourage them to enhance their lives and maintain overall physical and mental health.
“The program is all about encouraging our residents to take charge of their lives and wellbeing through exercise, education and relationships and to maintain this control to live as independently as possible in the years ahead,” Fisher says.
“Ingenia also have a support network called Ingenia Life where we can arrange referrals to health, care and support services so that residents can get on with enjoying life and ticking off their bucket list.”
This program has also been adjusted to meet the current climate, with residents now able to partake in exercise sessions such as yoga, tai chi and pilates from the comfort and safety of their own home over the internet. There’s also weekly digital wine and cheese nights for residents to sign into, and happy hour drinks every Friday afternoon. These measures have all been put into place to ensure residents still feel a sense of connection to their community during these uncertain times. For the less digital-savvy folk, there is also the Pen Pal Buddy program, which encourages residents to write letters to a dedicated pen pal in the traditional sense. It’s amazing what receiving actual snail mail can do for your spirits!
The song goes ‘everybody needs good neighbours’, and at no stage of life does this ring truer than in retirement. That’s the benefit of a land lease community – everyone who moves in is in a similar stage of life and is equally keen to get the most out of it!
Ingenia Bethania residents Lee and Norma Falconer say the social connections their community provides is a big reason they don’t hesitate to recommend a land lease community to their friends.
“We love being at home, sitting out on the front patio in the afternoon talking to people as they come past,” Lee says. “We have made so many friends living in this community and we know we will be friends for life.”
If you thought you’d spend hours twiddling your thumbs once you’d given up work, think again.
Far from being a time to sit around watching TV, many Ingenia Lifestyle residents say they lead busier lives in retirement than they did when they had full-time jobs. With a full schedule of social activities planned for residents – from bingo to Friday happy hour, you’ll never be short of something to do.
David and Cherry Grono say they’ve been busy making new friends and taking advantage of the activities calendar since moving into Ingenia Lifestyle Hervey Bay.
“It’s all part of why we moved there – to make new memories with our new friends that we make every day,” Cherry says. “We go shopping in the community bus, we don’t have to take our car out if we don’t want to. It’s great!”