Considering a Retirement Village

How to choose the right retirement village for you

Aug 01, 2023
The choice you make can impact your future lifestyle, happiness and overall experience. Image source: Supplied

Whether you’re approaching retirement or are already in it, there may come a time where you consider downsizing from your family home to a retirement community. Perhaps the upkeep and maintenance has become too much, or feelings of loneliness are slowly creeping in and you’re looking for ways to expand your social circle and be surrounded by like-minded people.

Downsizing to a retirement community comes in many forms, and a popular option amongst Aussies are retirement villages. There are a number of providers to choose from, and an even greater number of considerations to be had beforehand, including financial, location, amenities, lifestyle opportunities and the overall community. The choice you make can impact your future lifestyle, happiness and overall experience in the retirement village.

So how do you find the one that ticks all the right boxes?

The other side of retirement planning – finding happiness and contentment

Although one of the biggest considerations when it comes to choosing a retirement village is the financial aspect, finding happiness and contentment in where you live is just as important to consider.

Ask yourself where you want to be and how you want your retirement lifestyle to feel, so that you can choose the right retirement community to bring you joy. To help you choose the right retirement community where you can find happiness both now and into the future, consider the following:

1. Where do you find a genuine sense of belonging?

One of the best ways to determine whether a retirement village feels like the right fit for you is to pop in for a visit. What is your first impression of the village location and atmosphere? Does it feel friendly and inviting? Would you feel like part of a community in this village?

Most retirement villages allow you to book in a private tour where you can speak to the staff and residents and get a firsthand look of what life is like inside the village. Be sure to take note of how big the village is as well. You may feel that smaller, boutique villages, such as Oak Tree are better suited if you like the idea of building close relationships with the staff and your neighbours, while retaining your privacy at the same time.

Retirement villages are a community so it’s important you feel a sense of belonging with your neighbours from the outset. You may also want to consider inviting your family to the village to spend time understanding the offering and facilities with you.

2. The connection with staff

The level of staff involvement within the community can play an influential role in creating a warm and welcoming environment.

When you get to know the staff and the staff gets to know you, it helps build meaningful relationships and can also give you peace of mind in knowing that there is someone nearby to help in times of need.

Most retirement villages have a dedicated manager. They are a vital link for communication in the village and play an important role in maintaining and building harmonious connections amongst the residents. The village manager will also look after general maintenance tasks, including keeping the community spaces clean, landscaping, and general repairs.

3. Is everything you need within easy reach?

While you may have strong connections within your retirement community, it is also important to have everything you need from the ‘outside world’ within easy reach of your village location.

This means finding a retirement community that is conveniently located near supporting infrastructure to make life easier, such as medical facilities and other amenities essential services such as doctor’s offices, shops, community services and parks – just to name a few.

4. Lifestyle convenience

Think of the ways that living in a retirement village can add value to your life and enhance your lifestyle. Does it give you the opportunity to do more of the things you love? After all, you’ve worked hard over the years, so come retirement you should be able to kick your feet up and enjoy more of the good things in life.

Retirement villages offer a low-maintenance lifestyle where tending to the yard and maintaining the outside of your home is a thing of the past. Common areas and facilities are all cared for, and so all that’s left for you to do is to enjoy the lifestyle of your choice

Other considerations consider

There are many other considerations to be had before you make the move. You may like to consider downloading the helpful free e-guide put together by Starts at 60 in partnership with Oak Tree: ‘Considering a Retirement Village: The Ultimate Guide’, which is packed with critical information, considerations and easy-to-complete exercises to help guide your journey into community retirement living.

Are you considering retirement living?

Download your free copy of the 'Considering a Retirement Village: The Ultimate Checklist' which provides you comprehensive information on everything you need to know before you start your journey into retirement village living.

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