The retirement villages of 30 to 40 years ago have changed dramatically. In the past, these were often perceived as slow-paced places where retirees were pushed into small units in villages and largely forgotten.
Fast forwarded to present day and retirement villages have evolved substantially from that bygone era. Today’s boutique retirement villages, such as Oak Tree are thriving communities that are aspirational and exciting. They are carefully designed to incorporate a worry-free, lower maintenance lifestyle that allows you to spend more time doing the things you love.
If you believe that retirement villages are only for those old, frail, and grey, you need to think again. When Susan Hilton was looking for an over-55s community to call home, she didn’t think anywhere with ‘retirement’ in its name would suit – because she wasn’t retired. So, when a friend suggested she consider Oak Tree Retirement Village Goodna, she was very unsure – until she had a look for herself.
A Brisbane hairdressing salon owner, Susan was looking for an over-55’s community to move to after selling her large residential home. Part of the motivation for Susan’s move was the change in neighbourhood at her old home. Where she once felt close to the community in her street, over time her neighbours had moved away, and she felt disconnected. And so when a friend suggested she consider an Oak Tree Retirement Village she organised a tour.
“I immediately liked the look of the place,” Susan recalls.
“It had a really nice feel about it and wasn’t sterile like some of the other places I’d visited. But before I went too far, I had two questions for the village manager. ‘Do I have to be retired? And can I bring my dog?’ When I got a ‘no’ to being retired and a ‘yes’ to the dog I was suddenly very interested.”
Susan then found the villa that she wanted, with a large area out the back that suited her interest in gardening and also her dog, Harry.
“I had the freedom to make the place my own,” she says. “I had a fence and pergola built and haven’t looked back. It was the best decision for me.”
When Susan moved to her Oak Tree villa in December 2019, she was working full-time, but she could see a time when that would change because she had big travel plans in the future. The sale of her home and move to Oak Tree not only meant she was moving into a welcoming and friendly community, but it also gave her the funds she needed for her grand travel plans.
Despite Covid-19 throwing her travel plans into chaos, Susan has no regrets making the move. She continues to work full time as a hairdresser, and on weekends her love of soccer has her involved with The Lion Richlands club.
Susan loves the welcoming community at Oak Tree and despite a busy work schedule, she manages to pop into the village’s ‘Yacht Club’ most Friday evenings.
“It’s a lovely gazebo that overlooks the pool, which is how it got its name,” Susan says.
“Most Friday nights we gather there with our nibbles and drinks. If there’s a birthday to celebrate, we’ll have a barbeque.
“There’s plenty going on if you want to join in. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t. You can be as social as you want. We all respect one another’s privacy, and no one annoys anyone” explains Susan.
“But having said that, we all look out for one another. It’s such a contrast to my life at Springfield Lakes. If I’d had a fall or something happened to me inside my home there, no one would have known. That would never happen here.”
If the supportive community and fun atmosphere are not enough to convince you to consider retirement village living, there’s also the lower maintenance component.
Oak Tree’s lower maintenance promise means they provide ongoing care for your lawn, gardens (unless you’re like Susan and prefer to potter in the garden yourself), and home facade so you don’t have to worry about tending to tedious chores.
Your Village Manager will look after everything from keeping the community spaces clean through to landscaping and general repairs.
You will have the freedom and flexibility to do more of what you love; whether it’s working, travelling, catching up with friends and family, or pursuing a hobby. It’ll almost feel like you are on a permanent holiday.
Contact Oak Tree’s friendly staff to request a personal tour at your local Oak Tree village to see the benefits for yourself.
You may also like to consider downloading the helpful free checklist put together by Starts at 60 in partnership with Oak Tree: “Considering a Retirement Village: The Ultimate Checklist”. This free e-guide is packed with critical information and easy-to-complete exercises to help guide your journey into retirement living.
Download your copy of the 'Considering a Retirement Village - The Ultimate Checklist' which provides comprehensive information on everything you need to know before you start your journey into retirement village living.