Australia is one of the best countries in the world to retire in. Our Pacific nation ranked within the top three countries for retirement in all but one of the nine ageing indices reviewed by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR).
That said, there are always going to be areas within the country that are better than others for our ageing population – away from the hubbub of the working world and comfortably priced for an affordable retirement. Let’s take a look at some of the best retirement spots in each Australian state, barring the Australian Capital Territory.
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Those wishing to retire in trendy Victoria might look forward to a permanent holiday in the peninsular town of the Borough of Queenscliffe. The latest census revealed this town of just under 3,000 people is particularly popular among older Australian, with 40.5 percent of resident aged 65 or over.
Through most of the year, retirees can enjoy a tight-knit community, endless beaches and legacies to Victorian heritage aplenty. Busy summers keep the local village pumping and prosperous – a perfect destination for those seeking a luxurious and exciting retirement. The median house price sits around $780,000, according to Core Logic, making Queenscliffe a more expensive retirement spot.
More frugal Victorians might prefer the landlocked shire of Central Goldfields. CoreLogic reports Maryborough homes go for a modest $210,000, meanwhile VicHealth reviews indicate a lower rate of sedentary lifestyles, greater willingness to do volunteer work and a unanimous sense of safety.
South of Sydney, Eurobodalla Shire is made up of around 60 small towns, including Moruya and Batemans Bay. Another coastal area, the shores of Eurobodalla are a popular holiday destination for many Canberran families. Only a three-hour drive from the capital or a quick flight from Sydney, Eurobodalla is perfect for east coast retirees ready to downsize and maintain their independence, but it’s close enough for regular visits from your loved ones over the holidays. There’s also a wealth of activities to keep you socially and physically active throughout the shire.
Properties cost around $455,000, according to CoreLogic, meaning Eurobodalla may be comfortably within your budget for downsizing.
Right on the border of Queensland and New South Wales (NSW), Coolangatta represents a haven for retirees looking to stay city-side. As a suburb of the Gold Coast, a major CBD is just around the corner and beaches are inescapable. Tweed Heads of NSW is just a walk across the road, a region known for its rich concentration of flora and fauna.
With CoreLogic reporting a median house price of $805,000, this isn’t the cheapest area for retirement if you’re looking to buy, but a range of retirement villages in the area may provide more viable opportunities for your permanent holiday.
It’s hard to consider a retirement in South Australia without imagining picturesque sunsets with a glass of locally produced wine. So, it’s no wonder the state is so popular for our ageing population. Victor Harbor in particular is proving a popular destination for retirees, with over a third of the population past retirement age. Little more than an hour’s drive out of Adelaide, this former whaling town offers a relaxed lifestyle with easy access to the city’s infrastructure and world-renowned wine regions like McLaren Vale.
A home in Victor Harbor is also a relative steal at a median of $335,000, says CoreLogic.
Our 2017 pick makes a return here, with Esperance remaining a top location for retirees in Western Australia. The average house goes for just shy of $340,000, according to CoreLogic. While Esperance is a great distance from the nearest city, Perth, it’s perfectly suited to anyone seeking an active retirement without the hassle of a busy city. Stay busy and fit with plenty of walking, snorkeling or bird watching activities available.
Huon Bay remains a popular pick for retirees looking for luxury and gourmet bliss. However, St Helens of the north-east coast is ideal for anyone seeking a truly idyllic lifestyle. The intimate community enjoys all the amenities of a larger city without the noise of crowds, and almost year-round sunshine makes it an easy holiday destination for younger families members to visit.
Expect lower house prices across Tasmania, as CoreLogic estimates Hobart’s median below $700,000 and St Helens’ below $300,000.
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I have a penchant for tiny little churches in places that seem like there is light around every corner and friendship and warmth wherever you go. St. Helens is my kind of place and my only regret is that we don’t get to stay much longer. I really love Tassie and hope i get to come back again soon. #sthelenstasmania #triplejsons #lightsdownunder1 #tassiegram #tasmania
The Northern Territory is often overlooked as a retirement spot by those outside the state, but it’s time to start considering this well-kept secret. Darwin itself has a fantastic community for older volunteers, and the wider community is very senior-friendly. While the build-up to the wet seasons can be uncomfortable, the northern location makes the city that much closer to popular holiday spots like Bali.
In the June 2018 quarter, the average sale price of homes in Darwin was a moderate $500,000, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
No matter where you choose to settle down, a financial plan is vital if you hope to do so comfortably.
What you need to know
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