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Maintaining Independence: Your retirement living options

What lies ahead in your retirement? How flexible would you like your living situation to be? What options are available near family? What does your family want for you? What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Knowing where and how you’ll retire well in advance gives you the time you need to adjust to a new way of living and ensure your retirement will work for you. One of the biggest considerations you’ll need to make is your living situation.

We’ve already discussed live-in aged care facilities in our recent blog post, “Maintaining independence: Supported living in Australia“. However, there are a number of alternative options for supported living in Australia that allow you to maintain independence while keeping a support network close by.

Let’s discuss your options and what you should think about when planning for retirement.

 

If you would like to discuss your options and how you might manage it from a financial perspective, please get in touch.

 

Retirement villages

Retirement villages are live-in, multi-unit complexes designed expressly for accommodating people over 55. They may be made up of single-level units or high-rise apartments, and typically have a number of recreational and medical facilities on-site.

Nearly 200,000 seniors across the nation call a retirement village home, according to the Property Council of Australia. Many of these residents occupy independent living units, with more accessibility features than the average home but without as much hands-on care as one would expect from an aged care facility.

There’s a broad variety of cost points and payment structures available from retirement villages, including tenure costs, ongoing payments and ongoing expenses. It’s important to consider the right fit for your lifestyle and cash flow when planning for retirement village life.

 

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Retirement villages offer community, security and lifestyle.

 

Lifestyle parks

Similar in essence to a retirement village, a lifestyle park is a community of small relocatable homes around communal facilities. These are not always restricted to retirees, but are often purpose-built and marketed for the 50+ demographic. Residents will purchase the building they live in, and pay a lease for the land to the park operator, as well as any ongoing maintenance costs. This means retirees will own the building asset, but there are often fewer care services available via the park operator.

Both a retirement village and lifestyle park offer great supportive communities but differ in terms of ownership of the home and care facilities available.

 

Residential aged care facilities

Retirement villages and aged care facilities are easily confused – but there’s a very significant difference. Essentially, they’re intended for different stages of life. While a retirement village offers a lot of independence – crucial to recent retirees – an aged care facility is equipped with greater levels of support for day-to-day care.

Entry to an aged care facility is restricted by need – you must be assessed as needing a greater level of personal care to move into an aged care facility. Co-located facilities share a site with a retirement village, meaning movement into aged care can be easier for village residents.

 

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Where will your retirement take you? Plan for a bright future

 

In-home care

A lot of us prefer to stay in our family home after retirement – choosing to stay where we’re most familiar. This may work well for new retirees as they wind down and adjust to a new lifestyle, however, there are a number of reasons you might consider downsizing later such as safety, community and downsizer super contributions.

In-home care is available to Australians who stay home and is seeing increasing participation throughout the nation, with over 70,000 recipients of in-home care in 2017, versus less than 40,000 in 2007, reports the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Home care support is available through the government for retirees and carers.

 

Think creatively

It is easy to be a bit blinkered when it comes to planning out our future years. For many, the ideas around retirement have been forming for decades. But there could be benefit from trying to think outside the box. Try these creative thinking exercises. Perhaps a sea-change or tree-change? Read about the top places to retire by state. We’ve worked with hundreds upon hundreds of couples as they move into their retired phase and have seen all number or different approaches. It can help to talk about options with someone who has experience and is removed from the decision.  See what some of our clients have done.

 

Questions to consider

There’s a lot to think about when working out your path after retirement. Ask yourself these questions to help you reach a decision.

  • What level of care will you need – and when?
  • How flexible would you like your living situation to be?
  • What options are available near family? What does your family want for you?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want? Are you looking to live around more like-minded people?
  • What can you afford?
  • Do you need to downsize?

Your retirement can look any number of different ways. Sit down with a trusted financial planner to determine how and where you’ll retire. Reach out to Invest Blue today to start the conversation.

 

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.