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Different Retirement Living Options to Consider

Which Retirement Living Option is Best for You?
When it Comes to Different Retirement Living Options…..
Choosing yours is a HUGE decision for you to make!
Consequently, it is vital that you make a well-informed lifestyle choice before committing to anything.
So, which options have you considered to date? Do they include:
  • Downsizing your home?
  • Relocating to a new city (or a “sea change”)?
  • Perhaps you’re thinking of modifying your existing property?
  • Maybe even entering an independent or assisted living arrangement is on the cards?
Whichever it is, thinking ahead could create more certainty.

Plus, when thinking about your retirement, both financial and non-financial considerations will all play a part in your decision-making process.

Below we explore some of the things you may want to think about. These topical choices are applicable whether you’re deciding for yourself, or helping a loved one weigh up the pros and cons. 

Downsizing Your Home or Relocating

Downsizing to smaller home


For many retirees, downsizing to a smaller home or relocating to a new locale (or both) is an ideal time to do so. Also, the freeing up of extra money can also have its attractions.

Financial considerations when downsizing or relocating
  • What property and rental prices are like in the area you’re looking at.
  • What out-of-pocket expenses you might be looking at, such as removalist costs, stamp duty and things like connecting and disconnecting utilities.
  • Whether the money from your potential property sale could affect the results of income and asset tests for any Age Pension entitlements you may be eligible for. Also of note are the rules  affecting DVA pension recipients.
  • If you’re 55 or over and eligible (as from 1st July, 2022), whether you may want to make a downsizer contribution into super. This is where older Aussies can put up to $300,000 into their super (or $600,000 per couple) using money from the sale of their main residence, noting various rules apply.
Non-financial considerations when downsizing or relocating
  • How far the property you’re looking at is located from family and friends. Additionally, will you know anyone in the place you’re thinking of moving to?
  • Importantly, what local amenities are nearby, such as supermarkets, restaurants, transport and hospitals.
  • Whether the area is big on community events and if there are recreation facilities available nearby (like parks, libraries, or leisure centres) and club associations you may want to join, e.g., sporting clubs, Rotary or Probus.
  • What the weather is like throughout the year and whether it’s going to suit you.
  • What the crime rate is like.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if you’re not too sure about some of these things, that’s okay. However, if you are thinking about moving to an area that you’re not familiar with, it might be worth trialling where you’re thinking about moving to, by visiting the neighbourhood a few times, or even taking a short break and renting there for a while.

Modifying Your Existing Home

Home Renovations

Another retirement living option to consider is that of making modifications to your existing home. Reason being is that it may help to make it more accessible for what you might need in your future years.

For example, you might consider installing handrails and ramps, widening doorways, installing emergency alarms, monitoring systems or even adding sensor lights.

As a consequence, doing this could also delay the potential need to move into an assisted living facility down the track. Not only that, the good news is, if this is something you’d like to do, there may be government subsidies to help you cover the costs.

Appropriately, you can check out the government’s My Aged Care website for more information on these subsidies.

Independent & Assisted Living Arrangements

Thinking about moving into a retirement village?Thinking about moving into a retirement village?

Retirement villages are residential communities designed for older people who are generally able to care for themselves. In due course, this may be a great retirement living option if:

  • Your home is getting too big to manage
  • You wish to maintain your independence
  • Retain a good level of social contact.

Retirement villages have a range of different living options. Hence, they offer a range of leisure, social and support services, depending on whether you’re choosing an independent living centre or an assisted living arrangement.

Although independent living centres typically have minimal assistance in day-to-day living, they also offer plenty of medical and recreational facilities. For instance, this may include things such as community halls, bowling greens, activities areas,  libraries and pools.

Assisted living centres generally offer more support with house responsibilities and maintenance, such as housekeeping, cleaning or preparing meals.

Is living in an aged care home an option that you’re considering?

By considering your options in aged care earlier rather than later, you may be able to provide yourself, or a loved one, with greater flexibility and freedom down the track. Then, the other thing worth noting is that moving into an aged care facility might not be the only option. This is because the government provides various services that could help you to stay at home for longer.

Aged care homes

An aged care facility (or nursing home) is typically where you live in a full-service residence and receive ongoing care and support while you live there.

Nevertheless,  it’s essential to understand that these aren’t the same as retirement villages or other independent living centres. This is owing to the fact that, unlike aged care homes, these may provide facilities but not necessarily the same level of support and care that you may need later in life.

Whichever you think is the best option for you or your loved one, it’s a good idea to research and visit several residences to find the right fit.

As this topic is such an important one (and somewhat complex to try and wade through on your own), you might like to contact us to have a chat with our specialist adviser

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