“It’s a big life decision to make the move to a retirement village, but with the right preparation, it’s sure to be a rewarding one…” Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council Ben Myers provides insight into retirement village living.

The last official census of Australians showed that nearly 200,000 Australians have decided to call a retirement village their home.

They do so for many different reasons: because their existing home had become unmanageable and too difficult to maintain; because they are seeking a more active lifestyle with opportunities for social interaction; because they want to plan for their future and be able to support themselves or their spouse; or because of many other reasons.

While the reasons for moving to a retirement village are varied, the benefits experienced are shared. After people make the move, most people report increased happiness, and are able to extend their independence for longer than people of a similar age who don’t live in a village.

Independent surveys also find people can free up more time to pursue a great lifestyle, however they wish to – whether it’s a game of cards with friends in the village’s community centre, or a day with the family outside the village, or on that long-desired holiday.

As our population ages, we also find more people seeking a bit of extra support, which retirement villages are well equipped to provide. This support can range from an emergency call button within the home to ensure help arrives quickly in case of a fall or emergency, to visiting doctors and healthcare professionals. Retirement villages are quickly evolving well beyond ‘just’ housing and some shared facilities, to becoming active community hubs providing a wide variety of services and activities.

Each village is a community with unique characteristics, and we always recommend to anyone thinking of making the move to take a tour and talk to current residents, so you can get a feel for the place – only by doing this do you get a sense of the community vibe and whether it’s the right fit for you.

Preparing for making the move is just as important – arguably even more important – than the process of making the move itself.

With a huge rise in over-65s coming over the next couple of decades, hundreds of thousands of people will be beginning to think about what they need for their next phase of life. This publication is a great tool in not only learning more about retirement villages but arming you with the right questions to ask when you think about making your own move.

It’s a big life decision to make the move to a retirement village, but with the right preparation, it’s sure to be a rewarding one.