When planning for your retirement, deciding where you’ll live is usually high on the list. For many older Australians, the idea of downsizing the family home and moving to an over 55s village is appealing for the low-maintenance living, security, and sense of community it offers.
So, if you decide a retirement community is the right move, when is the best age to do it? You are generally eligible to move in any time after you turn 55, but there are many personal and lifestyle factors that play a part in deciding the best age for you. In this article, we’ll discuss three key factors in your life that have an impact and offer some tips for recognising the signs that the time is right to make the move.
Suitability of Existing Home
The first thing to consider is how happy you are in your existing home, both now and in the next 5 to 10 years. If you are currently employed and your home is close to your work, you might decide to stay put until you retire. The same applies if your home is close to family and friends or social activities that you enjoy.
However, if you’re finding it harder and harder to keep up with the household chores and garden maintenance, a move to a smaller home can have a significant impact on your health and happiness. Likewise, if staying in the family home is putting you under financial strain, downsizing sooner rather than later can help. Consider your position now and in the next few years and time your move accordingly. Aim to stay on to enjoy the benefits, but not overstay so it becomes a burden.
Managing the Move Itself
Moving house at any age is stressful and physically exhausting, and this only multiplies the older you get. The thought of packing up everything you own, moving it, then unpacking it at the other end is tiring in itself! Not to mention decluttering and reducing your belongings so they fit into your smaller house.
Clearly, it will be worth it, but it’s not going to get any easier the longer you leave it. Tackling it when you’re 55 or 60, will be much more manageable than waiting until you’re 70 or 80. So, if downsizing is something you plan to do at some stage, don’t leave it too late.
The Lifestyle and Community
If you’ve lived in your neighbourhood for many years, it’s possible that some of your neighbours and friends may have moved on. While this can be an opportunity to meet people, if your new neighbours are younger and not often home, it can be difficult to connect. When you move to a retirement community, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people and it’s much easier to form new friendships.
Settling in while your health is good and you still have plenty of energy to get out and about is also worth considering. While it’s up to you whether you participate in social activities or live a quiet life, it’s always good to have the chance to get familiar with your surroundings and settle in while you’re in good health.
Final Word on the Best Age to Move to a Retirement Community
While there is no right or wrong age, most current residents will tell you to do it sooner rather than later. The freedom of a low-maintenance home and garden allows you to spend more of your time doing the activities you enjoy. The move will be over and done with before it gets too hard, and you can enjoy the benefits of a welcoming community and great facilities now.
Over to You
Do you have an experience of moving to an over 55s community at a certain age to share? Or a question about your own circumstances? We’d love to hear from you!
Want to know more about deferred management fees and other traps related to lifestyle villages? Download our FREE guide, 20 Questions You Must Ask BEFORE Choosing a Village.