Once the nest is empty and your children are busy with their children, it feels like you can finally get back in the driver’s seat and carve out your own lifestyle again. But after so many years in the back seat, it is often tricky to buckle up and embrace your golden years. That’s when the lure of a luxe resort-style community that makes you feel like you’re on a year-round holiday may come into the picture. So, is it worth saying goodbye to your family home (maintenance and all) and exploring the upsides to downsizing? Let us take a closer look at the new wave of over 50’s resort living – could it be for you?
What exactly is an over 50’s resort?
A growing phenomenon across Australia, over 50’s resorts are redefining retirement. Think designer homes in luxurious settings all with world-class facilities – just like your favourite holiday resort! Over 50’s resorts are providing retirees with an alternative to traditional retirement villages – gone are the days of being shipped off to spend your days knitting in a rocking chair. The resort lifestyle appeals to people that are young at heart and are still healthy and active.
They’re big on location.
Typically, you’ll find over 50’s resorts located close to key amenities like shopping, medical centres and public transport links. Many are located in stunning settings close to beaches or town centres – so there is a lot more to explore beyond the resort itself.
More facilities than you can fathom.
You’ll never wonder how you are going to fill your retirement days in a resort awash with top notch facilities. With pools, spas, saunas and salons the norm, and everything from golf courses, tennis courts, bowling greens, libraries, movie theatres, ten pin bowling alleys, craft rooms, boat hire and even dancefloors on offer depending on the resort.
Pets are welcome!
Unlike most retirement villages, furry friends are usually welcome at over 50’s resorts. Pets are proven to have a hugely positive impact on our lives (check out our recent blog here on that very topic), so it makes sense that your compact companion is permitted. Pet friendly resorts typically feature enclosed gardens, with some even having on-site dog grooming facilities and off-leash dog parks.
It is all about the community.
From happy hours to golf days, yoga classes and karaoke sessions, there are plenty of social opportunities that strengthen the community feel of over 50’s resorts. Whether you choose to take part in activities or not, you’re sure to connect with other likeminded individuals at a similar life stage to you.
Say see you later to security woes.
Living in a safe and secure gated community with on-site managers means you can relax and leave any security worries at the gate. Since the resorts are all planned with over 50’s in mind, you can expect well-lit paths, monitored emergency systems and mobility friendly layouts. Best of all, if you’re jetting off on a holiday, you can simply lock up and leave your worries behind.
You own the home, it’s an asset.
The most common arrangement for over 50’s resorts is called a land lease community (LLC). You buy and own the home, with a perpetual land lease from the site owner. Because you own the house, you’re typically able to make modifications and can sell it any time you like – keeping 100% of any capital gains. This is where resorts can provide you with a financial edge over retirement villages – which typically charge deferred management fees (accounting for 20-30% of the original purchase price) and compulsory refurbishment fees when you vacate. Since you don’t own the land with a LLC, you’ll save on council rates, stamp duty and body corporate fees. However, residents will usually pay a site fee to cover access to facilities, and maintenance of common areas.
It’s low maintenance living.
While you might be responsible for the upkeep of your own garden, resorts are designed with low maintenance living in mind. The majority of greenspace is maintained by management, so your lawnmower can likely go into retirement too. That’s more time to enjoy the facilities!
Ready to live a little?
If you think resort style over 50’s living could be for you, or if you’re simply considering downsizing, call your local First National Real Estate office for a no obligation property valuation.
All information is general in nature. You should always seek independent and professional advice relevant to your individual circumstances.