Once the children have left home (and it really looks like they’re not coming back), your life can go in any number of directions. Sometimes the transition is best made by relocating and, for many, living in Tasmania can turn out to be a life changing and wonderful solution.
There are many advantages to moving states – and some disadvantages too. Cost is a big factor, as are lifestyle considerations. Selling the family home and finding something new in your price range can be a challenge in many Australian cities. You may need to downsize considerably, particularly if it is your ambition to live closer to our cities or beaches. Then potentially you’ll have very little money left over to invest in the enjoyment of your retirement.
So, if decent property prices and a low cost of living are your priorities then why not think about relocating to Tasmania? The recent quarterly market report from the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) states that median house prices, as of the end of the March quarter 2017, were $385,000 for Hobart and $286,000 for Launceston. This basically means you can buy a whole house with multiple bedrooms and a backyard in Tasmania and still have retirement play money left over! The added benefit is that you don’t have to adjust to living in a small apartment after sharing a spacious family home for all of those years, because you were able to buy a house!
There are many additional benefits to living in Tasmania, most of which are about positive lifestyle changes. In addition to a low median house price, the median highest prices have historically been around the $700,000 – $800,000 mark in Hobart’s most exclusive suburb, Sandy Bay. This might mean that for the first time in your life you can live the high life, in what would be a multimillion-dollar pad in another city. Or, you might find a charming country cottage, with land, for a lot less – all from the sale of an average family home in suburban mainland Australia (if you currently live in a capital city).
If living the life of the nouveau riche is not for you, then there are plenty of other wonderful lifestyle benefits you can enjoy when you choose to relocate to Tasmania. The small population is a huge bonus. At last count, (Sept 2016) the state’s population was almost 520,000 people, making it the smallest population of all Australia’s coastal states. The low population means you have plenty of space, much less crowding and best of all, less traffic. It also means low density urban areas with few high-rise buildings and, for those moving to Hobart, great unobstructed views of Mt Wellington from almost every part of the city.
Community is hugely important in Tasmania and an interesting figure that pops up regularly in market reports is that around 80% of properties in Tasmania are bought by locals. In a state as small as Tasmania this means close knit communities, friendly neighbours and a less transient population than what you might experience in the big mainland cities.
There’s also all the beautiful things to experience! Tasmania is home to some of the most spectacular wilderness and heritage locations in the country that, unlike the rest of Australia, are easily accessible from your front door. It only takes a few hours to drive from one end of the island to the other, so many of the state’s incredible UNESCO World Heritage listed attractions are just a day trip away. Spend your weekends walking into Wineglass Bay or take a boat trip on Lake St Clair in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Explore any one of the state’s 18 national parks and know that at any point you are minutes to an hour or two away from the sea.
Tasmanian life offers a slower pace, with a decent serve of the finer things in life too. Along with its beautiful landscapes, it also does food, wine and culture pretty well. There are around 230 vineyards around the state producing some of Australia’s best cold climate varietals. You can head to the coast for fresh seafood, or any of the valleys – Coal River, Derwent, Huon or Tamar – for gourmet cheeses and chocolates and delicious farm fresh fruits of all kinds. There’s also wonderful arts and cultural experiences to be had, from Hobart’s Salamanca Arts Precinct to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), now considered to be one of Australia’s finest contemporary art collections.
So, if you dreamt of retiring to a tropical island one day, living in Tasmania may be a version of that dream you never imagined, without the palm trees and tropical breezes, but with a better house, an extraordinary culinary landscape, and some of the most spectacular country the world has to offer, right on your doorstep.