The idea of moving and transitioning into retirement living can be daunting. For many Australians, this involves a decision-making process that requires considerations such as lifestyle choices, family proximity, location, health, and the all-important financial and affordability factors. Combining these to culminate in the right decision can be overwhelming – but it doesn’t need to be.
A question many of us eventually have to ask ourselves is, “are retirement villages a good idea?” For some, the move to a retirement village is an important change of gear, from maintaining a big family home to moving into a community with like-minded individuals not too far from their roots and making life a little easier to manage. For others, it is a change perhaps driven by the desire for greater social interaction and the opportunity to build new friendships and make new memories.
We recognise that moving into a retirement village is a major life decision, and we want to support you on that journey, so you can take your time and transition with ease. To do that, below are some key considerations you should take into account to help you decide on the best option for you and your future needs.
1. Location, Transport & Accessibility
Through feedback from thousands of our cherished Oak Tree residents, we’ve identified that location stands out as the top priority for those considering a retirement village for the first time. Many individuals aged 55 and over cherish the familiarity of their current surroundings and often wish to remain within the community they’ve grown fond of, keeping close ties with their family.
However, the reality is that not all regional areas boast the facilities and infrastructure tailored for retirement living. As a result, some seniors find themselves making the hard choice of relocating to larger cities to access essential services and amenities that evolve with their changing needs. Such moves can be quite daunting, as it means leaving behind a lifetime of memories and the community they’ve always known.
At Oak Tree, it’s our heartfelt mission to support residents in staying local, maintaining those cherished community bonds. That’s why we prioritise both regional and metropolitan areas when developing our retirement villages, and ensure our residents have easy access to optional support services.
In selecting locations for our new villages, we emphasise ensuring that they’re surrounded by essential infrastructure to simplify our residents’ daily lives. Not only should they be integrated within the broader community, but they should also offer easy access to medical facilities and social amenities. Additionally, we understand the significance of easy transportation, so we ensure our locations are near public transport or provide shuttle services, allowing our residents to effortlessly move around and maintain their independence.
2. Unlocking Equity In Your Family Home
When you begin thinking about retirement, it is likely you have substantial equity in your home, or you might even own it outright. Selling your home presents the perfect opportunity to free up money for your retirement. Even if you have already decided to downsize, you still need to consider many financial, practical, legal, and emotional factors that come into play.
However, it is important to involve your family in your decision to sell. Selling the family home where you raised your children and leaving behind close neighbours and friends can be difficult, and so we encourage open discussions between family members to ensure everyone is engaged in the process.
At Oak Tree, we are experienced in providing support and guidance during these often-stressful processes. We spend a lot of time discussing in-depth with people to offer support with the sale of their homes and the transition into retirement living. Oak Tree can help maintain your peace of mind and secure your future – it’s as simple as making an enquiry today.
3. Consider The Lower Maintenance Lifestyle
Having the freedom and time to do more of what you love is so valuable, especially as you move into your senior years.
Many residents make the move to Oak Tree looking for a lower maintenance lifestyle. Quite often the family home has become too big, the yards and gardens increasingly more difficult to maintain, the house more challenging to clean, and just as soon as everything is tended to, the cycle starts all over again!
Our staff care for our facilities, and we provide different maintenance models for each village, including external maintenance of your village and cleaning of village common areas. This means that our residents no longer have to bear the burden of such arduous tasks, and instead feel a sense of freedom to do the things they enjoy most – such as pottering in the garden, for those who enjoy having a green thumb.
4. Couples vs. Individuals
Whether you make the move alone or as a couple, our residents enjoy a strong camaraderie with their fellow neighbours balanced with the knowledge that they can enjoy the privacy, peace, and quiet of their own home if they so wish.
We commonly hear residents say they wish they’d moved sooner once they’ve done it. They realise in our boutique communities, having people around them at similar stages of life helps form a community of like-minded individuals where social activity and companionship can thrive.
And if they lose their partner as a resident, there’s support from others who have faced similar challenges in their lives. The great thing is there is an opportunity for independence if that is your preference, or more support if you require it.
5. A Supportive Community
Being able to live locally in a safe, vibrant, and caring community is just as important as your personal sense of comfort, state of wellbeing, and peace of mind for your friends and family.
We recommend booking a private tour of the village and asking to speak with residents to understand what the community is like. Retirement villages can help create a strong sense of community, so it’s important you feel a sense of belonging with your neighbours from the outset. You may also want to consider inviting your family to the village to spend time understanding the offering and facilities with you.
6. Other Residents’ Stories
Explore the perspectives of fellow residents in a retirement community to learn about their thoughts on this lifestyle and how it has either enriched their daily activities or allowed them to maintain their cherished pastimes. Discover some of our residents’ stories here.
7. Personalisation & Home Modifications
Your home should be a reflection of you. Every corner, every colour, every piece of decor should echo your personality. With village life at Oak Tree, prospective residents have the freedom to personalise their living spaces, making them truly feel at home. But what’s more, understanding the diverse needs of our community, we prioritise accessibility. If there’s a need for special modifications due to mobility issues, rest assured, we’re here to help make those necessary changes.
Retirement village living doesn’t mean compromising your unique style. Instead, it’s about blending comfort, accessibility, and personal touch into a harmonious living experience.
8. Maintenance Fees & Hidden Costs
Making a move to a retirement village often comes with financial considerations. While many recognise the benefits of living in a retirement community, it’s essential to be informed about all the costs involved. Beyond the initial payment, it’s natural to question if there are any monthly or annual maintenance fees. The answer? Yes, but they’re transparent and laid out clearly for all our prospective residents.
It’s always wise to consult with a financial advisor or financial planner before making such decisions. They can shed light on the pros and cons of retirement villages and help you navigate the intricacies of retirement village contracts. If you ever choose to leave, we’ve streamlined the process at Oak Tree to ensure ease. And if you’re wondering about reselling, your village manager is always on hand to guide you through the property market, ensuring you’re well-informed about any fees associated.
The idea is to have clarity, so there are no surprises. Engage with a financial adviser, be aware of the costs, and dive into the enriching experience of village life with confidence.
9. Pet Policies
We at Oak Tree recognise the profound bond between residents and their beloved pets. After all, a pet is more than just an animal; it’s family. In understanding the joy, comfort, and companionship they provide, we have made it possible for our residents to have their furry or feathered friends join them in this new chapter of life.
Before moving in, there’s a simple process to follow: complete a Pet Application Form. This procedure is in place to ensure a harmonious living environment for all residents. Furthermore, our Pet Policy and Agreement will be provided to every prospective pet owner. This is so that everyone is on the same page regarding the care and consideration expected when it comes to our animal companions. While we are keen on making our villages pet-friendly, it’s paramount to strike a balance that respects everyone’s comfort and peace.
10. Safety & Security
Peace of mind is a priceless commodity, especially in our golden years. With this in mind, we’ve invested heavily in ensuring that our Oak Tree Retirement Villages are sanctuaries of safety and security. Whether you’re relishing a quiet evening in your home or embarking on a month-long vacation, we want you to be at ease knowing you’re in a protected environment.
All our villages are gated communities, and this initial layer of security is bolstered by the dedicated presence of a Village Manager. Their role goes beyond just management and maintenance; they are the vigilant eyes and ears ensuring the smooth, safe operation of the village. The result? A community where residents can enjoy the dual benefits of independent living and the assurance that assistance is always within reach, day or night.
Other Factors To Consider
Finding a retirement village that supports your transition is important to time your future in the right way.
Explore other important factors to consider before making the move by downloading the helpful free checklist put together by Starts at 60 in partnership with Oak Tree: “Considering a Retirement Village: The Ultimate Checklist”.
This free e-guide is packed with critical information and easy-to-complete exercise to help guide your journey into retirement living.
We’re Here To Make Your Retirement Journey Easy.
Making the decision to transition into retirement living is a significant step, encompassing factors like location, financial considerations, and lifestyle preferences. Oak Tree Retirement Villages prioritise a holistic approach, offering residents a harmonious blend of community spirit, personalisation, technology, and security while also appreciating the unique bond with your pets. Additionally, at Oak Tree Group, we are adept at guiding you through the intricacies of selling your home, exploring the financial aspects, and ensuring that you can transition with ease and peace of mind.
Considering a retirement village is a pivotal decision, and Oak Tree stands ready to assist you in this journey. We pride ourselves on understanding and addressing the varied needs of our residents. We invite you to experience the welcoming ambience, comprehensive facilities, and supportive community at Oak Tree. Let us be your trusted partner in crafting a retirement filled with joy, comfort, and new memories.
Want to ask a village operator about the answers to any questions you may have? Get in touch with one of our friendly staff members today.