The Downsizer Contribution: A tax-free incentive to fund a comfortable retirement


If you’re picturing an ideal retirement but uncertain if your savings are enough to carry you through, the Australian Government has a new incentive aimed specifically at downsizers aged over 65.

From 1 July 2018, eligible seniors can take advantage of the Downsizer Contribution which encourages home owners to sell their empty nester asset and use the proceeds to top up their superannuation with a one-off contribution.

Seniors lifestyle and finance expert and author, Rachel Lane, spends time travelling across the country educating seniors on the variety of living options available for downsizers.

With the commencement of the new government incentive, Rachel advises seniors to do their research and seek advice about the personal implications before rushing to put the ‘For Sale’ sign up on their home.

“While the new Downsizer Contribution is a tax-free solution to funding a more secure retirement, there are two major factors for seniors to consider.

“Firstly, seniors need to do their research on what suitable accommodation choices are available for them and secondly, is investing in superannuation the best solution as it can affect your pension entitlements.

“Unlike previous proposed downsizing incentives this new one has no exemptions applied to the asset or income test which means making extra contributions to your super can affect your pension.

“As a general rule the income test bites you first but the asset test bites you harder, if the money from the sale of your house has pushed you over the asset threshold ($547,000 for singles and $823,000 for couples) by $100,000 then your pension would reduce by $7,800 per year so obviously the superannuation would need to earn 7.8% after fees and tax just to replace the lost pension,” Rachel advises.

How can I make the downsizer contribution work for me?

How can I make the Downsizer Contribution work for me?

The Downsizer Contribution enables a self-funded retiree to sell the family home and structure their financial affairs to maximise superannuation income.

For seniors looking to downsize into a lifestyle community the Downsizer Contribution also means they can take up the incentive while potentially gaining access to more government entitlements.

Ingenia Chief Operating Officer, Nikki Fisher said the incentive will help seniors get out of their asset rich, income poor situation, which many older Australians find themselves in now.

“By making a tax-free super contribution senior Australians have a real opportunity to fund a more secure retirement, free up the equity from their homes and boost their super balance at the same time, by up to $300,000 for an individual or $600,000 for a couple.

“Considering the average super balances at retirement are $270,710 for men and $157,050 for women, adding an extra $300,000 into a super fund would more than double (for men) and almost triple (for women) those super balances.

As a leading owner, operator and developer of affordable seniors housing communities in Australia, Ingenia’s lifestyle portfolio is certainly responding to the needs of downsizers who are looking to purchase a more suitable place to retire in.

“Ingenia Lifestyle’s innovative land lease ownership model delivers a very viable option for those seniors looking to downsize and access the incentive with a low entry cost to purchase a new home, the elimination of stamp duty fees, no exit fees and residents keep 100% capital gains made on the home.

“Low ongoing costs mean residents can make their super last longer, additionally, purchasing a brand new home in a land lease community like Ingenia Lifestyle may enable eligibility for rent assistance giving seniors access to more government funding,” Nikki said.

Rachel Lane Case Study: Sue and Garry from Greenacre

Sue and Garry decide to sell their three bedroom home in Sydney’s inner western suburb of Greenacre and achieve $1 million on the sale.

They make a sea change and purchase a brand new home in a land lease community such as Ingenia Lifestyle Lake Conjola for $330,000. They both contribute to their super $600,000 of tax free dollars.

After downsizing Sue and Garry have $70,000 in cash to purchase a caravan or go on a holiday knowing they have secured their future, their home is being looked after while on the road and they come back to a lifestyle community with social and wellbeing programs. They are also an extra $10,734 better off each year in income.^

  Stay in place                Downsize and make a tax-free super contribution
Pension $35,568 pa $13,000 pa
Rent Assistance Nil $3,302 pa
Superannuation Contribution earnings Nil $30,000 pa*
Income per annum $35,568 pa $46,302 pa

Plus a new home and $70,000 in cash to fund their new lifestyle

*Assuming their new super contribution of $600K is earning 5%pa
^We recommend you seek professional advice from a financial planner who specialise in seniors finance. Our figures have been supplied by Rachel Lane from Village Gurus.

Am I eligible for the Downsizer Contribution?
To be eligible, downsizers must answer yes to all of the following:

  • You are 65 years old or over at the time you make a downsizer contribution (there is no maximum age limit)
  • The amount you are contributing is from the proceeds of selling your home where the contract of sale was exchanged on or after 1 July 2018
  • Your home was your primary place of residence, owned by you or your spouse for 10 years or more prior to the sale
  • Your home is in Australia and is not a caravan, houseboat or other mobile home
  • The proceeds (capital gain or loss) from the sale of the home are either exempt or partially exempt from capital gains tax (CGT) under the main residence exemption, or would be entitled to such an exemption if the home was a CGT rather than a pre-CGT (acquired before 20 September 1985) asset
  • You have provided your super fund with the downsizer contribution form either before or at the time of making your downsizer contribution
  • You make your downsizer contribution within 90 days of receiving the proceeds of sale, which is usually the date of settlement
  • You have not previously made a downsizer contribution to your super from the sale of another home.

Contact Ingenia Lifestyle Today

If you would like to know more about the Downsizer Contribution you can contact our Project Sales Team on 1800 135 010 or contact us online here.


New $75 million community breaks ground at Coffs Harbour


Ingenia Lifestyle has celebrated the official start of its second Star Collection community, Plantations, located in the seaside town of Woolgoolga on the NSW mid-north coast.

The momentous occasion was marked with a breaking ground event on Friday 4th May as Ingenia CEO, Simon Owen and official dignitary, Mayor of Coffs Harbour City Council, Denise Knight, turned the first sod, along with members and contractors from the project team.

Simon said the addition of Plantations added to the new range of Star Collection communities which provide gold-class resort facilities in an affordable lifestyle setting.

“We have recorded strong sales at our first Star Collection community further south in Port Stephens at Latitude One and our South West Rocks community has now sold out,” Simon said.

Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said Plantations was a great investment into the local community and provided a more affordable seniors living solution for many years to come.

“Coffs Harbour is so lucky to have this new community in our region, facilities such as the ones Ingenia is set to provide can only attract more seniors looking for a sea change.

“This different type of housing model truly compliments the Coffs Harbour lifestyle and offers downsizers more choice, control and flexibility in their retirement,” Cr Knight said.

Set on 19.5 hectares Ingenia’s new land lease community will deliver 196 homes, with 68 homes and a display village all set to be delivered within the first stage.

If you think you’re ready to downsize, free up some money and love more out of life, become a VIP First Choice Club member and reserve your new lifestyle today. Registrations are now open!

For further information please contact Wendy Hobson on 0448 714 021 or visit to enquire.

Local Men’s Shed building awareness for Men’s Health


Men at Ingenia Lifestyle The Grange have rallied together in a bid to break down the stigma surrounding mental and physical health for men, which also coincided with Men’s Health Week in June.

The Australia wide campaign encourages communities and organisations to come together, raise awareness and discuss some of the key health issues facing men.

Village Manager Bethany Jones said residents were passionate about generating as much awareness as they could to help put a stop to the stigma surrounding men’s health.

“Men’s Health Week helps to shine a light on some of the key health issues facing men and how we need to be talking about these, not just this week, but year-round.

“Here at The Grange, our male residents banded together to start their own men’s shed as a way to build friendships and to encourage more men to talk about their health – they also keep themselves busy with handy projects around the community, such as restoring furniture.”

“Our community’s Men’s Shed has become a popular gathering for residents to get together, check in on both your physical and mental health, and have a cuppa and a chat with each other.

Resident of Ingenia Lifestyle The Grange, 68-year-old Phillip Tengdahl, said the group started seven years ago to create a sense of camaraderie within the community.

“Getting together has created a lifeline for some of the men, this camaraderie group will last a life time – the Men’s Shed allows us to interact with others who are at the same stage of life as us.

“Men don’t always know how to reach out, so having a place where we can regularly catch up means we can check in and build new friendships with our neighbours.

“I never really thought about men’s health and the stigma around it – I always thought “she’ll be right”, but it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with type two diabetes that I really read up on the importance of men’s health. It was shocking to know that statistically, men die younger,” Phil said.

Seniors put bowling skills to the test at Chambers Pines


Keen lawn bowlers at Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines have taken advantage of the community’s brand new $3 million clubhouse with brand new, competition-grade lawn bowls facility.

Every Tuesday and Thursday evening residents host lawn bowls nights for residents to get together for a friendly game, a few laughs and an easy workout on the new green.

The physical and mental health benefits for seniors who play lawn bowls comes in an abundance, with the sport offering low impact cardiovascular fitness, hand and eye coordination support, as well as mental wellbeing and social support.

Project sales manager Lynda Ruddell said residents loved getting together with each other weekly for a friendly game of bowls, which occurs in the evening.

“The residents look forward to heading down to the bowling green each week, their passion for the game is contagious – they know how to play but they don’t take it too seriously.

“Having facilities available for the residents makes such an impact on their physical and mental health, the low impact exercise and the social aspect has majority of the residents out and about,” Lynda said.

John Keeble and his wife Margaret learned how to play bowls from fellow residents after moving into the community more than 12 years ago and have been instrumental in teaching new residents how to play lawn bowls.

“We wanted to be part of a safe, fun community and as soon as my wife and I moved in we became interested in a number of the activities on offer, but bowls is by far our favourite,” John said.

“Over the years, more and more people have become interested in the game, we can have upwards of 15 people at every game. We have such a great time, I think we have more laughs on the green than anywhere else in the community.


There’s a bit of skill behind lawn bowls, but for social bowls there are no strict rules. Here are some of John’s best tips for a good game:

  • It doesn’t matter if you aren’t the best bowler, there are residents who are really good and others who are still learning
  • Make it fun and get a bit of exercise or go along as a get together with your community
  • Get your own bowls and get the right size. There’s different sizes and lots of people can’t handle the bigger bowls
  • The speed you choose is the ultimate, if you don’t get the speed right you can end up in the ditch at the other end or 20m too short
  • The biggest thing then is learning the distance to the jack
  • Get the direction or amount of bias right. Everyone has their own bias, the rate that it’ll turn at the end of the green
  • Learn to get your bowl on the correct lane, some bowls can go a little haywire, but we just pick it up and move it across
  • Play more and improve your game. There’s no such thing as a bad student!

Ingenia Lifestyle Announced as Finalists in the 2018 Retirement Living Awards!

It’s with great excitement and well-deserved applause we announce the following team members and projects have received a prestigious finalist award nomination at the 2018 National Retirement Living Awards by the Property Council of Australia.

Ian Thompson, QLD Finalist, Village Manager of the Year (Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines)
Dianna McGrath, Finalist, Sales Person of the Year (Ingenia Lifestyle Lara)
Latitude One, Finalist, Marketing Excellence Award  

Dianna was humbled by the recognition as a finalist for Sales Person of the Year. “After reading the final submission and testimonials I feel honoured and feel like I am a winner already!”

Ian agrees with Dianna. “How could you not think any other way. Working with such a diverse, talented team within Ingenia means we deliver dynamic premium lifestyle living outcomes for our residents.”

Finalist for the Marketing Excellence Award, Latitude One, received a nod for its three-phased launch campaign and educational and awareness journey about Ingenia Lifestyle’s innovative land lease ownership model.

The National Retirement Living Awards recognise the contribution and achievements across all areas of the retirement living sector, by the people and companies helping to ensure senior Australians have an enjoyable retirement.

The national winners will be announced later this year, good luck to all of our nominees!

Lake Conjola community welcomes its first residents


Ingenia Lifestyle Lake Conjola is well on its way to becoming a thriving community, with its first residents already settled in their new home and more than 70% of Stage 1A and 1B already snapped up by keen downsizers.

When Lake Conjola locals Karen Steins and her husband Jeff made the move to Ingenia Lifestyle Lake Conjola in April 2018, they weren’t expecting how much they’d love the community and the new lifestyle that came with it.

“We have always lived on big blocks of land – our last home we’d lived in for 18 years. A big part of our five-year plan was to downsize and move into a home we loved that didn’t require a lot of maintenance, we could not be happier – we have all the room we need, we absolutely love our home.” Mrs Steins said.

“We had looked around for a little bit before we came across this wonderful area, and although the lake is beautiful, we loved that there wasn’t any hidden stipulations and we were confident taking this next step in our life – owning our own home.

“We were in our caravan for a few months before we moved in, so we’re waiting until the end of the year to go traveling again. We love that we’ll have the opportunity to travel more – we can just lock up our home and know that everything is safe and being looked after in the community.”

To showcase the community’s success and celebrate its first residents, Ingenia Lifestyle Lake Conjola is throwing open its doors on Saturday 19 May from 10am until 12noon to locals looking to experience the community lifestyle for themselves.

Ingenia Lifestyle Regional Sales Manager Rachel Pullicino said the open day was the perfect time for downsizers to explore the community and experience first-hand the community life at Lake Conjola.

“With our very first residents moving in, our open day allows locals to talk with our new residents and see why they made the move to Lake Conjola,” Ms Pullicino said.

“Lake Conjola’s popularity among downsizers, from both the local region and those seeking a sea change is on the rise, with our community set to welcome many more new residents in May and June.

“With so many of our homes in Stage 1A and 1B already snapped up by downsizers, we have just released a selection of new homes in Stage 2A ahead of schedule, just to keep up with the booming demand.

“Our location really says it all, residents have the luxury of a quiet, tranquil seaside community that’s within easy access to all the major amenities in the Shoalhaven region.”

Brand new architecturally designed homes in Stage 2A are available from just $325,500, featuring modern kitchens, open plan living and dining areas, plus an integrated outdoor space. Click here for more

The Benefits to Downsizing in Your Early 50s


Making the move in their early 50s has allowed Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania downsizers, Lynette and and her husband Peter, more flexibility, security and the ability to make new friends.

Since downsizing from their New Farm property, Lynette and  Peter have been able to travel for up to eight months at a time knowing that their home was secure.

“We downsized into Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania when I was just 48 years-old and my husband had not long turned 50 and used it as our base while we travelled around Australia,” Mrs Ward said.

“It was great downsizing when we did – we were able to be close to family and still have the flexibility to travel where we wanted.

“Knowing that if we choose to go away for a weekend – or longer – that our home is safe and that our neighbours are keeping an eye on it for us was also a major drawcard for us when choosing where to downsize to.

“We have great neighbours here at Ingenia, but they are more than that; they are now some of our closest friends.”

For more information about Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania please contact Leanne Tate on 0459 872 261 or visit

Creating community connections


Ingenia Lifestyle Lara Project Sales Manager, Dianna McGrath has always connected with the Lara community through youth groups, school sports, and local activities and committees.

She has been a member of the Lara Chamber of Commerce for more than two years and has been on the local food and wine festival committee to help drive tourism to the region.

However the most recent connection she had a hand in was in her own community, occurring between two new residents, Faye Youla and Pam Youren.

“They moved in about the same time and were both nervous. After the introduction to each other now they are the best of friends, inseparable, like Thelma and Louise,” Dianna said.

Faye said since moving into the community everything is falling into place and she couldn’t be happier.

“I moved to Ingenia Lifestyle Lara in October last year and am so glad that I did – the community makes me feel so comfortable and safe living on my own. When I moved into the community, everyone was just so friendly and welcoming, especially Pam.

“Pam moved into Lara around the same time as me, and we just clicked right away – Dianna is right she is the Thelma to my Louise,” Faye explains.

For Pam, it took her a few visits before making the decision to move in.

“Coming into the community and seeing how friendly everyone was made me fall in love with the community even more.

Making a world of difference in Lara


A genuine, natural, people person and long-time Lara local, Dianna McGrath, shares a slice of her life as a Project Sales Manager at Ingenia Lifestyle Lara, near Geelong in Victoria.

Dianna has always loved the Lara area with its easy coastal lifestyle for all ages to enjoy; whether it’s swimming or surfing at the beach, taking a short trip to Geelong’s waterfront, a train to Melbourne or a lovely drive inland along the Great Ocean Road.

When Dianna’s mother downsized the family home, they went on the journey together and ultimately decided on Ingenia Lifestyle Lara.

The pair couldn’t sing higher praises for the community – a place where Dianna instantly noticed how much seniors were gaining from their new lifestyle.

“I joined the community soon after as the lifestyle coordinator – a job I knew I could support and guide new and existing residents.

“This has been the most rewarding part to my new career,” Dianna said.

Since starting at Ingenia, Dianna has witnessed the community around her grow with more services, retail and specialities stores expanding, and new real estate developments in the surrounding suburbs for younger families which is now bringing in more seniors who are wanting to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Having to re-locate her own mother, Dianna knows first-hand the emotional process that comes with selling the family home.

“It’s with this knowledge I can help other people and their families move into the community and it’s so nice to receive cards and letters as a token of appreciation for going above and beyond.

“And that’s why I do this…to see the joy and the smiles and the happy families, because I was once there when my mum moved in and I know what they’re going through,” Di explains.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara has brand new homes selling now. For more information contact Dianna McGrath on 0476 839 644 or visit

Gold-Class resorts coming to Coffs Harbour, NSW and Hervey Bay, QLD

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Ingenia is excited to announce the next lifestyle communities to launch under the new Star Collection brand after Latitude One will be Plantations, situated on New South Wales’ mid-north coast at Woolgoolga and in Hervey Bay on QLD’s Fraser Coast.

The Star Collection are Ingenia Lifestyle’s contemporary gold class resort-style communities offering the perfect combination of beautiful premium style home designs surrounded by an enviable lifestyle and resort facilities.

Plantations by Ingenia Lifestyle 

Located 20 minutes north of Coffs Harbour, the brand new Star Collection community will comprise 19.5 hectares of master planned, resort style community for over 55s, with first homes due for completion from late 2018.

Ingenia Chief Operating Officer, Nikki Fisher, said the latest acquisition was an excellent addition to the current cluster of the Group’s communities on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

“Plantations will extend Ingenia’s presence in the region after the popularity of our South West Rocks community has seen all available home sites now sold out.

“With the population of over 55s in the Coffs Harbour area anticipated to rise by nearly 20% by 2026, there is an increasing need to provide more affordable and manageable sized homes in the region,” Nikki said.

Set in the seaside town of Woolgoolga, Ingenia Lifestyle’s new community is in an attractive location for seniors looking to downsize with shopping centres, Coffs Harbour Base Hospital and Coffs Harbour Airport all easily accessible.

Also within close proximity are a number of beaches popular for surfing, fishing, diving and snorkelling, in addition to the headlands which are great for whale watching between the months of May and October.

For more information on Plantations please contact Wendy Hobson on 0448 714 021 or visit

Hervey Bay – Coming Soon

Ingenia will introduce the third Star Collection project to Queensland’s Fraser Coast region with a brand new, innovative eco-sustainable community.

Positioned at the gateway to Fraser Island, the over 50s lifestyle community will deliver 200 brand new premium homes for downsizers looking to live within the Hervey Bay region.

Regional Sales Manager, Sharon Manson, said the master plan will focus on providing a balance of affordability and value.

“There has been strong demand for more seniors living in the area, and Ingenia understands the market diversity.

“We have placed a real focus on what our clients need in their new home, this includes eco-sustainable features that aren’t found standard in any other village in the region.

“Home designs with raked ceilings will maximise the natural sunlight and provide a light and airy feel and the seamless indoor outdoor living spaces will provide covered, private entertaining alfresco areas making them ideal for the sub-tropical climate,” Sharon said.

The homes will incorporate environmentally sustainable features using the principles of passive home design which take advantage of the climate to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home through cross-ventilation, while natural light and a passive solar system will help to reduce utility bills in the home.

If you’d like to know more you can register your interest at or call Sharon Manson on 0448 165 524 for more information.