The Key to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like many Australian’s, you might be planning your 2018 New Year’s resolutions and if you’re planning on setting some goals, here are a few tips to ensure your resolutions aren’t on the backburner by Easter.

There’s a reason so many people fail to stick to their resolutions when they set goals like ‘save more money’, ‘lose weight’ or ‘spend more time with family’ as they don’t provide any firm end goal, which makes it easier to give them up.

If we get better at setting resolutions we have a better chance of keeping them, so you’ll need to make sure your resolutions aren’t too vague, unrealistic or unmemorable.

Ensure your resolutions include specifics and smaller stepping stones to achieving those goals – and most importantly – make sure you write your goals down or tell someone else about them to keep yourself accountable! Maybe in 2018 you can resolve to:

  1. Look after my health and wellbeing

Losing weight is one of the most popular resolutions made on December 31, but why not focus more on health and wellbeing? Rather than aiming to lose five kilos, pledge to go for a walk every day, integrate a new type of healthy and tasty food into your diet or try a wellness based activity like tai chi, meditation or pilates. A healthy body is a healthy mind, so committing to making small changes to positively affect your physical health is going to do wonders for your emotional wellbeing also. It’s never too late to improve your health, so start in 2018 and your body will be thanking you for years to come.

  1. Develop a passion

Whether it’s unearthing an old passion or discovering a new one, find an activity that brings you joy and put more time into it. Did you love drawing when you were younger? Have you always secretly wanted to learn guitar? Be it photography, hiking or salsa dancing, sign up for a class or put aside an hour every week to spend time doing what makes you happy. Even better, get your partner, neighbours or friends involved. Sharing your joy with others will benefit all of you.

  1. Improve my financial situation

While resolving to win the lotto and move to France might be wishful thinking, there are real steps you can take to improve your finances or reach a goal like a much-wanted holiday. Like all things financial, education is key. Do your research – borrow topical books from the library, read personal finance magazines and sign up to receive e-newsletters from reputable websites. For the smaller luxuries in life, don’t feel bad at all about indulging yourself after a lifetime of looking after others! To help with saving, consider the total amount you might need and break that up into weekly or monthly payments. For example, setting aside $30 a week will yield more than $1,500 by the year’s end, or even more if you deposit into a high-interest savings account!

Of course, it’s easier to keep a resolution that focuses on YOUR enjoyment too and why not – that’s what life should be all about!

Checking in With Family this Festive Season

Ingenia’s General Manager Care Development, Janene Eagleton, has urged Australian families to make the most of their time together this Christmas, encouraging people to tackle some important topics and check in about their health, their lifestyle and their future.

“Christmas is a wonderful time, and often the only time in the whole year, when generations come together to celebrate and be together,” Janene said.

“However, it should also be a time when family takes time out from busy schedules to really check in with one another, see how people are doing and what help or assistance they might need.

“It’s important to create an open and honest dialogue as it can be easy to dance around topics like how well someone is managing in their own home, especially when your senior family members insist they are doing fine.

“In my experience leading the Ingenia Care program and working with hundreds of senior Australians, there are a number of common concerns in our community, including the below:”


Learning to live on a budget can be a huge challenge for anyone. Despite owning your own home, and possibly receiving pension and superannuation payments, it’s very possible that seniors don’t have sufficient cash flow to live the lifestyle they would prefer. This problem was recently identified by The Productivity Commission, which suggested retirees might consider downsizing to free up the wealth in their home. It’s worth discussing this with the family and looking at the possibility of more affordable housing within their local area.


Home maintenance is a chore at any age, but having a huge yard and empty bedrooms to maintain can be an unnecessary burden. How are your family members coping with mowing, gardening and vacuuming such a large space? Many seniors cite problems with maintenance as the primary driver for downsizing, so it’s important to explore the options to help lighten the load.


After more than 40 or 50 years in the workforce and raising a family, retirement should be a time for putting yourself first and doing what you love, whether that’s travelling, staying fit or keeping social, try and consider some ways to make it happen. If your family members would love to indulge a new passion or revisit an old one, try and consider some ways to make it happen. Whether it’s taking that long-awaited holiday to New Zealand, taking up photography or joining a sailing club, make time for the important things in life.


Recent research has identified loneliness and social isolation as having a significant negative impact on the health and wellbeing of seniors. Whether in the city or in the suburbs, living alone is not always conducive to forming friendships and we all know how busy members of the family can get. If seniors are feeling lonely, look into local community and social groups that might make for a best fit, and help ensure some healthy companionship.


Poor health can be an unfortunate consequence of ageing, and having easy access to medical   facilities and wellbeing programs is more important than ever. There are a variety of independent retirement living options that can help provide that access, such as the Ingenia Care program, which connects residents in Ingenia Lifestyle’s communities with critical health, social and domestic service providers so they can maintain an independent and active lifestyle.

For more information on Ingenia Care please visit

Announcement of Competition Winners

Ingenia Lifestyle has been running a number of competitions and wishes to advise the following winners were selected at random and are the lucky winners of some fabulous prizes! They have been contacted by phone or email and been informed about their prize win.



Pyrenne Tromans



$5,000 VISA gift card – Lindsay Lucas

$500 Ingenia Holiday gift voucher – Anna Clarke

$500 Ingenia Holiday gift voucher – Anne Baars

$500 Ingenia Holiday gift voucher – Robyn Lewis

$500 Ingenia Holiday gift voucher – Gayle and Murray Williams

Setting New Benchmarks in Innovative Home Construction

The home building industry is setting new benchmarks in innovative construction techniques allowing a new design of home to be delivered under Ingenia Lifestyle’s land lease ownership model with more benefits for downsizers.

A driving force behind the innovation has been the increasing demand from over 55s looking to move away from the traditional bricks and mortar construction process and downsize into lifestyle communities.

The two major benefits of the new home design innovation means residents can purchase a home that uses a traditional construction method of building with zero level transitions, reducing the need for stairs on the home and assists with ageing in place.

Additionally, due to the strategic placement of the homes on site the new homes are delivered under the financial benefits of the land lease model so residents are able to downsize to a more manageable home whilst still being able to take full advantage of financial assistance from government rental assistance on the
weekly site fees.

This construction method offers over 55s an alternative housing solution while incorporating all the benefits of quality, speed and affordability with an innovative design.

All homes feature open plan living, generous covered decks, air conditioning, storage and built in robes to all bedrooms and:

• Modern entertainers kitchen fitted with custom cabinetry, chrome handles and quality stainless steel appliances such as oven and cook top, range hood and dishwasher.

• Homes can also accommodate custom upgrades with the flexibility to add in features such as stone benchtops, ramps, handrails and design upgrades for modifications now or into the future

• A range of environmental considerations included insulation to ceiling, floors and walls, open bright and breezy spaces with plenty of glazing to let the sunshine in.

The homes are completed with decking, landscaping and utility connections, all taking approximately 12-15 weeks in build time allowing residents to move into their homes sooner and at a more affordable price.

“Now it’s our turn to be Rewarded and to Relax in our Retirement!”


After years of working hard, serving for our country, raising children, and maintaining their large home, Ian and Di Dougall decided to make the move a little earlier than expected in their early 60’s, so they could take advantage of their good health and new lifestyle.

Their move saw them downsize from the busy western Sydney suburb of Windsor to regional NSW in Albury, moving from a large four bed, two bath, two garage with big yard.

“The motivation was to downsize and move out of Western Sydney and away from the hustle and bustle. Sydney was not an option for us after we stopped work. It didn’t make sense for us to stay there. We have studied and worked fairly hard all our lives, also serving in the Navy together and now after a long, long time it’s our turn to be rewarded and relax.

“We also wanted to be closer to family in Bendigo and to lock and leave to travel but couldn’t do that with a big house and no one to maintain it while we are away.

The Dougall’s house sold quickly in a buoyant property housing market in late 2016 and they made a smooth transition to Ingenia Lifestyle Albury with the sale of their old home funding a brand new home and lifestyle.

“We love the regional feel about Albury, it’s a great destination to do day trips from. You see so many people getting out to the Murray River, Beechworth and Melbourne, which is only a 3 hour drive, plus it’s a bit cooler here and the people also really make it what it is here.

“Albury had been ear-marked for a lot of change and it’s now seeing the benefits with all the facilities, hospital, automotive services for caravans, as we are planning more travel.

After seeking out the different retirement living options, doing their homework and visiting many competitors Ian and Di knew independent living was what they wanted.

“We did not want aged care, we knew the differences between the options after reading Noel Whittaker and Rachel Lane’s book about the different retirement living models available and we liked the land lease model. We understood it and other people should know the benefits of it too.

“The reason for choosing Ingenia Lifestyle was the no exit fees and knowing this is the case if we were to leave. The no exit fees presented a better package overall than a retirement village offering or if we were to buy a freestanding home or townhouse.

“The quality of the home and the natural landscape made it different to the competitors. It’s in a bushland setting with a lot of nature around us, not just rows and rows of houses. The land lease living means paying rent, but we knew that was part of it and it’s reasonable, it’s not too bad and the other bills are less. It’s not for everyone but we think people should be more educated about this land lease model.

“We retired and downsized a little earlier, at age 61, while we still have our health. We’ve now been to too many funerals so it was the right time to free up the capital, fund the next stage of life and have a new milestone to look forward to.

When asking Ian and Di what does downsizing means to them, they had some genuine responses.

“Our new home means less clutter and less upkeep!

“We’ve made new friends, our wellbeing has improved and there’s not as much house work, overall it has been a lot better for us.

“We take part in the social activities, we go exercising, use the pool and Ian rides his bike around the community.

“The Ingenia Care program is care for when we need it, it is an insurance policy for us,” they both agreed.

If you’d like to discover more about the downsizing journey and what life is really like at Ingenia Lifestyle Albury, come along to the Country Living Expo, Saturday 28th October 10am to 2pm at Ingenia Lifestyle Albury, 7 Catherine Crescent, Lavington.

Call Megan on 0459 955 122 for more info.

Coastal Lifestyle sees Homes Snapped up at South West Rocks


Active downsizers looking for a sea change are flocking to the NSW Mid North Coast as Ingenia Lifestyle South West Rocks release its final stage of homes at its upcoming Open Day on Saturday 21 October from 10am to 2pm.

Just 8 new homes will be made available for purchase in the final stage of the land lease community, with new two bedroom homes starting from $330,000.

Project Sales Manager Wendy Hobson said prospective buyers could register their interest as part of the First Choice Club and reserve their ideal home in the final release with a fully refundable $1,500 deposit.

“The community’s popularity among downsizers, from both the local region and those seeking a sea change is on the rise, and our First Choice Club has seen more than 60 percent of homes already reserved or contracted,” Ms Hobson said.

“Our community is perfect for active downsizers with the local Country Club, bowling greens and golf course all within close proximity for residents.

South West Rocks’ lifestyle-focused community offers residents the opportunity to live in a brand new home in a land lease community where you own the home and lease the land.

Ms Hobson said the land lease model was becoming a sought after option for downsizers looking for a change while maintaining their active lifestyle.

“South West Rocks features Ingenia’s innovative ownership model providing a more affordable price point for buyers where owners are not required to pay stamp duty, exit fees or council rates,” Ms Hobson said.

One couple who are eager to move into their new home are Brian and Doreen Clune who said they cannot wait for their new coastal lifestyle to begin.

“The price of the homes has helped our financial arrangements and the quality of them represents value, while the lifestyle that comes with it is just wonderful,” Mr Clune said

“Downsizing was always our plan, but to have that extra money left over after purchasing a new home in lifestyle focused community was what really won us over.

“The decision was to make the move now for our lifestyle and to plan ahead to make this our last move as we’re not going to move again.

“South West Rocks’ coastal lifestyle sold it for us. We are within walking distance to everything, we are surrounded by other active seniors and we can park our caravan at home so we can go travelling whenever we like.”

For more information call Wendy on 0448 714 021 or visit

Resident Talents Shine at Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania


With 15.2 per cent of Australia’s population aged over 65 years[1], there are decades of experience and skills on offer from older Australians in our communities.

This year’s International Day of the Older Person theme shines a light on how society can enable and strengthen the contributions of older people in their community and harness their invaluable knowledge and expertise.

First introduced by the United Nations in 1990, International Day of the Older Person honours the contribution and values older generations bring to society.

Seventy-five year old, Hurbet Van Hoof from Ingenia Lifestyle’s Bethania community in Queensland is embracing this year’s International Day of Older Persons theme – Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society – eagerly contributing his skills and sharing his many years of industry experience.

When Ingenia Lifestyle Bethania began designing the extension for its community clubhouse extension, it turned to veteran architect and resident Hubert Van Hoof.

Hubert, who has lived in the community for the past five years said he was more than happy to get involved and help design the clubhouse extension to best suit his fellow residents.

“My inspiration for becoming an architect stemmed from my two grandfathers, one was an artist and one was an architect. With a passion for both fields it was a blessing that becoming an architect actually combines both professions,” Mr Van Hoof said.

“In my career as an architect I have been fortunate to have a great deal of experience in designing facilities specifically for older people, including three senior citizen centres, an aged care hostel and units for the aged in country areas.

With more than four decades of experience in the architecture industry, Hubert offer’s invaluable insights into the new design and functionality of the extension.

“The clubhouse extension will help cater to our growing community with additional spaces for residents to relax and socialise.

“We have included additional event and private function spaces where residents are able to hold functions without impacting the use of the clubhouse by other residents.”


Over 55s Urged to Take Advantage of Home Price Rise

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As median house prices continue to rise across the country, now is an opportune time for many asset-rich, cash-poor seniors to downsize their large homes, boost their cash reserve and improve their lifestyle.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest residential property price index revealed median house prices rose across most capital cities in the 12 months to June 2017, with the highest growth in Melbourne and Sydney (13.8 per cent),  and Brisbane’s property prices increasing by three per cent[1].

Author, seniors finance expert and government advisor Rachel Lane said senior homeowners could boost their cash reserves by downsizing their home, selling while prices are high and moving into more affordable accommodation.

“Lifestyle-focused land lease communities, for example, are one of the newest types of affordable housing catering to the over 50s market.

“While the homes on offer are of an increasingly high quality, the entry price point is kept low since residents lease, rather than own the land, with low weekly fees. This pricing model eliminates the need to pay stamp duty, entry and exit fees and in some cases, the resident is then eligible for rent assistance.

In Queensland’s Logan City, the house prices in areas like Chambers Flat ($565,000[2]) are more than double (59 %) the $229,000 starting point for the nearby Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines community.

“I would urge seniors to pay close attention to median house prices in their area and affordable housing price points like these to get a better sense of the type of cash reserves they might be able to access.”

“While housing affordability is generally considered a young person’s issue restricting entry to the market, it is also a major problem for those that do own a home but rely on a low weekly income,” Ms Lane said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines Project Sales Manager Lynda Ruddell said the unique land lease model was attracting more attention due to the flexible benefits that allow downsizers to pursue a financially stable lifestyle based on independence, health and wellbeing.

“The innovative design of the new homes allows buyers to reap the financial benefits of the land lease model, meaning residents retain their eligibility for government rental assistance on the weekly site fees,” Ms Ruddell said.

In Victoria, for the 12 months from March 2016 to March 2017, the overall medium house price in Victoria rose to $526,000[3], while in Lara, the medium house price is listed at $435,000[4], allowing some homeowners the opportunity to boost their cash reserves by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling while prices are high and moving into more affordable accommodation.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara Regional Sales Manager, Zoe Ilich-Paul, said lifestyle-focused land lease communities are an innovative senior’s home ownership model where the entry price point is kept low since residents lease, rather than own, the land.

“Land lease communities also eliminate the need for residents to pay stamp duty, there are no exit fees and in some cases, residents are eligible for rent assistance on the weekly site fees.

“Our home designs are of an increasingly high quality while providing residents with more capital to fund their senior years,” Zoe said.

Ingenia Lifestyle Lara has a range of home designs starting from $219,000 for a one bedroom floor plan with open plan living and dining and a number of surprise features including covered decking, front landscaping, European stainless steel kitchen appliances and split system air conditioning.




[2] Residex Suburb Report – Chambers Flat 4133 QLD




It’s Apples and Oranges When Comparing Retirement Villages to Land Lease Communities


By Rachel Lane, author and seniors finance expert.

Downsizing can be an exciting time, but it pays to do your research and crunch the numbers. Rachel Lane compares the different financial arrangements and why it’s like comparing apples and oranges between retirement villages and land lease communities.  

There are so many different terms used by operators, from the more traditional “retirement village” or “over 55s community” to the more contemporary “gated community”, “lifestyle resort” and even “aged care”. While it may seem that there are too many different financial arrangements to compare, the reality is that most retirement communities are either a Retirement Village or a Land Lease Community, and the differences are important.

I find it easiest to break down the numbers into the Ingoing, the Ongoing and the Outgoing.

 Retirement villages operate under the Retirement Villages Act and you have a lease or ‘licence to occupy’. The ingoing is the price you pay for your right to occupy your home and use the common facilities.

Oranges: In a land lease community the price you pay upfront is to buy your own home and have a leasehold over the land. There are often no stamp duty fees to pay on the purchase of a new home in either model.


In both a retirement village and a land lease community residents need to pay a weekly or monthly fee to cover the running of the community, its facilities and the rates.

Apples: In a retirement village this maintenance fee is often called a “general service charge” or “recurrent charge”. In a retirement village, pensioners need to pay an amount below a certain threshold (currently $203,000) to be eligible for rent assistance.

Oranges: In a land lease community it is called site fees. Because of the unique ownership structure of land lease communities, most pensioners qualify for rent assistance on their site fees. It is not uncommon for the site fees in a land lease community to be higher than the general service charge of a retirement village.

The greatest confusion between retirement villages and land lease communities comes from the exit fees, also called deferred management fees (DMF). Generally, when selling your home in either a retirement village or land lease community you’re likely to incur some costs – typically agent’s fees and marketing expenses, it may also include the cost of repairs or improvements to your home to prepare it for sale.

Apples: In a retirement village exit fees are standard. The exit fee is likely to be a percentage of either you purchase price or re-sale price, anything between 25% and 40% is common. The exit fee may also include a sharing of capital gain with the operator.

Oranges: Where you are likely to find the biggest difference between the two is that most land lease communities don’t charge exit fees. You own your own home, and it is a willable asset, so the home owner keeps 100% of any capital gains made on the property if or when they decide to sell their home.


Let’s have a look at how a house in an Ingenia Lifestyle community compares with a similar home in a retirement village when you exit after 10 years. In this case study the Ingenia Lifestyle resident receives $589,643 on exit, where as a retirement village resident receives only $377, 262 after the exit fees.

Ingenia Lifestyle Retirement Village
$450,000 $450,000
Site Fees $180p.w General Service Charge $130p.w
*Rent Assistance $62p.w** Rent Assistance $0

Assumed Capital Growth @3%p.a

Value in 10 years time



Value in 10 years time


Assumed Selling costs @ 2.5%


What you get back:

$589,643 (no exit fees) $377,262 (after exit fees)

*For people who are eligible to receive an Australian Income Support Payment.

**Figure based on a couple

Where do I sit on the Downsizing Timeline?

For many homeowners, downsizing their home can be the start of a new chapter but the process can take some time and consideration with a downsize taking anywhere from a few months to around 12 months.

Twelve months before
• Have a conversation about downsizing with your partner, friends, or anyone else you trust. Use the conversation to discuss why you would like to downsize
• Decide on a location or two that you’d like to live in. Once you know your favourites it will help narrow down the search list of places to live
• Consider the range of lifestyles to choose from – sea change or tree change? Stay in the area you know? Live closer to amenities or families?
• If it’s still not clear on where you want to live, create a list of pros and cons and score them to see which option wins.

Nine months before
• Start to clear your clutter, pull out all the unwanted items in your wardrobes, cupboards and garage to give away to charity or sell online or in a garage sale. One of the benefits to downsizing your home is the ability to reduce excessive furniture, electronics, appliances, trinkets and items that may not be used anymore or do not serve a purpose
• Action, finish and file away your important paperwork (Wills, POAs, etc) – make copies and send to your solicitor or someone you trust
• Review your finances and do the numbers on what you can afford to spend on a new home.

Six months before
• Put your best foot forward and commence those last DIY jobs around the house to prepare it for sale ensuring it’s well-presented for the type of buyer for such a home
• Neaten up your landscaping and tidy the garden
• Start to interview real estate agents and plan your sale strategy. If you’re expecting a 90 or 120 day settlement, now is the time to commit to this
• Start making enquiries into where you want to live. Take tours of their display homes, review the floor plans, enquire about prices and what’s currently available or coming up
• Now that you’re on your way to finalising the sale of your family home you should be in a good position to secure your brand new home – attend open homes, visit communities and start a conversation with your local sales manager to work out what’s the best solution
• In some instances you can place a small deposit to secure your new home while you finalise the sale of your family home
• Once you have paid a deposit and feel comfortable with your decision, and pending house sale, the next step is to sign a contract on your new home in which the sales manager should step you through.

4 weeks before
• Book removalists and commence conversations with utilities providers to arrange connections for electricity, gas and water
• Pay a final settlement balance on your new home
• Start packing up, taking your downsized essentials with you… or this is the time to now go shopping for new furnishing and homewares
• Collect your keys, move in and relax… enjoy your brand new home and downsized lifestyle.