COVID creating a happy retirement for the whole family
A desire for choice, control and independence is driving more Aussies to view downsizing as a ‘lifestyle decision’ and the conversation around retirement is increasingly starting earlier in many families – and delivering happier outcomes.
Like many other Australians, the last year has seen retirees taking stock of their priorities, with their lifestyle needs and the impact on their wider family among the key drivers as to why family members are being drawn into the conversation of retirement.
One developer has attributed this shift to a greater interest and involvement from family members, with children wanting to see their parents surrounded by strong community supports, and parents wanting to being able to support their children through potential financial challenges.
Ingenia Communities General Manager – Residential Communities Nicole Jentz said retirement living developers across Australia are noticing an increasing number of children actively involved in the retirement living decisions of their parents.
“Across our Ingenia Lifestyle over 50s communities we have seen more and more children enquiring on behalf of their parents and coming to view our communities with them,” Ms Jentz said.
“What’s interesting is that we’ve also observed that many older Australians have been making their decisions based on their own fears for their children.
“They are concerned about the impact of housing affordability and unemployment on their children and there is a perception that it will be more difficult for the younger generation to financially weather an economic downturn.
“Parents are worrying about the cash tied up in a big family home and wanting to release some equity in case their children need financial assistance.”
Traditionally, too many retirees have delayed a decision about retirement living until circumstances force a move, resulting in a decision driven by urgency rather than what their ideal retirement looks like.
Ingenia Lifestyle Chambers Pines resident Christine Green said one of her daughters helped her to look around and compare options to find somewhere suitable for her to downsize to.
Living in New South Wales and wanting to be closer to her daughter in Brisbane, Mrs Green sought family support to make the right choice.
“I was the only one taking care of my house in New South Wales, so it made sense for me to downsize closer to family,” Mrs Green said.
“I was feeling a bit lost trying to find somewhere in another state that I would like, so having my family involved in making this decision was a great deal of help.
“When visiting the community, my daughter and son-in-law came to view it with me – it really helped to have their opinion and we all decided that we really loved the Chambers Pines community.
“Speaking to my neighbours here at Ingenia Lifestyle, many have downsized and discussed it with their children as part of making their decision.
“The other great thing is that we’ve also got money in the bank after having downsized which makes things a lot easier for us and our family.
“It makes my family so very happy to know that I’m enjoying myself in the community making friends. I never feel alone here and have my neighbours to support me. It provides peace of mind for us all.”