Five keys to a happier retirement
When it comes to getting older, there are certain things we know contribute to a joyful retirement. But it’s social connection that the experts agree is vital to health and happiness.
Of all the challenges facing many people, social isolation is the one that seems to be the most dominant. “I don’t see my grandchildren as much as I’d like to,” is a typical comment. “Our old neighbourhood isn’t the same anymore,” is another.
Out of five main elements identified as being of importance to older Australians – financial security, maintaining independence, keeping fit and healthy, having a sense of belonging, and not being socially isolated – it is the last one that research has shown to be integral to health and wellbeing.
While many people experience periods of loneliness throughout their lives, the risk factors for many Australians are higher. “Major lifestyle changes and personal losses associated with later life can have a significant effect on social connections and result in feelings of loneliness,” according to the respected mental health service Beyond Blue.
“Strong ties with family, friends and the community provide people with happiness, security, support and a sense of purpose…being connected to others is important for mental wellbeing and can protect against anxiety and depression.”
Experts say that it is important that we develop new social networks by joining a local community group, volunteering or taking up a new sport or activity. Even making the effort to stop for a chat with other people can help.
People who remain connected to others report a better quality of life, have a delayed progression of dementia and mental decline, require less domestic support, and enjoy a greater sense of independence.
Creating a lively, inclusive and supportive environment is the core vision behind Ingenia Lifestyle. “Apart from the sense of security and financial independence, our communities offer residents the chance to interact with like-minded people,” says Kate Melrose, General Manager of Project Sales at Ingenia.
“Research shows that relationships and social networks are the biggest factors in achieving a happy and healthy retirement and is the key to improving longevity.”
At Ingenia, residents have access to resort-style facilities, such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, gymnasium and games room, while Ingenia Care offers assistance with wellbeing and support-service needs;
By providing affordable retirement housing with modest overheads, Ingenia Lifestyle address many of the concerns felt by older Australians.
“Location, affordability and a feeling of community are the three biggest drawcards for our members,” says Melrose. “That combination of elements is what makes our model so attractive to downsizers. The idea of downsizing isn’t just about moving into a smaller home. It’s about ‘right-sizing’ to a home that is low-maintenance, safe, secure, supports independence and is financially beneficial for the over-50s.”
Indeed, once people have made the decision to sell the family home and invest in an Ingenia Lifestyle property, they quickly embrace this new sense of freedom, security and social interaction.
“Of course, there are all the obvious benefits of having an easier-to-manage home and lower maintenance,” says Melrose. “But you are also part of a safe and vibrant community – a place where you can enjoy your independence, prioritise lifestyle and build new friendships.”
Put yourself first in 2021!
2020 redefined how we live, prompting many people to reconsider what’s really important. While we all have different dreams and aspirations, there are a few values we all have in common – that’s the importance of community, finances and lifestyle.