A survey of 1,068 people visiting the Seniors Housing Online website shows that the retirees of today and tomorrow are looking for well-designed apartments close to infrastructure and amenities and are focussing on improving their lifestyle during their retirement years.
Demand is changing as the baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, are starting to retire or downsize. As Urban Taskforce Australia reported in their Urban Ideas Magazine in May 2013, the over 55s represent 25 per cent of the population, and this number will climb to 40 per cent at the end of the century (16 million people).
More and more people choose to live in low maintenance apartments for various reasons, one of which is a lifestyle change; Still working part-time, they want to have more time for travelling, hobbies or starting a second career as a volunteer to contribute to the community and live a more meaningful life.
For this new generation of empty nesters, a well-designed low-maintenance apartment in a resort-style setting is an attractive option. Some might not yet ready to retire from the workforce in their 50s, but they prefer to downsize their home and pay off their mortgage once the kids have moved out of the family home.
The Seniors Housing Online survey results show that for 49.6 per cent of the over 50s two or more bedrooms are essential, and for 35.8 per cent they are desirable; Almost every person responding to the survey prefers an independent living unit; 78 per cent want it in a community setting with access to facilities such as a community bus, a club house or recreation centre, and a swimming pool. 60 per cent are looking for a pet-friendly place.
88 per cent expect a garage or parking space, and 85.3 per cent prefer to be close to public transport as well.
While 70.8 per cent say they would prefer to live close to family and friends, over 80.1 per cent are ready to start a new chapter of their live and move out of their local area to find the right retirement property and lifestyle.
Retirement is changing with the focus being more on lifestyle enhancement. Retirees of today and tomorrow have the time and money to pursue their interests and do the things they always wanted to do: stay healthy and fit, travel the world, and spend quality time with their friends and family.
As the survey summarises, well-designed apartments and resort-style retirement communities on one hand plus Government commitments to fund more in-home support for those, who prefer to stay longer in their family homes, make the choice for retirees easier.
„As in the United States, we can expect to see a much larger proportion of our over 50's choosing to live in senior communities in the next few years, as more attractive new purpose-built developments become available to meet the demand.“ – Amanda Graham, Seniors Housing Online.