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Babyboomers recast retirement plans due to economic woes.
Economic gloom is now forcing babyboomers to downsize the family home or consider an overseas retirement, so they can achieve their retirement plans sooner. The expectations of this generation are very different to that of their parents' generation.
Website Director Amanda Graham says: “even with a soft residential market and lower than anticipated super and investment returns, baby boomers are still planning their retirement. This demographic don’t have decades to make up losses and they are recasting their finances so they can achieve the lifestyle they want. This might involve downsizing their home sooner rather than later, even before leaving the workforce, so they can get rid of the big mortgage and home maintenance, and also take advantage of stamp duty exemptions in some cases”.
Graham says the whole concept of retirement is changing – “more people are looking at transitional arrangements so they can reduce their work hours, have some flexibility around when and where they work, more leisure time and a healthier lifestyle.”
The property market is responding and there are many attractive new property developments in Australia geared specifically to this new over 50’s market segment – offering resort-style, low maintenance luxury living in villa style homes or apartments, with the availability of discreet in-home support services later on, if the need arises.
“In the past, people waited until they were in their seventies and beyond, before moving into a retirement village or nursing home. There was a stigma attached to aged care, and they stayed in the family home for as long as possible, making it a very traumatic move later in life, prompted by ill health or the death of a partner. This is no longer the case with the new generation of baby boomers approaching retirement age.”
“The reality is that unlike their parents, this generation of retirees are used to having a large mortgage on the family home with a line of credit to support their level of consumption and lifestyle choices. They always assumed that continued capital growth would take care of the debt and help fund their retirement, but this is now less likely. So selling up and downsizing is a big part of the solution.”
And she says well travelled Australian baby boomers are also increasingly considering buying a retirement home, or perhaps a second home, overseas. “A combination of a strong Australian dollar, weak housing markets in Europe and the US, and relatively cheap airfares means there has probably never been a better time. Limited retirement funds – even depleted super balances – will go a lot further in a place where housing and everyday living expenses are lower, and healthcare is affordable and readily available”.
“Australia has high property prices compared to the rest of the world, so selling up your home in a major city can still potentially unlock enough wealth to buy two retirement properties – perhaps one in your country of origin or a favourite overseas holiday destination. Many Australians are migrants, or the children of migrants, and have extended family in their country of birth, or even dual citizenship, making a relocation or extended stay very feasible.”
“So for the coming generation of baby boomer retirees, an extended sojourn to Tuscany may well be part of the plan, rather than just a modest Australian beachside retirement, like their parents. And despite the GFC and current sovereign debt crisis many Australians will still be able to afford both if they plan carefully.”
Graham says the website features many of the new over 50’s developments geared to downsizing baby boomers, as well as traditional retirement villages and higher needs aged care facilities for older retirees. “This is very much a growth demographic, with specific needs, who are often flexible about location, so the ideal way to research this really specialist housing market is online. The website has been designed so people can easily search for the particular type of retirement property they want, at the right price point, with the level of services they need. We’ve utilised the best real estate website features and adapted them for the retirement and aged care sector – so if you want to find a golf resort -style retirement property by the coast at a particular price point, we can help you find it. Or if you want a low-care inner city serviced apartment with some personal care support, we can help you find that too. There is a huge variety of retirement property out there, and as most of it is not sold through real estate agents you won’t find it on the real estate websites.”
“And knowing that some of our website visitors are searching urgently on behalf of a frail elderly parent we also offer information and useful links too, so people can quickly understand what services and benefits are available and what they should be looking for, making the website a great planning resource and a one stop shop to research and locate suitable retirement living and aged care properties.”
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