It’s fair to say everyone is looking for the best Retirement Village. However, what the best looks like varies greatly from person to person.

After all, everyone needs and wants different things out of their golden years. This means finding the right retirement village for you can be challenging.

In Australia, there are over 2,000 retirement villages. They come in all in all shapes and sizes, ranging from gated resort-style communities to vertical high-rise apartments.

To help you get started on your journey, we’ve put together some important questions to consider.

1. Where Do I Want to Live?

Since location will be a huge factor in your retirement decision, it’s the perfect place to begin.

Remember, it’s important to think about where you want to live. Just because you may think ‘I guess we better go and live near the children’ doesn’t necessarily mean it is your best choice.

We recommend you analyse your situation, taking inventory of what you value in a living area.

— Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to move?
  • Am I after a tree change or sea change?
  • How important is it to be close to family?
  • How important is it to be close to friends?
  • Will I have a car, or am I reliant on public transport?

Finally, think about the sort of facilities you’ll need to be close to. This might include shops, medical centres, health clubs and community centres.

2. What Sort of Lifestyle am I After?

Now it’s time to think about how you want to live. We’re of course talking about lifestyle.

Lifestyle is where villages really shine. Most modern retirement villages have events programs with regular activities.

Developers are also increasingly designing luxury apartments exclusively for the over-55s market. These retirement villages give residents a ‘lock-up and leave’ lifestyle in a community of like-minded people.

— Ask yourself:

  • What sort of lifestyle do I want in 5 – 10 years’ time?
  • How do the villages I’m considering fit into this?
  • How important is socialising outside of family and close friends?
  • Do I want to be part of any local clubs or community groups?

3. What Does my Home Need to Look Like?

Finally, you need to think about what your life, and therefore living situation, will look like in the future.

— Ask yourself:

  • Do me or my partner need regular medical care?
  • Do I need extra space for when extended family visit?
  • Is the accommodation I’m looking at single story?
  • Are there many stairs?

Villages cater for most settings, but it’s important to be honest about what you need. This ensures you won’t find yourself in a situation with a property beyond your means.