“The thing about life is that as your kids get older so do you, however, it seems at a much quicker pace,” said Roger Pallant.

He had been working 9am to 5pm in Melbourne, with two hours commuting each way in unpredictable weather.

“It starts to wear you down as you get older. The weekends did not provide relief. Living on four acres, lawns to mow, trees to chainsaw, weeds to pull and don’t forget volleyball practice and birthday parties,” he said.

“Melbourne was the tree change for Julie and I so it was time to find a sea change. My sister lived in Ballina, close to Byron Bay (Far North NSW), and we would visit as often as we could always looking forward to the uncomplicated lifestyle and slow pace, not to mention the glorious weather.

“We bought a small two-bedroom transportable in an over 50s complex as our “holiday home” and base for exploring the area. After a year or so doing research, we stumbled across a showroom in the local shopping centre marketing a Palm Lake Resort Over 55s retirement village in Ballina. It was still under development, and we purchased off the plan and chose our block and style of house. We watched the slab, the frame and the finishing until completion and we moved in June 2016,” he said.

“There was around 200 people in the village at the time and the new clubhouse had just been opened. The atmosphere was vibrant as new people arrived daily. I worked in the bar which was an excellent way to meet people and be known. I also spent four years on the resident committee during the development period and the challenging times of COVID-19. When the village was complete, and 480 plus people were in residence, the mood of the village changed from constantly changing to a more settled environment.

“There is so much to do in our village from water aerobics, line dancing, cards, tennis, bowls, and the list goes on. Happy hour on a Friday night can attract over 100 people and every second month our resident band entertains us and the dance floor is quite packed.

“The social committee organises special events such as Melbourne Cup, New Year’s Eve, Trivia nights, etc and arrange professional bands/acts to put on shows. I have run the Trivia nights since 2019 and often get over 120 people attend. These nights allow me to show off my alter ego as Elvis, Village People, Blues Brothers, Pirates, Black and White (Collingwood supporter) and the 70s.”

“Planned bus trips go to shopping centres, golf courses, entertainment shows, and anywhere the residents want to go. Most events/trips are organised by the residents with minimal input from the management.

“I found my four years on the residents committee very rewarding and fulfilling. Our resident committee/s play such an important role in village life. They are the conduit between the residents and management in such areas as financial matters, compliance with legislation, maintenance of services and common areas and facilities.

“Since stepping down from the resident committee I have joined the Retirement Villages Resident Association (RVRA) and am currently the Secretary. I am enjoying the “big picture” aspect of the retirement village sector. The RVRA is the only lobby group on behalf of residents, and we speak to the key stakeholders on a regular basis.”

Yet another great example of why retirement villages are a winner.