Retirement living provides benefits and amenities in addition to independent accommodation. This analysis provides a comparison of retirement living with commensurate general residential living. These benefits and amenities are compared on a like-for-like basis using data across Australia.

The accommodation, facilities and services available in a retirement village provide amenity and quality of life. Most general residential does not offer this. A senior living in general residential would either have to compromise or pay an additional amount for the benefits provided in a retirement village.

A new report by Lois Towart at the University of Technology Sydney has found that retirement villages are more affordable than general residential homes, when you factor in the total living costs for older Australians.

The report finds that while the ownership costs of a house are lower, the real savings are provided through the lifestyle services included in retirement village living.

The report highlights the financial benefits of being in a community with health and lifestyle services at a resident’s door.

If you live outside a retirement village and you access facilities and services like swimming pools, gymnasiums, libraries, GP clinics and social activities, this report shows you’re going to probably end up paying more than it costs to live in a retirement village.

Critics of retirement villages are quick to point out the cost of leaving a village, but this research shows the cost of living should be measured much more broadly than by just looking at exit costs.

Retirement villages offer access to facilities and services that lead to improved health outcomes and greater social interaction than would be possible in a general residential setting.

As the research notes, these services are normally provided privately to residents, which in turn reduces the need for government-funded services and infrastructure, leading to budget savings.

The report also highlights that retirement villages and seniors living communities also provide other intangible benefits, including an increased feeling of security, which is an invaluable benefit that is impossible to put a price tag on.

Report author Lois Towart said, “This research highlights the differences between the choice of retirement village living and general residential. It is based on a like-for-like basis and compares nine retirement villages across Australia with general residential properties of a similar age, style and level of accommodation in each locality.

“This comparison was based on the financial and lifestyle components of retirement village living including entry price, ongoing costs, facilities and services, exit price and intangible factors.”

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