I speak to a lot of people grappling with the emotional journey involved in moving into a retirement living community. In this blog I dispel five common misunderstandings about retirement life.
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Over my years working as a Retirement Living Sales Manager, I’ve seen many people who consider the move but have left it too late. This happens because the decision to move had seemed so large, and evoked so much emotion, that they put it into the ‘too-hard basket’ for years. By the time they’re forced to move due to changed circumstances, they’re not active enough to be able to fully enjoy village life, or – and this scenario is becoming increasingly likely, given the national shortage of retirement living apartments – finding there may not be an apartment available for them.
I want to help people make the decision to move in a timely fashion rather than leaving it too late. So you can make that choice with confidence, here are five common misconceptions about apartment living that will help you navigate the emotional journey of moving into a community like Yarra Rossa.
Misconception 1: ‘I’ll lose my independence.’
The reality is that a move to Yarra Rossa will give you more independence, not less. Our research has found residents live independently for longer when they move in early and utilise the amenities – which keeps them active for longer.
And you needn’t worry about being forced into anything at Yarra Rossa. There will be a community of like-minded people you can mix with as often as you choose – but if you want solitude, you can stay happily ensconced in your own apartment. You can keep relationships with chosen service people like your hairdresser, for example, and maintain existing social activities – in fact, your life can remain virtually the same if you want it to.
Misconception 2: ‘I’ll have to live on top of other people.’
Rest assured that Yarra Rossa has been designed with privacy in mind. Only people living on your floor will have lift access to your floor, and from there, corridors cleverly provide private entrances. And the beauty of our apartments is that they’re fully insulated so you won’t hear your fellow residents talk, run taps or watch TV – think of it as your own private, noise-controlled haven.
Misconception 3: ‘I can’t cope with a smaller space.’
It’s understandable if you feel you won’t be able to cope with a smaller space; 95 per cent of those who move into our villages come from large family homes. However what residents tell us is how much they’ve gained, not lost, by moving in. With no maintenance – think: no lawns to mow, guttering to clear or repairs to carry out – they’re freed up to enjoy their lives more fully.
And if you’re worried about not having space to accommodate special gatherings when they arise, such as family events, remember you’ll have access to community facilities, such as barbecue areas, without the obligation of looking after these spaces.
Misconception 4: ‘I’ll lose my ability to do gardening.’
The heart of Yarra Rossa will be an expansive resident-driven garden. Many of our residents at our other villages get immense joy of planting, maintaining and harvesting vegetables and herbs which others can buy for a gold coin donation. If you’ve got a green thumb you’ll be able to indulge your passion for gardening without carrying the burden of outdoor maintenance alone.
Misconception 5: ‘I’m not quite ready.’
Moving into a retirement living community is of those important life decisions that’s best made before you’re truly ready. In recent years we’ve seen a younger-age group move in, motivated by the desire to avoid the mistakes of their own parents, who left it too late to adopt a retirement community lifestyle. I recommend you make the move while you still have choice available to you, so you can fully enjoy all this amazing community has to offer.