Baby boomers looking forward to retirement today are trying to decide what lifestyle most appeals to them. Many of today’s retirees are active adults with a desire to travel and pursue interests they simply did not have time to focus on during their working careers. Others may have spent decades living in urban settings, and want a quieter, more “small town” feel to relax and unwind. But why choose one or the other? Retirement villages in Western Australia, such as those developed and run by the St. Ives Group, provide beautiful suburban-like neighborhoods just minutes from WA’s capitol city of Perth, or coastal resort cities such as Mandurah. Retired seniors who emigrate to Western Australia can have the experience of living and traveling in an exotic locale, while enjoying all of the benefits of small-town living.
Retiring to an age-restricted community in a foreign land may sound exciting, but often the differences in language and culture make life too stressful, and seniors from the U.S. may find it difficult to navigate the legal, medical, and financial systems of these foreign countries. Unless you want to be extremely adventurous in your golden years and step completely outside of your comfort zone, it is a good idea to limit your foreign retirement options to countries in which English is the most commonly spoken language. Australia, with its cultural and historical connections with Great Britain, is the perfect “foreign” land for English-speaking retirees to consider.
Western Australia has long been known as one of the “Land Down Under’s” favorite retirement destinations, for both Australian citizens and those from the UK and United States. There are several retirement estates in the province, which offer a variety of high-quality housing options and healthy lifestyle choices for financially stable retirees. Similarly to life in a small town in the U.S., living in a 55+ community in the Australian countryside provides residents a real sense of community and social responsibility for neighbors. Each St. Ives Group retirement village in WA, for example, provides its residents with social clubs and rotary associations for those who wish to be very involved with others in their community. Residents don’t suffer the feelings of alienation or anonymity often experienced by seniors living in large urban areas.
The open spaces, gorgeous surrounding landscapes, and generous living areas found in WA retirement villages are also incredibly attractive to many retiring baby boomers. Some St. Ives Group retirement estates offer beautifully appointed, secure 2- or 3-bedroom villas with private courtyards, or spacious free-standing homes in contemporary designs, with large verandahs and landscaped yards to make the most of outdoor living in the near-Mediterranean climate. Depending on the location of the 55+ community, many housing options include single or double garages, visitor parking, and room for storage of boats and/or RVs.
Just as American retirement communities vary in features and costs, there are a myriad of 55+ communities scattered about Australia, with a wide variety of facilities and housing styles, priced from “budget” to several million dollars. Due to the immigration requirements for U.S. retirees (see retirement visa information here), most Americans financially capable of retiring to WA will likely be interested in luxury living options. The St. Ives Group retirement estate at Meadow Springs, for example, caters to the high expectations of affluent, sophisticated retirees, offering a resort-style setting and spacious, luxury homes. This particular retirement community features a large indoor pool, spa, tennis courts, clubhouse, three rink bowling green, gym, library, and business center with internet access, among many other amenities.
Western Australia is a popular destination for retiring baby boomers looking to get away from it all. The weather is lovely throughout the year, and retirees can discover many beautiful cities, beaches, parks, and vineyards to take advantage of. If possible, though, Americans moving to Australia for retirement should rent before investing in the purchase of a property. Moving to another country – even if they do speak English – is not the same as moving to a state farther south. The climate, seasons, popular activities, and mindsets of your neighbors may come as a surprise, and you don’t want to be stuck with a property if you decide the area is not for you. If at all possible, you should rent for a year to a year and a half in or near a St. Ives Group retirement village before making the decision to buy. You need to have a good idea of what the community and region is like throughout the year – not just during the holiday season.