Who Lives in Retirement Villages; are they wealthy enclaves, ghettos or connected communities?

Publisher:
State of Australian Cities Research Network
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
State of Australian Cities Conference 2013: Refereed Proceedings, 2013, pp. 1 - 11
Issue Date:
2013-01
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For Australian seniors living independently there is a variety of specialised accommodation, of which the most prevalent is the Deferred Management Fee (DMF) retirement village regulated under State legislation. Previous studies have attempted to quantify the total number of villages in Australia, the types of owners/operators and estimated the number of residents. To date there has been little Australia wide analysis of retirement village residents to quantify this population group and measure whether they differ from residents in the surrounding locality and between regions. Australia's ageing population brings the requirement for age-appropriate accommodation therefore identifying how residents are utilising the existing retirement village product is of benefit to strategic decision makers, planners, property developers and village operators. This paper correlates individual villages with small area 2011 ABS Census data to build up a picture of Australian retirement village residents. Village residents are shown to be less likely to need assistance with core activities than seniors (aged 65+) in general. Residents in retirement villages are not wealthy, the majority are full or part pensioners only a small proportion are self-funded retirees. Retirement village living encourages social connectedness, as a higher proportion of residents engage in volunteering than seniors overall. There is regional variation between states, village residents in the ACT are shown to be noticeably wealthier when compared to retirement village residents in other States.
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