Retirees told to join an invisible queue

Queue of people

Standing in line is never fun, but when the queue in front of you is invisible and possibly not moving, things can get really stressful.

That is the situation facing people who are looking to secure quality retirement accommodation in Sydney.

Seniors who think they can waltz into a retirement village or aged care facility of their choice are getting a rude shock when told there is nothing available.

And that they need to join a queue.

And that the queue is an unknown length and speed.

We are currently facing an “imminent capacity crisis”, with retirement villages around Australia now 93 per cent full, according to new research by the Property Council of Australia and PWC.

And with the 65+ ranks set to grow by five million over the next 40 years, demand will continue to run hot.

The research echoes what I am hearing when talking to accommodation providers on Sydney’s north shore and northern beaches. The quality villages are popular and have waiting lists.

It is difficult news to process, particularly when units only come up when people pass away or move into high care.

Not knowing the speed of the queue can create major uncertainty and is incredibly stressful for people with a sudden or pressing need to move. Such as a recent widow or widower, or someone whose health needs have overtaken their independence levels.

What’s more, when you finally get the call that a place has become available, you need to make a quick decision on whether to accept it, and then will only have 12 weeks to sell your home and move. It is a tall order.

My advice to people in this space is to do what you have done all your life – plan ahead and don’t wait for decisions to be made for you.

Do the research now and put your name down on waiting lists, even before you need to. You will then have the luxury of knocking back an opportunity. It puts you in a position of power, rather than one of vulnerability and stress.

The good news is that the research found that the average two bedroom independent living unit in Sydney is 44% of the median house price in the same suburb, making downsizing affordable and a great way to unlock equity so you can enjoy your senior years.

If you want to have a free chat over coffee to discuss your options, give me a call on 0410 691 990.

Or if you want a free copy of my guide to downsizing, scroll to the bottom of my home page, fill in your details and I will email it to you.

The PWC/Property Council Retirement Census can be found here, it is worth a read.

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