Retirement in New Zealand is becoming even more appealing, thanks to new initiatives in the retirement village industry.
“New villages are being designed with the modern retiree in mind,” says Village Guide founder Paula Bishop.
“Instead of being completely closed-off, some new villages will open select facilities to the general public, such as cafes and swimming pools. This is because today’s retirees tend to be active, social and keen to remain in touch with the wider community.”
Two developers embracing this change with enthusiasm are Metlifecare and Arvida Group. Both developers have open-gated retirement villages in the works, and are outspoken about their plans for change.
Metlifecare “not going to build dinosaurs”, says chief exec
Metlifecare chief executive Glen Sowry recently told Stuff Business Day that he’s committed to staying relevant in the face of change.
“When I look into my crystal ball, I simply have no idea what aged care provision’s going to look like in 30 years from now,” he said.
“So one of the [things] we’re looking at very carefully when we design our new care facilities is making very sure we’re not going to build dinosaurs.”
Metlifecare’s new development at Orion Point exemplifies its philosophy, Mr Sowry said in an April media release.
“As is the Metlifecare philosophy, Orion Point will be designed to reflect the local neighbourhood, combining the security and convenience of a fit-for-purpose retirement village with the benefits of integrating with the wider local community.”
Arvida Group “want to be at the forefront of positive change”
Another developer preparing for change is Arvida Group. The Group’s chair, Peter Wilson, recently stated in a media release that Arvida wants “to be at the forefront of positive change” within the retirement industry.
“We will continue to develop communities that are outwardly facing, helping our residents retain connection to the wider community,” he said.
Meanwhile Arvida chief executive Bill McDonald recently told Stuff that the Group’s new villages have a strong focus on “regenerating a sense of self and your part in the community”.
The company is so committed to community integration it often refrains from using the word ‘retirement’ in its marketing to increase appeal to the wider population.
“Yes, we’re creating housing for older people and we’re creating care facilities, but we really don’t want to restrict… our services to just people living in our [retirement] community,” Mr McDonald added.
The best of both worlds
The trend of open-gated retirement communities offers the best of both worlds: the chance for retirees to engage with the wider community while still enjoying a safe, private retirement, with all the bells and whistles a retirement village should provide.
“Retirees can still be assured of excellent healthcare and support, and a variety of independent and assisted living options, in addition to these new community features,” says Village Guide founder Paula Bishop.
“It’s an exciting time to be thinking about retirement.”