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6 retirement living options for Australians


Retirement living is no longer just a transition into a nursing home — it can mean a whole new lifestyle. With so many alternative living options now available to retirees, choosing how and where you spend your later years can be exciting. Retirement housing that caters to your needs can help you keep your independence and sense of community, leading to a fulfilling life. And, with the right home and contents insurance, you can stress less and get the best out of your golden years.

Villages and communities

Villages and communities are some of the most popular options for retirees. There are a few different types of community living:

  • Retirement villages. These cater to both seniors who need care, and over 55s seeking a community-focused lifestyle. Residents share services and facilities, like swimming pools, social spaces, lawn bowls greens and even golf courses. Villages are comprised of villas and serviced apartments in a gated community, making it easy to socialise without having to jump in the car.
  • Communal villages and eco retreats. Often found on farms or in bushland, communal villages offer over-55s the opportunity to embrace the open air without being too far from care. Unlike the neighbourly living of retirement villages, residents are often given their own lot of land with a small home, with care facilities and services close by. Some communal villages even give residents the opportunity to integrate into the community, getting them to pitch in with things like gardening and cleaning.
  • Co-housing. Not just limited to seniors, co-housing communities operate on shared land. Residents build and maintain their own space with access to shared facilities, like parks and laundries. Co-housing may be less communal than other retirement living options, but the interaction with different age groups — including children — can help prevent isolation. It’s also ideal for seniors looking to reduce household costs and their carbon footprint. While they’re popular with retirees, co-housing communities often don’t have care onsite, so may be a better fit for more independent seniors.

Insurance for retirement villages and communities

Depending on the community, the cost of home insurance may or may not be included with your ongoing fees. As units are generally quite small and built with fittings and fixtures that you may not own, this needs to be considered when you’re looking for a policy. Apia Village Insurance is tailored to this type of living. Designed for village units that share things like a driveaway and other facilities, this type of home insurance also includes cover for contents locked in a cage within your residential complex.

Explore Apia Village Insurance

Independent apartments

While villages can create a sense of community, ‘aging-in-place’ in your current neighbourhood, close to friends and family may be more comfortable. But, home maintenance, without any help, can become more time consuming and expensive as you get older. If you’re still independent, downsizing to an apartment can be a great way to stay in your community while reducing costs and housework.

Insurance for apartments

Apia Apartment Insurance is designed for retirees looking to downsize. It includes cover for contents you’ve stored away in commercial storage. It also includes cover for some things Body Corporate may not cover, such as your fixtures and fittings, and food and medication spoilage if your refrigerator breaks down.

Explore Apia Apartment Insurance

Assisted living

If you require a higher level of care, a village or independent apartment may not be suitable. However, assisted living can still offer similar community benefits and companship without compromising on care. Accommodation types include:

  • Nursing homes. These can provide ongoing care for everyday tasks, ensuring you, or a loved one, are safe and secure at all times and can maintain your quality of life. Nursing homes can also be government funded, so may be ideal for retirees who require ongoing care, but cannot afford to do it at home.
  • Collaborative group homes. Moving away from the traditional model of a nursing home, collaborative group homes allow seniors who need care to create a home suited to their needs, in a community of other retirees. Residents can look out for each other, as well as share need services, like a communal carer. Many seniors prefer to age-in-place, so this type of living maintains a home feel, while reducing the costs of in-home care.

Insurance for assisted living

As you transition out of home and into accommodation where you require more care, you may have fewer possessions you need cover for. Apia Assisted Residence Living Insurance is tailored to life away from home, and can help cover the things that matter most for accidental loss and damage.

Explore Assisted Residence Living Insurance

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Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.

Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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