As Katie Van Leeuwen finds out, the dream of having a golf course as your backyard is an evolving trend for retiring Australian baby boomers.
REPORTER: Five years ago, Australian golf was booming and so was movement around residential golfing. As happened in Malaysia in the 90s the wave of people moving to golfing communities slowed when the Global Financial Crisis came around.With PRDnationwide research showing half of the 10 proposed golf course estates were aimed at retirees in New South Wales, things are looking up for people looking to retire to comfort and security.
But Patsi Brown, principal at golfinghomes.com.au says baby boomers in particular are flocking to golfing properties.”
PATSI BROWN: For the security of a gated community and living with like-minded people, regardless of whether they play golf or not. You know, people are looking for a bit of peace and quiet and don’t want to be disturbed by younger people who want to party a lot.
REPORTER: In April of this year Shortland Waters Golf Club sold off much of their land and put forward plans for a massive residential development. These plans for a $66 million development are in the process of being approved and construction is set to begin at the end of the year.
A big selling point of the community style development is that it includes an aged care facility for baby boomers to transition into as they age.”
PATSI BROWN: I mean its a very real thing, there are a lot of elderly people still playing golf and I suppose if you know, one of the partners gets dementia or something like that then yes it would be an attraction for the other person to still live on the golf course, close to their partner who needs care.
REPORTER: Ms. Brown says retirees moving into these golfing homes are not neglecting travel but rather feel safe having a secure place to come home to and settle into when they’re done jet-setting.
PATSI BROWN: You know, most of the people I know who are living in a golf precinct are travelling a great deal and again, I think thats another reason people are attracted to a golfing precinct that is secure is because they have greater confidence in leaving their homes within a gated community… that they have confidence that the homes are more secure there than they are out in the large where there’s no gated community if you like.
REPORTER: Ms Brown says the market is only picking up and the option of an aged care facility will be a great addition to golfing communities as an option for retirees’ futures.
This may just be the future for retirement: moving to a community with an option to age in a facility close by. So far evidence suggests that this is looking like the way golf communities are going. Whether this will be precedent for other gated-style retirement communities, we will have to wait and see.
Katie Van Leeuwen for Baby Zoomers magazine.