Retirement Village Living: There is now totally new thinking when it comes to senior lifestyles in Australia. Silver Magazine was invited to spend a day with the team at The Verge at the Burleigh Golf Club. We wanted to see the most intriguing ideas for living well in your later years.
More than 4000 residents choose to call a RetireAustralia community home. There’s villages in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. And there is a good reason why: this is the hottest lifestyle choice for the over 65s.
Gone are the days of old-school retirement homes. Retirees are fitter, healthier, happier, more active, and longer-lived than any generation of seniors in history. And they enjoy a higher standard of living than previous generations. So when they choose a home for their senior years, they are looking for a community with a high spec and with lifestyle connections so they can continue to live the good life as always. This is without the hassle of running a house with a lot of maintenance requirements.
Are you thinking of moving to accommodation that is maintenance-free? Then the new thinking here is vertical living. High rise vertical retirement villages are at the cutting edge of the good life. Up high, residents of the Verge don’t have to worry about security issues. While they spend time away visiting grandkids, they don’t even have to think twice about their home security.
With vertical retirement living comes those spectacular views. At The Verge, they are to die for. This is authentic golf course living. And by authentic, it means the foot of the building is ON the vast Burleigh Golf Club. The views sweep down along beautiful greens and across to gum trees that hold all sorts of exquisite Australian wildlife. At eye level, the birdlife will serenade you as you go about your day.
The Right Time
So why is it a good time to look at The Verge? Demand for this type of living is about to skyrocket. We live in an aging population in Australia, and this is especially true on the Gold Coast. Thanks to the last census, we know that the number of seniors is expanding like lightening in our city. Between the last two censuses, the number of pre-retirees (50 to 59) jumped by 8,621 people. Empty nesters and retirees (60 to 69) jumped by 8,570 people, and seniors (70 to 84) by 10,413 people.
As the Gold Coast is Australia’s fastest-growing city, these numbers are not expected to slow down any time soon. In fact, they are expected to keep expanding. Here’s another interesting nugget of information: More than 17,000 people aged over 65 are living within five kilometres of Burleigh Golf Club yet there are currently less than 300 retirement dwellings in the area. By 2031, the number of retirees on the Gold Coast is expected to double – accounting for over 20 per cent of the city’s population.
In response to the growing demand for retirement living, the Gold Coast City Council has already shifted gear. They are aligning with the needs of seniors, designing programs and projects to ensure they can enjoy everything on offer in the region. They are creating a strong community for over 65s. This will ensure support and care is available when needed most. And, ‘Active Ageing’ programmes are provided that will inspire retirees to live their best life.
While the retirement lifestyle reaches new heights, so too does the rise of vertical retirement villages. In this way, The Verge is at the forefront of retirement living. The new development will meet retiree expectations of a community-oriented, low maintenance and low-stress lifestyle.
Of course, anyone who lives at the Gold Coast knows why the city is exploding. We have the perfect climate. Warm all year round, it is a city big enough for all the good things in life, like amazing hospitals and transport infrastructure, but still without all the capital city hassles like massive traffic jams and pollution.
The boom in retirement living means that interest in The Verge is expected to be high demand. As we go to press, stage one of the development is on sale.
Rightsizing and Care
So why The Verge? Because of the architectural concept it offers, which differentiates it out from other types of retirement villages. The way retirees are dealing with their property needs now is not so much “downsizing” than “rightsizing.” You don’t have to trade your castle for a tiny studio where you can’t even swing a mouse. “Rightsizing” is changing to a better plan. With rightsizing, you choose a property that will meet your specific wants and needs for the stage you are at.
Think about it. Do you use all the rooms in your house? And, do you have bedrooms you aren’t using? Do you ever actually eat in the dining room? And, do you need those multiple bathrooms? Are you still using your double garage, when you only need one space? Selling your home and buying one that suits your lifestyle better means that you could add a solid contribution to your retirement fund. Add to this a reduction in maintenance costs, and utility bills, it makes sense on many levels to rightsize.
Is it time to downsize your chores and upgrade your lifestyle? The grass is greener living on a golf course, and even better news is that it is regularly cut too. The added benefit of rightsizing to a retirement village like The Verge, is that down the track, you won’t have to change your accommodation should your needs change.
Phase one of The Verge is selling now, and with this phase, care will be available through home care services. RetireAustralia is a registered home care provider – and will have a Care Manager to assist with the process of accessing a government-funded care package. Fee-for-service options are also available. RetireAustralia’s home care is a flexible alternative for residents or couples with different support needs, delivered in your independent living apartment.
Whether you need help with the cleaning, laundry or assistance with meals, home care is there to help. The team can also provide help running errands, taking you to appointments or assisting with personal care.
Bill and Dawn are RetireAustralia residents. They say they looked at all their options and decided that a retirement village was the right choice. “It gave us financial certainty and the community feel we were looking for. Having staff on call was great for our peace of mind, we knew we’d feel safe and secure.”
You can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having access to a care team to help you age positively. You can still live independently, and residents are free to come and go as they please, couples stay together, pets are welcome, and family can stay overnight.
The Verge has been created to meet the mindset of young-at-heart independent retirees of 2020. Living at The Verge ensures you are surrounded by plenty of blue sky and green horizons. This is an expanse of greenery that is always well maintained and cannot be built out.
The expansiveness of the golf course is matched by the sense of space you get from your apartment’s free-flowing floorplan. The views from your residence are a sight to be seen. Step out onto your balcony and you are instantly connected to the rolling lawns, tree-lined fairways, and local wildlife.
If your favourite hole is the 19th, your home is just a chip shot away from the Clubhouse, which offers a welcoming ambience for all who visit. The building sits next to the 10th hole of the Burleigh Golf Club. There are three options: One bedroom plus study, and two- and three-bedroom apartments.
Of course, there are the fabulous penthouses too! The apartments have been designed to Livable Housing Australia’s Gold Standard. With wider hallways and openings, step-free shower recesses, and reinforced walls to allow later installation of grab rails, the homes can adapt to the changing needs of residents. Age-friendly design ensures your home is optimised for ease of living.
Each apartments’ lofty spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows provide sweeping outlooks from every angle, with interiors every bit as impressive as the view. Every residence is filled with natural light and high-quality inclusions. The independent living apartment’s free-flowing floorplan between the kitchen, dining and living areas make entertaining a breeze. And the stylish and functional interiors are every bit as welcoming.
They are furnished with Smeg appliances and create a comforting sense of space. As we all know, staying connected and making new connections is good for our wellbeing. The Verge will have the luxury of 5G technology. If you are not technically minded, you’ll find plenty of resources and recommendations about various classes on the Gold Coast City council website. This will boost your confidence!
The key to unlocking a long, happy life may be a riddle for the ages, but recent research suggests that modern retirement village living certainly helps. Exciting new vertical villages such as RetireAustralia’s The Verge at Burleigh Golf Club have been specially designed to allow retirees to live their lives to the full and discover a renewed sense of health and wellbeing – sometimes with dramatic results.
RetireAustralia CEO Brett Robinson said The Verge would redefine retirement living on the Gold Coast, creating a lifestyle second-to-none. “We know from our own research that people are looking to form friendships and socialise more when they move into retirement living, which can have a profound effect on their wellbeing and slowing the ageing clock. Indeed, international studies have found that socialising and maintaining meaningful engagement with the world around you generally contributes up to about 20 per cent of a person’s wellbeing.
“There are also plenty of examples within our villages to support the transformations in health and mobility people can make when they have easy access to tailored exercise programs, age-specific gyms and multi-purpose recreational areas. The very design and location of the building you live in are important too. A safe, secure community and a modern, light-filled home with views and access to everything you need at your doorstep can highlight the difference between living in a carefully designed retirement village and an ordinary apartment or house.’’
Lorelei Bache, the first future resident to register an expression of interest in a home at The Verge, said the village’s prime location and layout ticked all the boxes for her. She said it would also allow her to keep busy, forge new friendships, and take advantage of the myriad opportunities to pursue new hobbies and interests. “I’ve been to several meetings organised by RetireAustralia and the people I’ve met there have always been very nice. We all seem to be likeminded, and once the entire complex is developed, I think there will be lots of people who I will be able to mix with.
“The Verge provides the perfect indoor/outdoor lifestyle. The Gold Coast’s prime lifestyle location is between Broadbeach and Burleigh, and from my apartment I will also have a lovely view of the golf course. I think having a view like that connects you to the world – I can see people out and about, and it is just a hop, skip and jump to the Wellness Hub to mix with others.”
The Wellness Hub has everything residents need to keep active, social and independent. The on-site gym’s equipment and group fitness classes promote a healthy lifestyle, while the salon will keep you looking fabulous.
Then, when it’s time to wind down with your friends and family, you can entertain on the rooftop terrace barbeque area, or visit the friendly team at Tee House Café, they’ll have the perfect cuppa waiting for you.
A busy calendar of social events will be on offer at The Verge, as well as a community bus offering regular social outings. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy connecting with like-minded neighbours. If you have family visiting, they are welcome to stay over.
The Verge is located just minutes from sandy beaches and all the conveniences the Gold Coast has to offer. It is 8 minutes’ walk to Miami Beach, and 12 minutes to Burleigh Beach, for those all-year-round swims at the best beaches in the world. And it is close to fantastic parks for when the grandkids need to run off some of their crazy energy.
It also has great connections for the Theme Parks that the Gold Coast is famous for. And let’s not forget that beautiful golf course. Tee off with new friends or old at Burleigh Golf Club, and afterwards, the most important part…is to hopefully end up at the golf club bar for an evening drink!
Barry and Maureen have chosen an apartment on the third level and will be moving in at the end of March. Barry has been in the area for 32 years.
“I have been a member of the golf club for 28 years. So we are really looking forward to having a lovely outlook. There is so much birdlife here. We chose this retirement village because location, location, location more than anything. We wanted to be on the Coast near Miami, Burleigh and Broadbeach. I have a lot of medical appointments, and so does my wife, so we aren’t far from doctors here. We’re also not far from our friends, and there is a bus that takes us to the shopping centres. We don’t have to worry about driving. If we want to, we can, but at The Verge we have both options.
“I can meet a friend at the putting green to hit a few balls, and then wander over to the club. We go to the club every Friday night with a few friends. They have a gym onsite and some outdoor activities like Tai Chi, which is wonderful. We love the meeting rooms, and the rooftop barbeque area. The Miami pool nearby has just been done up; the redevelopment is fantastic. We can access that via car or the village bus as well.
“The wonderful thing about The Verge is that you can have pets. We have a 17-year-old cat, she controls our house, she will be alright with the move. She is an inside cat, so she’ll take to the new place well.”
If you’re thinking of moving into a retirement village, there are lots of things to weigh up and money is living expert Rachel Lane, author of best-sellers Aged Care, Who Cares and Downsizing Made Simple says that when people are choosing a retirement village, they often don’t pay enough attention to the things that will affect them both while living in the village and when they leave.
“Retirement villages can be very different, and it is not as simple as comparing apples with apples. For a true cost comparison, you need to look beyond the upfront fees and factor in ingoing, ongoing and outgoing costs such as exit fees.”
The Verge offers a contract specifically designed to increase financial certainty for retirees. It gives retirees clarity, certainty, and confidence at every stage. The team at RetireAustralia, who own and operate the new vertical retirement village, say they understand that retirees need certainty about their financial future.
No Hidden Costs
“Moving into a retirement village is a big decision and retirees might feel concerned about affordability and hidden costs,” said RetireAustralia Chief Executive Officer, Dr Brett Robinson.
“It’s important to us that retirees and their family members have peace of mind from the very beginning. That is why our sales contract for The Verge offers a simplified financial process and a high level of financial clarity at every stage. We specify, upfront, what the costs are, and what they cover. So residents know exactly what they will need to pay for the duration of their stay at The Verge.
“From the day residents move in, they will know the outgoing payment they will receive. In uncertain times, many people find it comforting to know where they stand financially. For further peace of mind, monthly service fees will be charged on a cost-recovery basis and cannot be increased more than the Consumer Price Index without the approval of the retirement village residents. When most people sit down to do the comparison between living in a retirement village and staying in an ageing home, with ongoing maintenance and repairs, they find that retirement living is an attractive option financially.”
This is one of the primary reasons that the Verge is so appealing. Gold Coast’s Domestic and International Airport at Coolangatta is just 20 minutes away from Burleigh. The Brisbane International Airport is just over an hour’s drive. In addition to The Verge’s own facilities, there are nine gyms, five health and fitness centres with facilities ranging from tennis to swimming, four massage services, six beauty and day spas, three GPs and three hospitals – all within 500 metres to approximately five kilometres away.
Burleigh Golf Club
One of the best members’ courses on the Gold Coast, the Burleigh Golf Club is presented in superb condition for play all year round. Golfers of all standards find the 18-hole layout both exciting and challenging, with its meandering fairways and naturally landscaped greens.
Burleigh has a spectacular stretch of clean, sandy beach that is home to the Gold Coast’s famous surf, excellent picnic spots and barbeque areas. The beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers and has flagged swimming areas.
Keeping active with friends helps make exercising easier and enjoyable. The Verge is just minutes from the Gold Coast Seniors Tennis Club. The most exciting seniors’ tennis club in Queensland, it has 14 synthetic courts, one hard court and four hotshot courts.
Pizzey Park Sporting & Aquatic Centre
Only a short walk away is Pizzey Park which includes the Miami Aquatic Centre. The largest aquatic centre on the Gold Coast it features a 50m outdoor pool, indoor pool and group fitness classes.
The Verge’s local shopping experience will satisfy even the keenest shoppers. The neighbouring Miami One Shopping Centre includes a local supermarket and over 30 specialty stores. A few minutes down the road is the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. An unmissable shopping and dining destination, it is home to iconic global brands and leading Australian labels.
Burleigh’s Best Bites
When it comes to eating out, there is no shortage of bustling cafés and restaurants at this retirement village. A highlight is the neighbouring Miami Marketta, a live music venue with a vibrant outdoor dining experience that serves food from around the globe. Only a short walk from The Verge, it’s the local hub for art, music, design and culture. When it comes to coffee, The Gold Coast is right up there with the best of them, and Burleigh is where you’ll find some of its finest café-culture experiences. Catch up with friends or sit and watch the world go by.
Isn’t it time that you rightsized? You can download the brochure at https://thevergeburleigh.com.au/ or call 1800 955 070 for more information.
With its commitment to clever, sustainable design, The Verge is the future of vertical retirement living. And to make it official, they are seeking the Green Star seal of approval for their extensive range of environmentally friendly features. For future residents of The Verge, the rating will offer peace of mind they are buying into a home that employs the best technology to create a healthy living environment as well as helping them reduce their cost of daily living.
From computer modelling of all apartments to maximise their thermal efficiency to good ventilation and air quality, The Verge is leading by example. They are currently seeking a Four-Star Green Star Design As-Built v1.2 rating, with independent assessment by the Green Star Building Council of Australia to ensure it meets a benchmark standard for local retirement village living.
In addition, they are constructing the apartments at The Verge to the Gold Standard of Livable Housing Design, meaning the homes can adapt to your changing needs. Set beside Burleigh Golf Club’s 10th tee, The Verge is designed for an active lifestyle. Residents also have access to a rooftop terrace, Wellness Centre, indoor and outdoor activity areas as well as an exceptional coastal lifestyle close to the beach and top dining, shopping and entertainment hubs.
The architect-designed, light-filled apartments will feature sweeping views over an expanse of greenery that can never be built out and is always well maintained. In this way, they accentuate a connection with the environment, so important for wellbeing. Green Star-rated homes are built to much higher standards, reducing power and water bills, along with maintenance costs.
Studies have found that Green Star buildings use two-thirds less electricity on average, produce two thirds fewer greenhouse gas emissions and consume half the water. Green Star buildings are also designed to maximise internal air quality, sunlight and a connection with the outdoors. Facilities for walking, exercising and active living are other hallmarks, making life healthier as well as more enjoyable.
The Verge has benefitted from the expertise of a Green Star advisor since its inception, with all apartments exceeding Queensland Development Code requirements for thermal efficiency in the design phase. Measures adopted also include water-efficient fittings and fixtures, solar panels and clever orientation of windows and balconies, paints and sealants with low toxicity, sustainably sourced building materials as well as a commitment to recycling construction waste.
You’ll need to look snazzy while swinging that golf club. Check out these sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets.
Editor for Silver Magazine Gold Coast