Researching the best places to retire in Australia?
If retirement is on the horizon it makes sense to get an idea of what places will suit your lifestyle and needs. You could be looking to make a fresh start in a dream destination and get out of the big smoke, or find somewhere that gives you access to everything on your retirement bucket list. Read on to discover five locations across Australia we recommend you look at, based on criteria that appeal to retirees.
Caloundra on Queensland's Sunshine Coast has been a popular retirement destination for decades. With Brisbane being accessible by a short drive, and year-round sunny weather, it's not hard to see why.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Caloundra has become popular with other age groups too, mostly from interstate who benefit from the flexibility of remote-working. As a result, property prices on the Sunshine Coast have exploded in recent years, with the current median house price over $900k, and rising.
While prices are higher than they were, Caloundra still offers retirees relative value for money when you compare property values with Noosa Heads, where the median house price is nearly 2 million dollars.
The boost in population and diversity in demographic mix is also making the Sunshine Coast and all-round more exciting place to live, with more amenities, boutiques and cafes in high supply. And with a mix of newer apartments and older houses to choose from, you also get uncrowded beaches, access to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Sunshine Coast Airport.
In the works is the Sunshine Coast Light Rail system which will link Maroochydore, Caloundra, Mooloolaba and Kawana.
According to realestate.com.au Caloundra has a growing population of elder or maturing residents, which now make up a whopping 62.4 per cent of this postcode’s demographic. Queensland as a destination continues to grow in popularity, regularly leading the charge on gaining the most people from net interstate migration. South East Queensland is most popular for interstate migrants; in fact, the Sunshine Coast Council is expecting an increase of approximately 166,580 people by 2041. We've also heard through the grapevine, that the use of buyers agents in Brisbane and South East Queensland is becoming norm, given the fierce competition for properties.
And while many younger professionals are making the move north from our southern states, the largest population increases are expected to be in the 75+ age group, closely followed by more established families aged 40-54 years.
To prepare for population growth, the Sunshine Coast region is planning for an increase in approximately 71,230 new dwellings.
If you want to be near the water on the Sunshine Coast, and are looking for a location which offers relative affordability then put Caloundra on your shortlist.
If you're looking for one of the best places to retire in Tasmania then presumably you want to be away from it all, something that St Helens definitely is! Some 160 km east of Launceston on the edge of the Bay of Fires, with a population counted in the low thousands, this small town is all about laid-back living and the ocean.
Known as a game fishing hub, it also has excellent bird watching opportunities if you are a keen twitcher, as an important breeding site for seabirds. If you're worried about the weather, you’ll be happy to know it has a mild temperate climate compared to the rest of Tassie. The price of property is another drawcard, with median prices of $480,000 and $310,000 for houses and units respectively.
In terms of demographics, 47.8 per cent of St Helens residents are classed as either elderly singles, older couples or older independents - giving you an instant social network.
If a small town in Tassie is just your cup of tea then St Helens should definitely be on your retirement shortlist, especially given the relative affordability of property there.
If you're looking for one of the best places to retire in NSW, away from Sydney or larger centres like Newcastle or Wollongong, put Nelson Bay on your shortlist. It ticks a lot of boxes including a stunning coastal location, with a foodie scene that includes Rick Stein’s new Bannisters restaurant.
If you like the great outdoors then there is plenty to do on the water - including boating, whale watching and swimming with dolphins! The median house price in Nelson Bay is $875,000, while units are around the $550,000 mark, which is relatively affordable compared to places like Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
In terms of demographics, nearly half the population of Nelson Bay (46 per cent) are classed as older couples & families, elderly singles or elderly couples - a pretty clear indication that it is a retirement hotspot in NSW.
Read: See other affordable coastal towns in New South Wales
The Mornington Peninsula is a well established retirement hotspot, and for good reason. If you opt for Mornington itself you get laid back village charm with a great selection of local amenities, including an efficient bus network and well serviced public and private health facilities.
Choose from old weatherboard cottages, modern units or a selection of retirement villages - but be prepared to pay for the privilege of living in this idyllic location. Median house prices are $1,112,000, while units are $732,500, which means you do pay for the privilege of this idyllic spot.
In terms of demographics, 41.8 per cent of Mornington residents are at, or close to, retirement age - classed as older couples & families, elderly singles or elderly couples..
Read about other areas to retire in Victoria.
If you like a slow pace of life and a coastal lifestyle then you can do worse than Victor Harbor, on the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula. At just under an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, you can access the SA capital fairly easily if needed. Otherwise there is plenty to keep you busy here, including the magnificent coastline, the Southern wine region, as well as Kangaroo Island which you can access via the ferry just down the road at Cape Jervis.
There's also decent access to medical services here, including the South Coast District Hospital and Victor Harbor Private Hospital, which provide medical and surgical services locally. In terms of property prices, the median house price in Victor Harbor is $467,000, with units at a median of $330,000, which is some of the most affordable property on this list.
In terms of demographics, people who are retired or about to retire are growing - with 21.8 per cent in the town classified as elderly singles, 15.8 per cent older couples & families and 15.3 per cent elderly couples.
If SA is on your shortlist of locations to retire in then Victor Harbor has a lot going for it, including competitively priced housing.
Everyone will have different criteria when it comes to choosing a place to retire to, but you should ask yourself the following before you make the move:
If you want more tips on downsizing, we've written an entire guide on how to approach the downsizing process.
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Disclaimer: Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd ACN 648 541 879 (credit representative no.531036) is authorised under Doorsteps Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 654 334 246, Australian Credit Licence 537369. Any credit application made through Doorsteps Finance Pty Ltd is subject to approval, terms and conditions, fees and charges.
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