There’s lots written and advised about how to choose a place to live in your fifties and sixties. There are many choices and everybody has their individual expectations and dreams, but we thought it would great to hear about a real journey in choosing a retirement village.
Rainer & Pam have been residents at Palm Lake Resort Bargara for the past 6 years and enjoy everything the resort has to offer. They love the facilities and the social life they have and it is just what they were chasing when they sold their business.
Rainer was born in Germany and came out to Australia in 1983 and settled in Newcastle, NSW where he worked as a mechanical engineer. Pam lived there as a teenager, though they didn’t meet until they both moved to the Sunshine Coast. Pam was working as an interior decorator and had the vision to start up her own Events Management business which they did together on the Sunshine Coast.
After working the business for 17 years for long hours and creating wonderful events, they decided to sell up and look for a new way of living and purchased a motorhome. They would go off travelling and come back to the Sunshine Coast to their acreage property and ride-on mower, which they found was a chore after living on the open roads with no mowing to attend to.
They would bump into other travellers who lived in lifestyle resorts yet still travelled in their vans or motorhomes. That led them to begin to gather as much information from Newcastle to Cairns, as they had family up the down the east coast on all the different options in retirement living.
They weeded out resorts that had exit fees, no facilities, old and run-down resorts and narrowed their search to 4 resorts, 3 being Palm Lake Resorts. They looked at the 3 and decided on Bargara for its climate and laidback lifestyle and because it was voted the best destination for weather conditions in Queensland.
Since living there they have been involved in many activities which are on offer. Rainer loves tinkering in the workshop and assisting social events creating props or cooking up a storm for friends when they entertain. Pam’s love is cooking and music and she enjoys singing in the choir, playing the ukulele, creating individual items in the pottery room, playing mah-jong and assisting with sales and social events. They still escape for quick getaways in their motorhome, but love to return to their peaceful home with all their comforts and love Friday afternoon happy hours at the clubhouse with other like-minded residents.
It took a lot of inspecting of various options and over a period of time, but it seems that Rainer and Pam made a choice they are very happy with and call home. Perhaps that’s a great lesson, take your time, see what’s on offer, make sure it feels right for you and the lifestyle you’d like, and only then make a commitment.