Drop the ‘R’ word and focus on lifestyle

Aged care providers need to start thinking beyond borders to reach untapped markets and reconsider how they position services – starting with dropping the word ‘retirement’, leading demographer Bernard Salt has told members of an industry association.

Retirement products need to be rebranded as lifestyle choices to appeal to the forever-young, Mr Salt said, warning that greater attention needs to be given to where people are moving.

“Retirement is for old and obsolete people – lifestyle is what people want. So, if you have the word ‘retirement’ in your product, remove it now.”

“There will be a market for lifestyle communities in Ubud or Phuket. I don’t think it’s a huge market, but it is an untapped one,” he said in an article published by The Property Council.

While there are opportunities for providers and developers in what he describes as the “offshore retirement trend”, Salt believes it’s the local sea-change settings that will continue to boom.

He also points to the last census that shows Camden in Sydney and Point Cook in Melbourne as hotspots for “tag along grandparents” – people who follow their adult children and grandchildren to city fringes to provide support to their families, a different market to the “indulgence market” – people living in new, inner city apartments.

Other trends include people retiring from farming properties to regional towns like Mildura, Dubbo, Wagga, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Margaret River.

But he says overall, most people want to remain in their traditional suburban homes in capital cities which means developers and providers need to think about how to help people make their homes ‘lifestyle friendly’ at a reasonable price point.

“Making over traditional suburban product for middle Australia is where I think the biggest market is. But the problem is price points. It may be only a $200,000 renovation, not a $1.5 million apartment. But the property players who can get that right will reap the benefits.”

Bernard Salt will deliver a keynote address at the Retirement Living Summit from 27-28 November on the Gold Coast.



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