69 70 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA JANUARY 2020 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA JANUARY 2020 THE RET I REMENT V I LLAGES ASSOC I AT ION OF NEW ZEALAND • $0.9 million in furniture and fittings. Why do people want to move in? Older people move to retirement villages because villages meet a number of important needs. Selling the family home not only releases tens of thousands of dollars in pent-up equity, it also releases a family home back to the market. Across NZ as a whole, that’s around 4,700 homes annually (approximately 10% of the total number of RV units plus the new builds). Added to retirement savings, the extra cash often means a significant improvement in the older person’s quality of life, as they have the resources to do things they couldn’t do before. Retirement village residents are not necessarily wealthy people. Last year village residents qualified for a rates rebate, which is income tested. Essentially, those who only have their National Superannuation as income qualify, and across NZ, some 4,275 people applied for the rebate and the Government paid out $2.5 million to retirement village residents. Retirement villages also provide purpose-built, age-appropriate, warm, comfortable and secure homes for older people, allowing them to move out of their often unsuitable and ill-maintained family home. We know that being warm and secure are important for older people. There are serious health issues around social isolation, or loneliness. British research shows that lonely people are more vulnerable to chronic disease, eat less well, and are more likely to be smokers, overweight or underweight, often drink heavily, and are less likely to engage in physical activity. Retirement villages provide a community of like-minded people and new friends that help keep loneliness at bay. And finally, many 80-year-olds look for a clear pathway to care, should that be needed. Most retirement villages offer a continuum of care so people can move in today, knowing that should they need care in the future, they’ll get first call on the bed in the rest home or hospital. Retirement village operators take their role seriously in the care of older people. There is no doubt that the boom in retirement village development not only adds significantly to the local economy via investment and employment, but it also has valuable social benefits, through releasing homes back into the market for new families to enjoy, and offering a range of services looked for by our residents. We look forward to continuing to develop villages throughout New Zealand. *The Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand Inc (RVA) is a voluntary, nationally based membership association representing operators, developers and managers of retirement villages throughout New Zealand.