Just over a hundred years ago, a ripe old age in Australia was 50. Medical advances have pushed that figure well into the 80's and 90's and now it means you can enjoy 20 to 30 years of retirement.
But it also means you need to plan ahead to enjoy a good lifestyle.
One attraction of retirement villages is being able to plan ahead with certainty. You can select a village, a region and a budget, knowing where you're going with some security.
Consider these facts.
The current life expectancy for Australian women is 84 years old. One in three people aged 65 today is likely to live until they're 95, which makes 60 the new middle age.
Most people entering a nursing home are around 85 years old. While 20% of men see out their days in aged care, 40% of women do so. Which means women are twice as likely to spend their final days alone.
And with advances in medical care, people are living longer, and spending more time in retirement.
All of this means you need to ask yourself one vital question – will I be able to afford to live that long?
Most of us will have to make major adjustments to our retirement plans. We'll need to do it in our 60's if we're to enjoy a satisfying lifestyle in our 80's.
You don't want to become a 'reactor' – someone forced to change because of circumstances: perhaps your health has deteriorated or you've become overwhelmed by the family home.
Often, these people miss out on their choice of lifestyle because they've left it to late.
You want to take control of your future and plan ahead, perhaps move into a retirement village of your choice, one that offers the lifestyle you're looking for.
Half of all Australian's aged 60 have less than $50,000 superannuation. The rest of their equity is usually tied up in the house, leaving just your pension to live on - $356 a week.
If you're one of those people, how do you plan to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle for the next 20 or 30 years? Can you afford it?
Retirement villages may offer a solution. But before you make a decision, we strongly advise you speak with the manager of any village your considering along with members of the retirement village association in your state. It's also a good idea to seek independent financial advice. All these people will have some good ideas you should consider.
We do urge you to act, and act sooner rather than later.
After all, the idea is to plan to age well.