Stay­ing put could be re­tire­ment bliss

Geraldton Guardian - - Opinion - Grant Wood­hams

“What are you go­ing to do when you re­tire?” Old Mate asked me.

“I don’t think I’ll ever re­tire,” I said.

“Reckon you’ll stay in Ger­ald­ton?” Old Mate asked.

“I can’t see why I wouldn’t,” I replied

I told him I had read an ar­ti­cle in which many peo­ple who de­cide to move away to re­tire in­evitably found them­selves back in the place they had left within two years.

There are a lot of rea­sons, but the main one comes down to stay­ing healthy.

Aus­tralia’s pop­u­la­tion is slowly age­ing and the amount of peo­ple who are con­sid­ered el­derly (75 or older) is in­creas­ing.

In the most re­cent cen­sus 1.6 mil­lion peo­ple iden­ti­fied them­selves as be­ing over the age of 75.

That’s about 7 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion.

So if you are con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment and you are think­ing about mov­ing, con­tem­plate this.

More el­derly Aus­tralians live in re­gional Aus­tralia than in our ma­jor cities.

In fact, in some ar­eas el­derly peo­ple make up more than 10 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion.

If you want to live with your fel­low el­derly, the top three lo­ca­tions in Aus­tralia are near Gee­long, Vic­to­ria (20 per cent), Vic­tor Har­bour, South Aus­tralia (18 per cent) and in ru­ral Vic­to­ria south of Mil­dura (15 per cent).

The top re­gional lo­ca­tion per­cent­age-wise in Western Aus­tralia is in the wheat­belt around Merredin.

One of the gen­uine chal­lenges of large con­cen­tra­tions of el­derly peo­ple in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties is pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary so­cial and health ser­vices.

So I guess Gee­long, Vic­tor Har­bour and Merredin must be do­ing OK in that re­spect.

Ger­ald­ton (4 per cent) is well be­low the na­tional av­er­age for el­derly peo­ple.

For the record, the high­est pro­por­tion of el­derly peo­ple in Perth is in Clare­mont (12 per cent) where they can be seen over­run­ning the cof­fee shops on Bay View Ter­race.

But se­ri­ously, the ma­jor de­ter­mi­nant in peo­ple mov­ing af­ter re­tire­ment is where they can find eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble health­care.

A small coastal town may ap­pear at first to be a very at­trac­tive re­tire­ment lo­ca­tion, but when the clos­est doc­tor is more than an hour’s drive away the shine wears off.

De­spite crit­i­cism of the ca­pac­ity of our re­gional hos­pi­tal, we are well served by a sta­ble and sub­stan­tial health work­force. When it comes to re­tire­ment, Ger­ald­ton is not a place peo­ple are mov­ing away from.

A small coastal town may ap­pear at first to be a very at­trac­tive re­tire­ment lo­ca­tion, but when the clos­est doc­tor is more than an hour’s drive away the shine wears off.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.