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lifestyle Article #52

Downsizing is the passport to new adventures and the freedom to enjoy life and travel without the shackles of a high maintenance home.

The Langlee by Mirvac Display Residence

With the inevitability of the sun rising and setting every morning and night, Australia’s population is ageing, with more than 4 million people now aged over 65.

It should take nobody by surprise given the 5.5 million babies born in the years 1946 to 1964 had to grow up and grow old sometime. They were the generation of youth protest and empowerment and are today rewriting the book on ageing (defiantly). Today’s retirees and those planning for life after work are fitter, healthier and will most likely live longer than their parents’ generation.

Though it’s not a universal truth, they are generally wealthier, with the means to live life to the full, staving off the moment when age really does catch up with them.

Downsizing has a major role to play in achieving the ambition of an extended independent lifestyle, liberating older cohorts from the obligations of housework and yard work in an oversized home that holds precious memories and, in many cases, a large portion of their accumulated wealth.


Mirvac General Manager Sales and Marketing Lisa Taylor says catering to the Baby Boomer generation meets a growing customer need but is not a one size fits all proposition.

“We know quite a lot about this generation of Baby Boomers because many have been our customers for years, sometimes off and on, as their lifestyles have changed,” says Ms Taylor.

“What we are seeing is a huge amount of optimism about the future and a desire to enjoy the remaining years of their working life, without the responsibility of raising children or maintaining a large home. Those who have already retired see opportunity for more travel and to relax in the comfort of a new home where there is potential to make new friends and pursue new interests.

“They are younger and fitter than past generations and our current crop of apartments give them every opportunity to remain that way with dedicated wellness studios and shared gardens and rooftops for meeting neighbours and entertaining friends and family.


More time for a lifestyle of leisure

“Downsizing is an opportunity for Baby Boomers to finally move into a home that is reflective of their lives, their personalities and their values.”


Retirement Consultant

Artist impression of The Langlee Wellness Centre

“Downsizing can be something of a misnomer with many drawn to larger apartments that offer space for visiting children and grandchildren.”

Family was the foremost consideration for Anne and Lawrie Fahy, influencing the timing of her retirement and their decision to buy at the newly completed The Langlee by Mirvac in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. When their daughter, now living in Orange announced she was getting married, Anne made the decision to quit her job teaching music at Waverley College and join her husband, a former maths teacher and lecturer, in retirement.

“I needed to free up my life a little bit; I thought it’s time for me to retire,” recalls Anne.

She’d kept an eye on the market for apartments around the eastern suburbs of Sydney where they had lived and raised their two daughters but nothing had appealed until Mirvac began work transforming the Waverley Bowling Club into a lifestyle-focused community with residences for those over 55, a health and wellness centre, two bowling greens and a new hospitality venue.

“When I saw The Langlee going up I thought that is the ideal place for us to live,” says Anne. “I love the area and it’s close to one of our daughters living in Bondi Junction. I had looked at many units, keeping an eye on the market because I didn’t know where we wanted to go, only that we didn’t want another house and we didn’t want stairs.

“At The Langlee we will have a beautiful view across Waverley Park towards the city, very similar to the view we had in our house looking out over Queens Park. I’m a walker so I’ll be able to walk to Bondi Junction and enjoy the park.”

The couple bought their two bedroom plus study residence off the plan, relocating to Orange for the construction period and to be on hand for the birth of two grandchildren. Critical to their choice of apartment was having enough room for children and grandchildren to visit.

While the Wellness Centre featuring a swimming pool, gymnasium, treatment and steam room is a bonus, it’s the social aspect that Anne and Lawrie are most looking forward to. Playing bowls on the renovated greens and mixing with residents and club members, several of whom Lawrie knows well, in the dining venue at the foot of their building.

Selling their large Federation home unlocked equity that allowed them to make their purchase at The Langlee, a move that retirement coach and commentator Kaye Fallick, says is the ticket to freedom for many older Australians.

“Downsizing is a useful term which does encapsulate smaller or larger residences but the main aspects that are often being downsized are mortgage debt and maintenance costs and concerns attached to large family homes,” says Ms Fallick.

“Mirvac apartments offer brilliant answers to the maintenance worries. Having a manageable home becomes ever more important for empty nesters and mature age singles and couples. Security also matters a lot, particularly for singles, as does the opportunity for new social connections.

“The big point about downsizing, even when it’s upsizing, is that it’s a way of making life simpler for a life stage when less really is more. New technologies, smart homes, controlled light, entertainment on demand, alternative, money-saving energy – all of these things are being keenly sought.

“But most of all downsizing is an opportunity for Baby Boomers to finally move into a home that is reflective of their lives, their personalities and their values.

“It’s a wonderful chance to support these customers to embrace their next chapter with stylish, energy efficient and fun accommodation. And the really smart developers are aware that grandchildren trump everything – so apartment complexes with dedicated ‘little people’ play areas will always be winners.”


“Those who have already retired see opportunity for more travel and to relax in the comfort of a new home where there is potential to make new friends and pursue new interests.”


Mirvac General Manager Sales and Marketing

Carefree days are what Brisbane couple Fina and Robert Adams are looking for in their future life at Isle Waterfront Newstead. They have timed their move perfectly with an off the plan purchase that will be completed just as they hit the official retirement age of 67 in a couple of years’ time and say goodbye to suburban life.

“We’ve been in the house for 22 years and our son and daughter moved out six years ago,” says Robert. “It was a shock at first but once you get used to it it’s great.

"We’re looking forward to more of a free and easy life than we have in our current home. Everything at Newstead is at our fingertips; the CityCat, all the facilities of Gasworks, the shopping and restaurant precinct and I won’t have 1,200sqm of yard to look after and a pool to clean.”

Fina, too, is looking forward to the kind of urban lifestyle that they enjoyed before the responsibilities of children and a mortgage. Choosing a three bedroom apartment means there is still plenty of room for family to visit or stay and for the couple to have space for their separate interests.

“One of the bedrooms will be a guest room and the other is a man cave where Robert can watch his sport ad nauseum,” says Fina, with a laugh of acknowledgement from Robert. “We have a 2-year-old granddaughter and for big family gatherings there is a rooftop space for spreading out.”

Should their life of leisure ever begin to lose its lustre the couple plan to travel a bit more, taking advantage of being able to just close the front door and go.

Freedom to travel was one of the great drawcards for real estate agent Joan Gebbie when she and husband Ron moved from their Peppermint Grove home to Mirvac’s Leighton Beach development more than 10 years ago.

Resident amenity proposed at Isle Waterfront Newstead, QLD

Isle Waterfront Newstead, QLD

“We go to Europe most years and being here you don’t have to worry about security,” says Ms Gebbie as she prepares for another family holiday abroad. Their two-level three bedroom apartment is large for the two of them but essential for the ever expanding generations of the extended family.

“The family all live around this area,” says Ms Gebbie. “Often there are 13 of us for dinner and now that the grandsons and granddaughters have partners it’s often 16 for dinner.”

Part of the attraction for the grandchildren at Leighton Beach is the resort style amenity that can be a drawcard for residents’ visitors and families.

“It’s extremely important for our residents to be able to maintain close family ties,” says Ms Taylor. “That is made easier by providing shared facilities that enable a range of activities, whether it’s expansive parks and gardens, shared bookable dining spaces or swimming pools and gymnasiums.

“Many of us have fond memories of time spent in our grandparents’ home and we are making sure that new memories are made in our residents’ new home.”

Discover more about The Langlee here.



Let the fun times begin