What’s your idea of the perfect retirement lifestyle? Do you want to pack the bikes, lace up your tramping boots, jet set to an international city, or relax on an ocean cruise?
Whether it’s travelling to far-flung destinations, or making the most of attractions closer to home, more and more retirees are discovering the appeal of the lock and leave style living, unhindered by the usual concerns of house maintenance and security.
The lock-and-leave-style living in a Ryman village makes it easy for them to live their best life. Living in a safe, secure, and well-maintained home where someone else takes care of maintenance, makes it easy to explore what brings them joy, whether that’s trying out the new restaurant down the road or hiking on the other side of the world.
Freedom to explore roads less travelled
Many Kiwi retirees have discovered with our beautiful landscapes and well-maintained roads, New Zealand is ideal for motorhome travel. It’s even better when they don’t need to worry about what is happening back home while they’re away.
Auckland couple Clive and Kate, who live in an apartment in Ryman’s William Sanders Village, have found the perfect balance between the comforts of home and the freedom of the road.
Experienced motor homers, they have plenty of stories to tell about their adventures. In 2010 they left home to spend two years travelling throughout New Zealand in their motorhome. At the time they had a large villa with an extensive garden, and their daughter and her family moved in to look after it while they were away.
These days, when they want to take off, they just lock up and leave their apartment. While they are gone, they don’t worry about garden maintenance, mail collection or home security as it’s all taken care of by the village.
“All we do is tell reception we’re going to be away, it’s so simple. Once we’ve loaded and set off, then we forget about everything here. We don’t have to worry,” says Clive.
Building connection and friendship
Sometimes as people get older, they experience feelings of loneliness and the sense of their world starting to shrink. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
People say they feel safe and connected in Ryman villages. Neighbours become friends, and loved-ones can continue to live near one another, even if their health needs are different.
It’s possible to form a group of supportive friends at any age, as residents at Bert Sutcliffe Village have proved. Travel and friendship are two of life’s most enriching experiences, and these residents have created a travel group that beautifully combines these two worlds.
They enjoy a variety of expeditions, from dinners out at local restaurants, to day trips or multi-day adventures. It’s helped them to make new friends, discover hidden gems, share memories, and navigate travel with ease.
For those who have lost loved ones, or whose partners are in care, being part of the safety and camaraderie of the group has made it easier for them to adjust to life and open their world.
Maxine, whose husband is in rest home care within the village, sums it up beautifully.
“I have the freedom to travel because I know he’s all right. He’s well looked after and safe,” she says.
“If you lose your husband or they go into care, you’re still part of a group, it’s just like having a big hug.”
Physical and emotional wellness
The couple walk almost daily, often covering between eight to 12km, starting and finishing from their gorgeous apartment at William Sanders Village, only minutes from the beach.
When they first visited the village, they knew it would be the perfect base for their active lifestyle, which includes plenty of walking adventures in New Zealand, the UK and Europe.
“I thought it was amazing. Everyone was always happy and doing things,” Glynn says.
This was the kind of life they wanted, to be able to spend time following their passion for walking and travel without worrying about what was happening back at home.
“It’s so nice to be able to just walk out the door,” adds Glynn.
“I used to worry about getting things sorted beforehand and the first thing Eric used to have to do when we got home was mow the grass, but now it’s just great.”
Adventure at any age
Ryman residents say they are free to embrace adventure because they’re not tied down with home maintenance stress and security worries. They’re rediscovering lost passions and plunging into new ones whenever they feel like it.
As this new generation of retirees continue to push further, explore more, and expand their worlds, Ryman is there to support them and to pave the way in retirement living and care.