Simplicity in choice is key
Empowering people to embark on their own retirement journey. The best thing you can do is give customers the tools to understand what the ideal option for them is.
Kate Melrose joined Ingenia Communities in August 2014 and as General Manager of Project Sales is responsible for sales across the Group's Ingenia Lifestyle development projects.
At the coalface of consumer concerns and desires, Kate believes that the industry can be doing more to empower informed decision making.
"In our sector, we are not our own competition. Our competition is the confusion that the sector allows to permeate into the decision making of consumers.
"This confusion has its root in the various legislative frameworks around retirement living options. The industry has faltered by not working to simplify this complex information into something more palatable to Australians.
"It is important to note that due to the complex regulatory framework surrounding retirement villages we are currently asking people to age by legislation, filtering people into the retirement living bucket when their partner may be in the aged care bucket.
"This legislative transaction is not how the decision-making process organically happens, and it is simply puzzling. It is incumbent on all of us in this industry to promote the benefits of the retirement living, land lease or aged care models through simple communications.
"This is a significant and ultimately life-changing decision - people need to have certainty. By projecting the benefits of the lifestyles on offer, the range of choice and the expectations, we can assist more Australians to consider the full range of options available and make informed and educated decisions. Knowledge is power and key to confident decision-making," Kate said.
A key consumer group that is beginning to make headway into retirement are the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are used to choosing; they're more educated, better resourced and have had a say in most aspects of their lives.
"Baby Boomers want facts and information. They're not blindly going into a contract without understanding it, and this is why education is such an important foundation. They are a generation that knows what they want and how to get it.
"By getting the education and communications piece right at an industry level, we can mobilise people out of oversized homes and into appropriate, affordable and age-friendly hosing.
"We are at a critical junction, particularly as the ripple effects of COVID continue to be felt. Land lease and retirement villages are the antitheses of social isolation.
"Connection and community are something that people have come to crave and desire as a result of the pandemic. Let's all work to make it easier for Australians to make the right decision for themselves and their family."