4 February 2019
“Don’t even think of looking at retirement villages. You need hundreds of thousands of dollars to get in there,” my friend advised when I started looking for accommodation after returning to Australia. They had been generous by giving me three months accommodation, but of course, I did want to find a suitable place for myself.
It soon became evident that finding an affordable place for a pensioner, was not an easy task. The three months drew to a close and my focus shifted to finding temporary accommodation. This came through a friend who had mentioned it to one of her friends.
I moved in with this lady who had been a Nursing Educator, and who was able to help me so much with my stress of resettling and searching for an abode.
Her place was to the east of Melbourne, an area I had never lived before. Of course I had to find a gym. Life might be tough, but I had to keep fit. It was at one of the places that I went to that I learned it was in a retirement community. I noticed that they had Independent Living Units.
As I was becoming quite stressed out by the searching, I again asked to put my name on one more waiting list. When I met the lady in charge, I explained my situation and she replied, “I have two units available right now.” I broke down. This was too good to be true.
I was shown the two units, which were similar, just with a slightly different layout. Noting the Unit number I said I would take it, and asked what the financial arrangements would be. “This one is $150,000,” she said. I replied, that I did not have anywhere near that amount, and was told that we would ‘work something out.’
I learned that there is a method of paying a lower amount and then paying an amount of ‘rent’ each day. That amount and the daily service fee together are still substantially less than commercial costs for similar accommodation.
But the icing still had to be put onto the cake. Then I was told that “This is a lifetime tenancy.” I broke down again. I had never before had security of tenure, and some six years later, I have lived here longer than I have at any address since leaving my childhood home.
This is becoming repetitive, but it is really true. God keeps his word. He did say he had “plans to give you hope and a future.” My future in housing has been taken care of and that is secure.