Picture yourself in retirement. Cast your mind forward to the glory years, when you've earned the right not to fight the morning commute any longer.
Chances are you're thinking about ticking off those bucket list items you haven't had the chance to conquer just yet. You're also thinking about where you might want to live, and what your place might look like.
For many retirees, or those approaching retirement age, holding the fort in the family abode is simply not realistic in the long term. The need to downsize, or move to somewhere more practical, is a conundrum many of us are facing.
Until now, moving into age appropriate accommodation has meant moving into a retirement facility that does nothing other than suck the life out of their retirement motivation.
The retiring generation baby boomers are refusing to give up the lifestyle they worked so hard to create, and rightly so. While they are looking for suitable accommodation as they age, no longer are they willing to sacrifice location, style and amenity.
Across the globe, the retirement sector is only just catching on to the idea that the accommodation model needs to shift to meet the demands of the new retiring generation. And in New Zealand, we are way behind the eight-ball.
There's no need to hit the panic button just yet; we're not the only nation whose retirement village architecture and design hasn't had a revamp since the 1970s. We are still yet to see a new style of retirement accommodation options pop up across the country.
The awareness of what's required is common in the marketplace. There is an underlying understanding that we live in an aging population and the current stock of retirement villages just don't cut the mustard anymore. The biggest difference for us is we're yet to see a developer prepared to go out on a limb.
And for us, that is the challenge. Who is going to be the first to break the mould?
If our aging population is not enough of an incentive for developers to stand up and be bold, a quick inventory on the existing product should do the trick.
There are hundreds of rest home beds in parts of the country that lie empty, and it's not because there is no demand. It seems odd for so many beds in such a high demand market to lie empty, but it goes a long way to show those retiring are simply not interested in giving up what they've got.