We have the third-highest rate of relative income poverty for people aged over 65 in the OECD – only retirees in Korea and Latvia are worse off.
Compare this to the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands which have poverty rates between three and four per cent.
Consider this too. Aussies aged 65-plus have the highest level of income inequality within their age group, compared with other age cohorts, according to the latest Household, Income, Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey.
They are findings that goes against the prevailing view of Australia as the ‘lucky country’.
Lucky for some, not for others
What then for retirees priced out of traditional retirement housing such as retirement villages?
We are seeing increasing demand for land lease communities – particularly by women – where homes are priced from an average of around $250,000 to $300,000.
With the average Australian house now over $800,000, these homes allow buyers to boost their retirement savings by pocketing the difference from selling the family home.
We’re also seeing more retirement village operators catering to people on lower incomes. Just this week, Anglicare lodged an application for a 29-bed affordable housing development in Port Kembla near Wollongong.
A great initiative, but with more Boomers heading for retirement, we need government and councils to get behind more projects like this.