Fiji has long been considered a great holiday destination for Kiwis and Australians, but could it potentially be a place to retire? Should New Zealand retirement operators have Fiji on their radar?
Fiji’s climate and environment make it an “attractive location for retirement villages” according to a recent article in Fiji Sun Online. The small island nation also has a “very high level of personal security”.
Certainly, the short flight times and cheap airfares make it possible for retirees to flit between New Zealand and Australia, allowing them to maintain links with home but avoid the cold winters.
Thanks to a simple and secure legal framework, it is relatively simple for foreigners to purchase property in Fiji, subject to some limitations.
A blog on this subject by an American professor introduced some interesting pros and cons to retirement in Fiji. While the author was in favour of retiring in Fiji, the common concerns among commenters were about availability of healthcare, proximity to family members and costs of visits back home.
Certainly the biggest handbrake – until now – has been the lack of readily available quality medical services in Fiji. However, this is reportedly about to change with the proposal from BSP Life to develop a world-class hospital on Denerau Island.
This might be the missing healthcare piece of the puzzle for retirement operators looking to expand into new markets.
The Fiji Sun article reports that “there are already several experienced Australian operators considering Fiji as a potential expansion area and the hospital availability may just be the last requirement to drop into place and make this possible”.
Ryman Healthcare spokesperson David King says the company has no plans to open a village in Fiji.
“We have our hands full with expansion in New Zealand and Australia.”
Fiji’s economy would likely benefit as villages would provide well-paid jobs for local staff and residents would pay local taxes and spend well on living expenses.