Every year, ANZ surveys members of the Retirement Villages Association (RVA) and publishes its findings. Here are some key insights from the 2018 survey:

People are cautiously optimistic about the economy

Overall expectations for the New Zealand economy are good, but RVA members are less optimistic than previous years.

“This shift shows people are moving to a more neutral position for the economy over the next 12 months,” reads the report.

Retirement village operators remain confident

Interestingly, RVA members expressed more optimism and confidence about their own businesses than the economy in general.

Overall confidence seems to reflect the statement ANZ’s head of healthcare Richard Hinchcliffe made at the RVA Conference: that it will be a “stonking good year” for the sector.

Retirement villages are facing ‘people challenges’

According to the report, the three biggest challenges facing the sector are:

  1. Higher wage demands
  2. Finding good people
  3. Escalating construction costs

Recruitment and remuneration are the top two issues, creating a strong focus on people this year.

“Retirement village companies are recognising the importance of people for the long term success of the sector,” reads the report.

Escalating construction costs continue to be a challenge, but overall respondents are less concerned about this than they were last year.

What does the future hold?

Many retirement village companies are focusing on innovation and moving with the changing times. Key focuses for the next 5-10 years include:

  • Developing community facing facilities and activities to better connect residents with the community at large;
  • Creating new value propositions for retirees to make sure they are getting everything they want and need from village life;
  • Recruiting and retaining vibrant, skilled, talented staff members.

What does all this mean for retirees?

Village Guide Founder Paula Bishop says it’s an “exciting time” for the industry and for retirees, as retirement village operators are going above and beyond to meet people’s changing needs.

“In the past 12 months, we have seen several examples of retirement village operators adapting to cater for the ‘modern retiree’. Some villages are embracing an ‘open-gated’ policy by creating opportunities for residents to connect with the wider community, while other villages have a strong environmental focus,” says Paula.

“The building industry in general is constantly having to adapt to ensure they meet people’s changing wants and needs, and the retirement village industry is no exception. Businesses that are successful are those who are willing to move with the times and be innovative.

“I’m sure we will see a lot more change in the coming year, especially as baby boomers start to make decisions on where and how they want to retire.”


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