What it’s like to just close the door and take off on holidays
The lock and leave lifestyle has gained in popularity with retirees over the past few years. And it’s easy to see why! More retirees are living longer, are more active, and have the funds to head off and visit family, join group tours, or do the big around Australia trip in the motorhome.
The freedom to leave your house and not worry about it at all while you’re away is certainly an attractive proposition. And there’s so much comfort in knowing that while you’re off having the time of your life, everything back home is taken care of.
What exactly is the lock and leave lifestyle?
As the name suggests, lock-and-leave means that you simply turn the key in your front door, and you’re free to head off on your latest retirement adventure.
It’s an appealing thought – the question is whether you can do that safely and easily in your current home, or if a move to a more secure and supportive environment would be better.
It’s true though that to simply lock-and-leave doesn’t suit everyone. Here’s how to know if you’re ready to trust that your home and possessions will be safe and cared for while you’re away.
You almost need a holiday to recover from your holiday!
When you live in a traditional detached suburban home, when you want to book a holiday for anything longer than a week, you also need to book a whole lot more!
- Organising a pet sitter to take care of your furry friends, or checking them into a pet motel
- Arranging for someone to mow the lawns and keep the weeds at bay
- Booking pool maintenance
- Arranging redirection or holding of your mail, or asking someone to collect it every day
- Stopping any other deliveries such as newspapers or parcels
It’s a lot to arrange – and how do you make sure everything actually gets done while you’re off having fun?
Could a house-sitter be a better option in retirement?
One solution is to book a house-sitter, or find a friend or family member who is happy to take on the task. This can be a good solution if you want someone to be in your house while you’re away. It can also pose a problem for the same reason – there is someone in your house while you’re away!
You’re putting your complete trust in that person and relying on them to completely care for just about everything you own. If they change their mind and pull out at the last minute (it happens often) or if they get sick or unable to complete the housesit once they’ve started, you then have big problems to sort out – when all you want to do is enjoy your holiday.
The perfect house-sitter will look after everything for you, not bother you with questions while you’re away, and leave your home sparkling clean for when you return – oh, and they’ll do it at no charge. That sounds like a person who’ll be very easy to find...
On the other hand, there are plenty of horror stories out there of homeowners returning to neglected property, pets and gardens, complete with rotting food in the fridge, the evidence of parties, and even damaged or stolen items. That’s one sure way to spoil your holiday.
Many hands could really make a mess of things
If you don’t like the idea of someone in your home while you’re away, the alternative would be to enlist the support of neighbours, friends and family. That sounds simple enough. Write up a roster for who’s doing what, make sure everyone exchanges phone numbers, and leave them to it!
If you’re lucky, this solution could actually work. What it could also do is really damage your property (and your relationships) if things don’t go to plan. Someone pulls out, or forgets, or there’s a miscommunication. Having many people taking responsibility for a multitude of tasks could be a recipe for disaster.
Turn the lights off and hope for the best
If you’re only going away for a short time, you could of course just leave your pet (if you have one) in good hands and trust that everything else will be fine. The only problem with this plan is... what if everything’s not fine? What if the long grass and bulging letterbox send a clear invitation to burglars that no one’s home?
What if bad weather hits and your home is damaged? What if unwelcome visitors (two, four or even six legged varieties) decide to have some fun while you’re not there, and leave a big mess behind?
That’s one type of “lock-and-leave solution” that may not end very well at all.
Lock and leave the family home vs a retirement community
So what are the differences between locking and leaving your old family home and the lock-and-leave lifestyle in a retirement village?
When you live in a well-managed, lock-and-leave retirement community you can look forward to worry-free holidays every time. You can head off knowing your home will be secure, your gardening will be done, the mail collected, and that someone’s keeping an eye on the place. There may even be a pick-up/drop-off airport service available.
It all starts with a good team
Not all retirement communities are the same. Make sure you check what’s on offer before deciding what will work best for you. Here’s the type of lock-and-leave support you might expect:
- Gardening done for you – all looked after to a high standard while you’re away.
- Pool maintenance all year ‘round – in retirement living, someone else gets to clean the pool.
- In case you forget something – you can leave your keys with management who can go in and close that window or turn off the hot water system for you.
- Urgent matters sorted quickly – if something major happens such as a natural disaster, you’ll have people on the ground making sure everything is looked after for you.
A well-run retirement community team are a great support – not just while you’re away but every day.
A secure living environment equals peace-of-mind
In a lock-and-leave retirement community, not only is your home safe while you’re away, the whole community is protected. Duty staff, security cameras, and well-meaning neighbours are all there to help keep your environment safe.
You can let the management team know about your travel plans so they are fully aware of when you are expected back home and will keep an eye on your place while you’re gone.
See how Renaissance offers the complete lock-and-leave lifestyle
Renaissance Retirement Living at Victoria Point was created with the lock and leave needs of retirees in mind. Our team would like nothing more than to wave you off on a holiday where your biggest worry was whether your pants will stretch enough to fit in all those extra desserts!
Then imagine the wonderful feeling of returning home knowing everything is clean, well maintained and looking as beautiful as when you left. Our lock-and-leave retirement community is really something special. Call Renaissance today on (07) 3820 7700 or get in touch online to find out more about our outstanding Victoria Point retirement living.