Baby boomers to move up-country for retirement?

senior couple, Man and woman, having a walk in autumn or fall outdoors, the trees show colorful foliage

Image: Kzenon/

A forecast predicts that there’ll be a surge in the number of baby boomers heading for regional areas. The report went on to identify 30 likely places around Australia. Interestingly, only about half of them were by the sea. Could an inland tree-change be on the cards for many baby boomers?

The reason given for the moves was the affordability of those areas compared to cities. In fact, the report mentioned ‘tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of people’ could leave city life, releasing funds for their new life.

There are other reasons boomers may move from a metropolitan area, and often it’s to pursue the ‘L’ word: lifestyle. After years of living in a city, the opportunity to experience fresher air and a more laidback lifestyle is enticing.

Others are likely to move because their local neighbourhood has become ‘different’. The demographics of their neighbourhood have changed. Numerous acronyms describe the changing areas as Twinkies (Two Incomes No Kids), Winkies (One Income No Kids), Nettles (Not Enough Time To Enjoy Life) and Nimbys (Not In My Backyard) to name but a few.

A teacher’s experience

A retired teacher I know moved from the inner city to a few acres in the picturesque west Gippsland around 1.5 hours from Melbourne. This was a big change, but one she has embraced.

Correspondence from her is usually full of the latest additions to her menagerie, how self-sufficient she has become through her large vegetable patch, how many people she has met, and the clubs she’s involved with. The commute to Melbourne is manageable for her and, if desired, the train is a short drive away from her property.

The sense of community in regional areas is one factor often mentioned when city folk move.

‘People are friendly and I know all my neighbours,’ said one man. ‘I didn’t ever really get to speak with my neighbours in my old home.’

Locals tend to welcome new people, but one ‘city slicker’ mentioned that he didn’t realise that ‘you’re expected to join various voluntary organisations and contribute’. However, such expectations can be a plus because you get to meet people and find out what makes a community tick.

Theatre-going couple go up country

A theatre-going couple who moved from Sydney to Orange in the central west of New South Wales said they loved the move.

‘There are no parking problems when you visit the theatre,’ Mr Retired told me. ‘The Civic Theatre here is wonderful, we see great performances of music and theatre.’ He went on to list the other benefits such as no traffic jams and friendly locals who made him and his wife feel very at home.

So, if the forecast eventuates, from Gerroa to Geraldton and Bundaberg to Burnie and further afield, baby boomers may well be embracing the country lifestyle.

Traditional retirement areas around Australia may change and perhaps we will see more Norcs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) develop.

Hopefully, these boomers will have done their research about the area where they’re planning to live, checked on medical facilities, security, the cost of living and transport options to name but a few of the must-do items on any moving list.

Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways to Retire and co-author of Where to Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi. She is a regular contributor to ABC radio.

Category: Lifestyle, Where to Live

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