Mariner has a term we use which is third-age living – this third age of life is the time that many of us are waiting for. We’ve earned it. Our kids are grown up. And hopefully we have a bit more time to do the things we want to do. At the same time the reality is we’re afraid of not being able to have our preferred choices in quality of life, accommodation and care.
Our wealth is generally not invested in assets that will provide these choices either because we avoid thinking about getting older. We’re not informed about what investments are available, or perhaps these investments or the planning that’s necessary to make these investments wisely doesn’t exist to us.
So one of the questions that I came to today’s discussion with is, what are the social and commercial opportunities that arise from building the nation that we can retire, care for ourselves, and be cared for in?
We have a whole industry of property development partners that are continually contacting us, saying we want funding to build retirement villages with or without access to community care. Nursing homes. Low care hostels and a variety of other things. We have consumers speaking to us. Individuals speaking to Kate and our financial planning network saying, ‘Where do we put our money?’
We are worried that we won’t have enough of a nest egg and we’re not quite sure how to invest in retirement. What can we buy?’ We have commercial operators and to some extent not-for-profit operators contacting us saying, ‘How do we get around funding? We’re building something which depending on the model that we pursue has a payout when people leave our facilities. Or depending on the model we pursue, has incentives from the government in terms of deposit bonds or other things that we can access. How can you help us grow our business in scale when for example with nursing homes we have constraints on licences and aggregating portfolios of properties?’
And in retirement villages as they stand right now in Australia, we have a large percentage of the commercial retirement villages, and a reasonable percentage of the not-for-profit retirement villages focused on deferred management fees, whereby the operators and their investors generate a profit when people have to leave. Either they choose to leave; they need care so they have to go; or otherwise.
But if they do go, and they move into a facility which might be the sort of residential care that is not part of ‘aging in place’, what happens when they’re rehabilitated – if they are? If we’re really living to our late 90s, is it possible that you might need care for a short period prior to that?