Here at PropertyMash, helping people find their future home is what we do. Our team know the ins-and-outs of buying a home, be it a new place to downsize to or a funky retirement village to live your best years in. Whether you’re still trying to figure out the difference between over-55’s housing estates and retirement living homes (check out our primer below!) or you know exactly where you want to buy, we can help.

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What’s the difference?

It can get a bit confusing out there with signs flashing ‘Downsizing!’, ‘Over-55’s!’, and ‘Retirement!’ in your face. It might seem like there’s no difference between these defining names, but don’t get confused: there’s a big difference between a project designed for over-55’s and a project designed for aged care. Here’s a short primer:



Generally, a ‘Retirement Village’ that is specified for the over-50’s market is being targeted towards younger downsizers and retirees. These spaces are designed for people who can live independently in their own homes whilst sharing facilities and amenities. In Australia, over-50’s retirement villages often take advantage of the ‘Mobile Home Act’, where a buyer will own the house itself, but not the land it sits on, helping residents cut costs long-term.



A downsizer is any person who chooses to move to a smaller home for whatever reason. Usually, downsizers are people looking for a smaller house once the kids have all moved out (pre-retirement), or older individuals who move to smaller properties to continue to live independently (during their retirement). A downsizer may choose to live in any number of dwellings, including apartments, townhouses, house and land estate, traditional retirement villages, etc.


Retirement Living

Retirement living is a term used by the property industry to refer to traditional retirement projects. These homes usually house residents aged 65+ (although this can vary), and include apartments, townhouses and house and land estates that have been designed specifically for retirees. ‘Retirement living’ homes may have some facilities for higher care, although this can vary between establishments. ‘Retirement living’ can also be used as a catch-all to refer to over-55’s projects, downsizer-friendly projects, and retirement estates.

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Aged Care

Aged care refers to the support provided to older people in either their own home or in high/low care (nursing) homes. Aged care homes tend to either be ‘High Care’ or ‘Low Care’. ‘Low Care’ centers are for people who are able to take care of their daily chores and require only a little assistance, whereas ‘High Care’ centers are for people with higher frailty and people who cannot move around or perform their daily activities like bathing and showering without the help of a nurse.

Downsizer and Retiree articles

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