Living the lock up and leave lifestyle in retirement

I travel, therefore I am. That’s the motto of globe-trotting retirees Lyn and Bert Guy, who spend much of the year exploring Australia’s big, brown land and holidaying abroad.

The couple can travel with peace of mind knowing that their home in Camberwell’s Athelstan retirement community is in good hands, with the help of their Retirement Living Coordinator.

“Being in a place like this we know we can just close the door and take off,” Mrs Guy says. “Part of the reason we came here was so that we could close the door and go because we travel quite regularly.”

Regularly indeed. Last year the Guys spent about six months away from home. When they’re not touring Australia in their motorhome, the Guys can be found cruising the Mediterranean, exploring Japan or visiting other far-flung corners of the globe.

They can travel carefree knowing that their three-bedroom apartment is secure and being looked after within the Villa Maria Catholic Homes community.

Athelstan Manager Colin Corkery makes it his job to ensure the Guys’ home is as they left it when they return. He keeps an eye on the property, organises for the plants to be watered and keeps the Guys informed if any maintenance issues arise.

“He’s really there to ensure that everything’s all right,” Mrs Guy says. “We have complete confidence in him to be there if something needs attention.

“I really don’t need to worry at all because I know that if there’s anything that crops up, Colin will just send an email and we can tend to it as need be.”

Mr Corkery said the support was flexible and depended on each individual’s needs.

“Each person is so different in what they ask and what they need,” Mr Corkery said.

“We’re always open to talk to them about what their particular needs are.”

Retirees who downsize to a retirement community are also not tied down to a high-maintenance home. This also makes taking off less stressful.

Here are five tips to help make your retirement travel stress-free

#1 Consider joining a retirement community

Not only will you enjoy the social benefits of living in a community (think group travel) but you will also have peace of mind knowing your home is more secure and cared for when you are away for extended periods.

#2 Get travel insurance

It doesn’t matter what age you are or the type of travel you enjoy – travel insurance is a must for everyone. Get adequate cover and travel without the risk of unexpected expenses.

#3 Take advantage of seniors’ perks

Make sure you investigate any discounts for over 60s, including with airlines, hotels, hire cars and attractions, and always have your seniors’ card at the ready.

#4 Travel smart

Keep copies of all your travel documents, including your passport, in an email or digital file that is accessible from anywhere, just in case. Otherwise leave hard copies with a trusted friend or family member.

#5 Beware the budget blow-out

Travel can be expensive and no one has a bottomless retirement fund, so budget smart and give yourself a 20 per cent buffer. This way you can do everything you planned for and some extras without breaking the bank.