Back to the future – the words and wisdom of Ingenia Chair Jim Hazel from 2009

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A fascinating reminder of 2009 crossovers this week in a newsletter from the Retirement Village Association.

For those who are nostalgic check it out HERE.

The RVA was a true force for the retirement village sector then. It was absorbed by the Property Council in 2012 when one large operator threatened to withdraw its funding if it did not join the Property Council and create today’s satellite group, the Retirement Living Council.

2009 and Jim Hazel on the retirement village sector

It is fascinating how little has changed in 12 years. Following are excerpts from Jim Hazel (pictured), who still has strong personal interests in retirement villages.

Q: What are some of the benefits retirement villages bring to their wider communities?

A: Communities are about people doing and being the best they can.  And we know people in retirement villages are a contented and happy lot. As Groucho Marx said, “Live every day like it’s your last, because one day you’ll be right!”

I also think retirement villages will be community hubs in the future, with all kinds of services provided into the wider community (such as home care for one). We all know the ageing stats.

Q: Do you feel governments at local, state and federal levels understand the benefits retirement villages bring to their communities?

A: No…we must all get better at selling our industry. I have literally just come from an appearance in the Land & Environment Court in Adelaide on behalf of a developer defending a development approval; I can guarantee people do not see the benefits of retirement villages.

Q: What challenges do you see facing the retirement village industry in the short and long terms?

A: To name a few:

  1. Improving our image and market position so that we can increase our small penetration rates. We should not underestimate the damage done over the years by tax scheme operators, unsustainable rental models and industry consolidators too focused on financial models.
  2. To figure out where care fits into our retirement village model…without it we do not have a sustainable market position in my view.  And as an aside, I don’t think there is just one model.
  3. To get the confidence of the financial markets so that they will provide the massive amount of funding required to meet consumer demand in the future.
  4. To take our industry’s interaction with all levels of government, and the many regulatory agencies that impact on it, to a level where our voices are heard and we are respected and listened to.
  5. To improve the skill base in the industry, predominantly through formal training and development. A perfect job for the RVA!
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