Expo to be annual fixture

Peter Carr, left, expo guest speaker Nicole Stanley, and John Collyns pictured with organiser Peter Matthews.

An inaugural Retirement Expo held in Cambridge last week is to become an annual fixture after it received high praise from industry representatives.

The expo – organised by a familiar face to The News readers in former columnist and current realise estate salesperson Peter Matthews – drew more than 100 people to the Town Hall.

The vast majority of that audience were considering making the move to a retirement village in the near future.

Matthews said the expo was designed as an information-filled morning regarding downsizing, and as a gathering to inform people of the options they have when considering retirement in Cambridge.

Among the crowd which watched on as Matthews was joined by additional guest speakers Gurnell Harrison Stanley director lawyer Nicole Stanley and Retirement Village Association executive director John Collyns was another familiar face to readers – former Retirement Village Residents Association of New Zealand president and The News columnist Peter Carr.

Retirement villages from in and around Cambridge and Tamahere including Patrick Hogan Retirement Village, Bupa St Kilda Retirement Village, Ryman Healthcare, Cambridge Resthaven, Arvida Lauriston Park, Summerset Retirement Villages, Metlifecare, Freedom Lifestyle Villages and Tamahere Eventide were represented at the expo.

Collyns was effusive in his praise of the expo.

“Cambridge and the wider Waipā is likely one of the key areas in New Zealand people want to retire to, so removing any barriers and explaining to people how they go about doing that is a great step.”

Collyns said the Retirement Village Association conducts an annual survey each December – and last year’s results showed roughly 50,000 Kiwis live in retirement villages.

That represents 14 percent of New Zealand’s over 75 population, he said.

The association has more than 400 retirement villages under its umbrella, and there are more than 41,000 units, or homes, within those villages.

“When you also consider that 150 people move into retirement villages every week in New Zealand that absolutely underlines the fact that retirement is something worth
forward planning for, and we don’t want it sneaking up on people.

“That’s why I think initiatives like this are brilliant.”

“We received some great feedback,” Matthews – who spent about two months planning the expo – added.

“That coupled with the attendance certainly demonstrates there is a demand for this. So, we will certainly look to hold it on an annual basis going forward.

Nicole Stanley discusses retirement village moves at last week’s expo.

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