Downsized and loving it: 'Why a village was right for us'
WHEN Rhonda and Alan Bellinger decided to spend two years travelling around Australia in their van, they always kept their eye out for the perfect spot to see out their golden years.
Now, after downsizing and moving into a Hervey Bay retirement village about five years ago, the former Melbourne couple has not looked back.
The retired contract cleaner and cemetery manager both agreed nothing could beat the quality offered at Fraser Shores Retirement Village.
"We have never built our own home from scratch before," Ms Bellinger said.
"We had our choice of more than 30 different house designs and fit-outs.
"It was the best decision we have ever made.
"It doesn't feel like a village, it is like an estate. When we travelled Australia we had looked at a lot of the places and nothing came close to any of this."
For $416,000, the Bellingers built their dream home and had some money left over from selling their Melbourne property.
The pair lives off their superannuation, paying about $500 a month in fees to Fraser Shores.
This covers council rates, water, a garden service, access to a pool, gym and bowls club.
With solar panels on the roof, the couple pays up to $60 for electricity each quarter.
Ms Bellinger said not only did they choose Hervey Bay for the picturesque landscape and the weather but also because of their closeness to the hospital, nursing home facilities and proximity to local shops.
"All our neighbours are around our ages and we have made so many friends," Mr Bellinger said.
"When I'm not at the bowls club I'm tending the bar here.
"This is definitely something I would recommend other people do, to downsize you have to get rid of some stuff but you feel lighter because of it."