Queensland could be Florida of Down Under


A GREY wave of retirees could see southeast Queensland become Florida Down Under.

The region's climate and coastal lifestyle could lure hundreds of thousands of cashed-up Baby Boomers as their working years come to an end, Bernard Salt predicts.

Those aged 65 and older will account for one in three of the additional population arriving in the region over the next 25 years - an extra 32,000 residents of retirement age every year.

Southeast Queensland’s subtropical climate is drawing in retirees. Picture: iStock
Southeast Queensland’s subtropical climate is drawing in retirees. Picture: iStock

While the overall population of southeast Queensland will climb 44 per cent by 2035, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics projections, the 65-plus cohort will effectively double, going up 96 per cent.

"The next 25 years will be defined by the retirement of the Baby Boomers," Mr Salt, managing director of The Demographics Group, said.

More affordable property prices here mean those finishing work in Sydney and Melbourne could be tempted to sell their homes and buy the equivalent north of the border, giving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in change.

"With the Baby Boomer retirement wave yet to fully kick into gear, this house-price differential might very well lead to a retirement wave in Brisbane and the whole SEQ region," Mr Salt said.

If you turned a map of North America upside down and overlaid it on Australia, Florida, the US retirement capital, would be in the region of southeast Queensland.


"Southeast Queensland is very sunny, very retirement-friendly. It offers a subtropical lifestyle that would be even more attractive than Florida is in America," he said.

Mr Salt predicted the next decade or so for Baby Boomers will be all about lifestyle, downshifting and spending superannuation, holidaying, volunteering and giving back.

But the second half of the next quarter-century would be a less happy period as the bulk of the Baby Boomer generation reaches their 80s and a more frail stage of life.

The 85-plus age group is projected to grow by 250 per cent.

That would create significant demands for health and aged care, and tensions over how to fund it, but simultaneously, have a major job-creation effect.

"All types of products and services relating to managing life after work will be flourishing in the SEQ of 2043," Mr Salt said.