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The Living Gems Triathlete

At this year’s World Triathlon Grand Final, you’ll find Living Gems caretaker Bill Thornbury, competing against nearly 1500 triathlete qualifiers.

Triathletes representing 46 countries will go head to head at Southport Broadwater Parklands on 16 September for the final race of the 2018 season.

Bill is a seasoned triathlete who has been competing in various triathlons and Ironman races for 30 years. The upcoming race follows an Olympic format with a 1500m swim, 40km bike ride and a 10k run. This is only a quarter of the Ironman challenges Bill has completed in the past.

“My personal best for the Olympic format is 2 hours 20 minutes and I have completed the Ironman in 10 hours 5 minutes.”

Triathlons have taken Bill all over the world; competing in countries like New Zealand, America, Germany, Switzerland and England.

“I finished in 8th place out of 90 athletes in the 2012 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii and again in 2015. The race is considered the toughest in the world and each year there are around 350,000 athletes hoping to qualify but only 1500 make it through.”

Bill follows a training structure set out by his online coach. He trains 12–22 hours per week depending on the type of race coming up. With just over a month until the World Triathlon Grand Final Bill is starting to get excited.

“I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment after finishing a race. I like to push my own limitations and give my all to each event I take part in,” says Bill.

For more information about Living Gems call 1800 785 594 or visit www.livinggems.com.au

Living Gems celebrates Seniors Week

Throughout the state our community will come together to celebrate Seniors Week. This event is held from 18-26 August to recognise the value of the contribution older people have made in the workforce and community throughout their lives.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland coordinates Seniors Week on behalf of the Queensland Government. The event aims to improve community attitudes towards older people and to enhance community connections and relationships.

Living Gems is joining the celebrations this year, offering free morning tea and information sessions at four locations.

General Manager Vlad Pullich said that Seniors Week is a great opportunity for over 50s, seniors and retirees to see the vast lifestyle opportunities that are available.

“Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in all that this resort has to offer whilst enjoying a delicious morning tea in the country club.”

As well as the morning tea, the public can join in a variety of activities at each resort.

Enjoy a game of indoor carpet bowls, learn how to play croquet and enjoy line dancing at Opal by Living Gems. Living Gems Toowoomba is hosting a great information session, Living Gems Caboolture will have display homes open and you can learn how to play Mahjong at Living Gems Pacific Paradise.

For more information about Living Gems Seniors Week activities please call 1800 785 594 or visit www.livinggems.com.au/contact. Event information is also available on the COTA website and the Living Gems Facebook page. 

 

 

A thank-you note from the Relay for Life Team

The Living Gems staff are very proud to support the home owners from Opal by Living Gems as they continue to give their support to Cancer Council QLD through the Relay for Life event.

In 2017 the team raised $7500. This year they are determined to achieve their new goal of $10,000 for the 2018 Relay for Life event. To show our support, Living Gems have again contributed $1000 towards the team’s fundraising efforts, bringing the team up to $9,500 – leaving them with only 5% more to go!

With a number of fundraising events still to come, Nola (team captain), is certain they will reach their 2018 goal. 

To contribute towards the team’s fundraising efforts, visit fundraising.cancer.org.au/

Southport Croquet Club visits Living Gems

Members of the Southport Croquet Club made their way to Opal by Living Gems Lifestyle resort in Logan Village on 17 July 2018.

Beryl Turner, Southport club captain, along with a group of eight members enjoyed a great day at the resort, having a go for the first time at the resort’s croquet court.

Living Gems has been sponsoring the club, located at 1 Queen Street, Southport for the last 12 months.

Mary Kerr and Diane Miller, home owners at Opal by Living Gems, are both club members at Southport. Mary said she didn’t start playing croquet until she moved into the resort but has always thought it was a game she would play in her retirement.

“Whilst Opal by Living Gems’ croquet field was under construction last year, home owners were invited to use the club’s facilities at Southport.”

“I’ve been playing croquet for two years, it is a fun sport. I am the president of the club and help organise two set games a week, on Sunday and Tuesday afternoon, as well as a number of other competitions throughout the year.”

“We have had a few tournaments including one with the neighbouring resort, Ruby by Living Gems. It was a great event, we will probably organise another soon.”

“A lot of the home owners here enjoy the game. We usually play a variation of croquet called “golf croquet” – it is the most popular and easiest of the four types of the game.”

Southport Croquet Club President, John Turner said the visit to Opal by Living Gems was a fun day.

“The group enjoyed a BBQ lunch, cakes of all kinds and more importantly got to play a game or two on the court within the resort.”

“I’d like to thank Opal by Living Gems for allowing us to make the visit and enjoy some time on their court and meet with the home owners.”

Opal by Living Gems is open seven days from 10am to 4pm. To book a personal resort and display home tour call Dennis on (07) 5547 2333 or pop in any day to 42 Quinzeh Creek Road, Logan Village.

Opal by Living Gems relay team close in on fundraising goal

Relay for Life team, Opal by Living Gems, have been powering on to meet their fundraising goal of $10,000 by 7 October 2018. The current total is now over $7,000 thanks to the efforts of the home owners at Opal by Living Gems as well as their family and friends.

The team have raised funds from various events as well as raffling items donated by local businesses in Logan Village.

Team captain, Nola Green said they are well on their way to meet their goal after the recent success of their Biggest Morning Tea event and Pie Drive.

“The Biggest Morning Tea was a really wonderful event, I think everyone had a great time and we raised just over $1,900 on the day.”

“Special guests at the recent Biggest Morning Tea included: Logan City Councillor Laurie Koranski and Cancer Council Queensland personnel – Megan Connors, Senior Co-ordinator, Regional Fundraising; Jane Haylock, Chair Jimboomba Branch; and Amanda Power, Senior Coordinator, Special Projects Relay for Life. All were impressed with the “terrific event” and with the current amount raised.”

“The pie drive finished last week, and it was a great way to raise funds. We sold 448 pies to the home owners here at Opal by Living Gems and we were very happy with the resulting $511.”

Nola said the Opal by Living Gems Relay team still have a number of events planned as they get closer to the event day.

“We will be hosting a breakfast for Father’s Day and we also have a sausage sizzle at Logan Village Woolworths on 5 August and 9 September.”

The team will complete a walking relay around a set course in Jimboomba for 18 hours, from Saturday 6 October to Sunday 7 October, 2018 from 3pm – 9am at Hills College.

Relay for Life is a fun and moving overnight event hosted by Cancer Council that aims to raise vital funds for Cancer Council’s research, prevention and support services.

You can donate to the Opal by Living Gems team via the Relay for Life website and selecting their team page. You will receive a receipt for your donation.

For more information about Relay for Life visit www.relayforlife.org.au or for more information about Living Gems resorts call 1800 785 594.

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Meet your Neighbours: Keith and Gwen

Originally from the United Kingdom, Keith Revell made the move over 40 years ago to Brisbane where he met his wife Gwen.

Not long after our two wonderful children were born we moved to New Guinea for three years, from there we chose to settle in Redcliffe until our children went on to university. After a stint in Melbourne and over 30 years in a stressful Corporate role we eventually moved to Heritage Park seeking a quieter, less stressful life and bought a newsagency.

The business thrived, and we quickly learnt that this was not going to be a quiet life! We sold the newsagency after six years and took a gap year, which has 10 years and counting, we are still contemplating when we will retire!

Having made the decision to downsize we continued our search for a quiet life and stumbled upon Opal by Living Gems whilst researching over 50s lifestyle resorts. We actually placed a deposit on a site at Ruby by Living Gems first, but we both agreed that Opal by Living Gems was where our hearts were most happy.

We have been living here for three years now and it suits us perfectly. Our house is located on the boundary of the resort which is lovely for our little Maltese who loves to rub noses with the horses through the fences of the bordering property.

Gwen and I love the lifestyle here, we regularly take our dog for an early morning walk through the lovely parkland that adjoins the resort. You get to see the mist over the lake if you’re awake early enough. There is so much wildlife around and you get to listen to the birds sing – it’s bliss, and not a car can be heard!

We like to pop down to the local Woolworths shopping centre which is only a five-minute walk. The centre has almost everything, it’s just missing a coffee shop!

Gwen and I love to join in the Thursday tennis night at the resort, Gwen plays, and I cheer her on from the sidelines with our dog. Later in the evening we all put together a BBQ and sit around the fire pit and soak up the ambiance.

A great bonus about living here is that you’ll find almost everything you need in one place! I run a monthly computer class, and am on the Residents’ committee, while Gwen will enjoy a game of mah-jong or indoor bowls. You can do things together or separately. There are so many activities going on – it is like being on a cruise, from Hawaiian Night to live concerts!

Now that we have found our slice of serenity we are beginning to get back into volunteering. I am involved with a number of not-for-profits in the legal industry and Gwen and I have just recently volunteered at the Commonwealth Games which was a wonderful experience.

 

For more information about Opal by Living Gems please call 1800 785 594 or email dennis@livinggems.com.au

Right-sizing your home to finance your retirement

If you’re considering right-sizing your lifestyle as part of your retirement plan, then the question of how to finance this next stage of life can be daunting for some.

It is an often-stated view that Baby Boomers are typically cash poor and asset rich, making right-sizing an attractive way to free up the equity in your home.

Living Gems General Manager Vlad Pullich, said that Opal by Living Gems is designed for active over 50s and offers a popular formula to home ownership which is beneficial financially and offers peace of mind to homeowners.

“Premium and affordable homes are available as part of a master planned community,” says Mr Pullich, “Homeowners can relax and enjoy the freedom of onsite management as well as the security of living within a gated resort.”

“Homes at Opal by Living Gems start as low as $282,000 and offer impressive interiors and stylish standard inclusions. Buyers have the option of two or three-bedroom homes with two bathrooms and a double garage.”

“If the average family home sells for $450,000 buyers can use part of this equity to buy into a lifestyle resort and allow the remainder to work as an investment.”

Living Gems sales manager Dennis Ring said that resort features a stunning lake and parkland area which forms half of the 18-hectare resort.

“Homeowners enjoy the walking trails that follow the Quinzeh Creek and loop around the resort lake. Birds, turtles and other wildlife are abundant and assist to create the country-style ambiance unique to this resort.”

“This stand-out feature serves as a wonderful recreational space for homeowners to enjoy a number of outdoor activities such as golf, croquet, tennis, swimming and lawn bowls,” says Mr Ring, “Homeowners also enjoy taking their furry companions to exercise in the dog off-leash area.”

“Opal by Living Gems offers a number of indoor facilities within the fantastic country club such as the cinema, games room, hair salon, library, music room, workshop, art and craft studio, bar, ballroom and lounge.”

“Homes at the resort are stamp duty exempt, also, there are no deferred management fees to worry about when purchasing a home at Opal by Living Gems.”

“Homeowners enjoy the convenience of local shopping with a Woolworths, medical centre, chemist, newsagent and bus stop within easy walking distance of the resort.”

Opal by Living Gems is open seven days from 10am to 4pm. To book a personal resort and display home tour call Dennis on (07) 5547 2333 or pop in any day to 42 Quinzeh Creek Road, Logan Village.

How to choose the best Real Estate Agent to sell your home?

Regardless of whether you’re Googling to find the best agent in town, or you’re happy to list with someone you’ve used before, we’ve compiled a list of helpful questions to get your sale campaign heading in the right direction.

Question 1: What is the status of the current market?

Knowing if the current market at its peak or at the very bottom, rising or declining or if it’s stable is very helpful in accurately predicting buyer behaviours. For example: if you’re selling at the very bottom of a stable market, buyers will be looking to secure a contract quickly before the market starts to recover again, as this will maximise their capital growth.

Question 2: How does my suburb perform differently to the neighbouring suburbs?

Finding out what market trends are unique to your suburb can help to identify your target demographic, as well as track the progress of your sale campaign more accurately.

If the majority of comparable properties are being purchased by investors and selling in less than 35 days on market, you’ll know where to direct your advertising budget. This also arms you with a good yardstick for the sale campaign timeline.

Question 3: Recommended method of sale for my home – Private Treaty (with a price) or Auction?

Make sure you fully understand the reasons your agent has recommended a particular method of sale, as it is not always best to go with what we as the seller feel more comfortable with.

Question 4: Agent market share and performance?
Your agent should be able to demonstrate experience and proven performance as this is essential to achieving the best possible result. For instance: An agent new to the industry won’t be able to provide data or client testimonials from previous sales.

Question 5: Commission and marketing costs?

This is without a doubt the most difficult area to compare as not all commission & marketing are created equal and as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”. The ‘cheapest’ agent who ‘pays for the advertising’ can sometimes be the most expensive agent. The most important figure to focus on is the profit, the amount you have left in your pocket at the end of the transaction

Do your own online research:

  • Herron Todd White property report – Month in review
  • Ratemyagent.com.au
  • Onthehouse.com.au
Living Gems residents’ top effort for cancer research

Last year, Relay for Life team Opal by Living Gems, raised $7500 for cancer research. This year the team have started their fundraising efforts early in hopes to surpass last year’s donation.

Living Gems residents and team captain Nola Green said last year they hadn’t heard of the Relay for Life until attending an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea event.

“After speaking to some representatives from Cancer Council, we came home and put together a team of fifty. We didn’t start fundraising until May 2017 but still managed to collect $7500, which we were very happy with.”

“This year we have renewed vigour, we achieved second place in the fundraising last year, so this year we aim to be first.”

At the closing ceremony of last year’s event, the Opal by Living Gems team were also presented the ‘Spirit of Relay’ trophy, which is awarded to an individual or team that displayed exemplary effort.

“Last year was a fantastic weekend and everyone who came enjoyed themselves, we are all looking forward to this year’s event.”

“I find Relay for Life the perfect fundraising initiative as it is for all cancers and the 18 hour relay event is a good way to show that cancer never sleeps.”

“There are so many people in our society that have been touched by cancer, it is a terrible disease, it makes me happy to know I can help.”

The team have been hosting events since the beginning of the year to kick start their fundraising initiatives.

“We have been hosting monthly BBQs in the Opal by Living Gems resort and we recently held our ‘Swimming for Life’ event which was great fun, residents competed in individual and team events.”

“You can come and support our team at the upcoming Opal by Living Gems Open Day, on 29 April, where we will be selling raffle tickets and sharing information about Cancer Council.”

“I would like to thank all the residents and Living Gems management for their continued support this year, so far we have raised $2000,” says Nola.

The team will complete a walking relay around a set course in Jimboomba for 18 hours, from 3pm Saturday, 6 October to 9am Sunday, 7 October.

Relay for Life is a fun and moving overnight event hosted by Cancer Council that aims to raise vital funds for Cancer Council’s research, prevention and support services.

You can donate to the Opal by Living Gems team via the Relay for Life website and selecting their team page, you will receive a receipt for your donation.

For more information about Relay for Life visit www.relayforlife.org.au or for more information about Living Gems resorts call 1800 785 594.

Retirement living: where to start?

For those planning their retirement, the question of how to finance this next stage of life can be daunting for some.

While the government offers the Age Pension, $826.20 for singles and $1245.60 for couples paid fortnightly, this is not always necessarily enough to live on.

There are a number of options to get extra cash in your pocket, such as a reverse mortgage, but is this the best solution?

It is an often-stated view that Baby Boomers are typically cash poor and asset rich, making right-sizing an attractive way to free up the equity in your home.

Right-sizing is the process of finding a home that better suits your wants and needs. This process offers the opportunity to free up your time and to focus on the things that are most important to you.

Over 50s resort-style communities are among some of the most popular retirement living accommodation options in Australia. There are an overwhelming number to choose from with close to 200 communities in Australia.

Lifestyle resorts across Australia offer different styles of living from multi-story apartments to duplexes and full-sized homes at prices for every budget.

Living Gems lifestyle resorts offer a popular formula to home ownership; they are beneficial financially and offer homeowners peace of mind.

“We make dreams possible because we make them affordable.”

Living Gems is a Queensland based, family owned and operated lifestyle resort company, with eight resort locations across south-east Queensland.

Living Gems general manager, Vlad Pullich says free standing homes in the Toowoomba and Logan Village resorts start as low as $350,000 and offer an impressive set of standard inclusions.

“Our aim is to provide a resort lifestyle for active over 50s, seniors and retirees which is why we offer such an extensive range of premium facilities in our new resorts.”

“The recent opening of the multi-million-dollar country club in our Toowoomba resort is an exciting milestone. It is the newest addition to the resort”

“The country club is fitted with a lounge, bar, ballroom and a cinema.”

“Other facilities include a heated swimming pool, spa, sauna, BBQ pavilion, gym, bowling green, tennis court, games room, hair salon, library, music room, workshop plus an art and craft studio.”

“With everything you need in one place you don’t have any hefty membership fees or travel fees that other gyms and sporting clubs would normally charge,” says Mr Pullich.

For more information

1800 785 594

www.livinggems.com.au

Opal by Living Gems residents raise thousands for cancer research

Opal by Living Gems residents turned out in droves for the Jimboomba Relay for Life event, held on 7-8 October.

Nola Green, Cheryl Hitchin and Desiley Bell led a team of 50 to raise a goal of $5,000 and exceeded even their own expectations, raising a total of $7,409.15.

The fantastic result was a true team effort.

At the closing ceremony on Sunday morning, the Opal by Living Gems team was applauded as a ‘late starter’ for this year’s event, who still raised the second-largest contribution.

The team was also presented the ‘Spirit of Relay’ trophy, which is awarded to an individual or team that displayed exemplary effort.

“It was a fantastic weekend and everyone who came enjoyed themselves,” says Nola, one of the organisers of the Opal by Living Gems team.

“Thank you to everyone in our team and the community of Opal by Living Gems for your hard work, support and enthusiasm.”

Team organisers Nola, Cheryl and Desiley were inspired by a recent Biggest Morning Tea event to take on their own fundraising initiative, and Relay for Life, was perfect.

“There are a lot of people even in the resort who have been touched by cancer personally in addition to family and friends,” says Nola. “It is a terrible disease.”

“Just like so many others, I have had many family and friends that have battled cancer and wanted to do something for them.”

She said the response was amazing not only from the residents, but also from Opal by Living Gems management.

“Kevin and Marie and Lyn have been so helpful and have been doing so much for us, as has Sandra in marketing.”

Teams completed a walking relay around a set course for 18 hours – from 3pm to 9am – with several poignant and symbolic marks of respect to sufferers, survivors, and those who have passed away and the families that they have left behind.

Pets: Meet Rosie & Rocky Miller

Names: Rosie and Rocky Miller

Ages: 5 and 7 years.

Sex: Female and male.

Parents: Mike and Dianne Miller.

What type of dogs are you?

Rosie: I am a toy poodle, while Rocky is a Chihuahua.

What is your favourite toy?

Rocky: We have a few different toys. The ones we like the best have a small, soft ball connected to a rope. It’s fun to chase them, and they’re easy to carry and play tug of war with them.

What is your favourite part of the Opal by Living Gems resort?

Rosie: We love walking around the resort, especially down the back at the dog run – there are often other dogs there and we can say hello and have a bit of a sniff.

Rocky: I can’t wait until Kev finishes the finishes the path around the back of the resort so that we can go on longer walks. Woof!

Which food do you enjoy the most?

Rosie: Definitely chicken. Mum has some excellent recipes.

Rocky: Beef jerky as well. Definitely beef jerky. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

What is your most annoying habit?

Rosie: When people walk in front of the house and I can see them through the screen doors, I can’t help myself, and I yell out to them. Woof, woof!

Rocky: We are just trying to be friendly!

Tell us about your best or funniest moment.

Rocky: Sometimes we get a bit worked up and start chasing each other around the house. It’s such good fun to chase each other around.

Rosie: We go around and around the lounge, and up and down the hallway. It always makes mum laugh.

Who treats you best, mum or dad?

Rocky: They’re both amazing people and treat us really well. Each night though, while we’re watching TV, I’ll snuggle up with Mike and Rosie will hop up with mum.

Words of congratulations for croquet field opening

We are excited to announce that Opal by Living Gems received some kind words of congratulations for Logan City Council Mayor Luke Smith.

You can read the full letter below…

On the Road for Rustic Wineries

Bill and Gitta Malkin have travelled extensively through Australia in their motor home, free camping where they can, seeing the diverse sights of the nation, and also visiting its finest wineries.

They recently returned to Opal by Living Gems after a three-month, family-focused trip to Adelaide.

Bill and Gitta’s daughter in law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and the family converged on the city in support.

It provided one of those rare opportunities to see their three children and six of 16 grandchildren in the one place.

“We took the opportunity while we were there to see a few different vineyards at the Barossa Valley, Clare, McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills and also at Hahndorf,” says Bill.

“It was nice to get out and see some things together as a family.”

The trip to Adelaide followed a six-month adventure in Western Australia, where they saw landmarks such as Wave Rock and, of course, visited several of that state’s fine wineries.

It is a passion for Bill, who has 180 bottles of red wine at his home at Opal by Living Gems, and he has a extensive knowledge of Australia’s best wineries.

“We are so lucky in Australia, we have so many high-quality growing areas such as Margaret River, Swan Valley, Hunter Valley and the Barossa Valley,” he says.

Bill prefers the personal touch of an independent estate and he and Gitta always visit local visitor information centres to ask which wineries and sights provide the best experience.

They also prefer free camping and Gitta will always peruse the ‘camping bible’ Camps 9, and the Wikicamps applicaton to find the best spot to stay, whether it is in a national park, or on a farm.

Here are a handful of Bill’s most memorable wineries.

Langmeil Winery, Tanunda

“They make some beautiful reds,” says Bill of Langmeil Winery set in the town of Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. The family-owned and operated winery lays claim to being the oldest surviving Shiraz vineyard in the world, planted in 1843, and Shiraz just happens to be Bill’s preferred grape. The historic winery is housed in original buildings built by some of the first European settlers to the region.

Sieber Road Vineyard, Seppeltsfield

Although this Barossa Valley winery recently received a double gold award at the Melbourne International Wine Competition with its 2015 Shiraz/Grenache, it was more than the wine that stood out for Bill at the Sieber Road Vineyard – it was the lovely people who run the winery. “It was one of the nicest personal experiences I have had at a winery. The lady behind the counter, Val, is a lovely, lovely person. We went back four times, it felt like coming home.”

Windy Creek Estate, Swan Valley

Another independent winery in Western Australia where Bill was highly impressed by the experience provided for visitors. The family-run estate is not just a business but the family home and it is treated as such. “A great experience with great people,” says Bill.

Vasse Felix, Margaret River

Founded in 1967 by Dr Tom Cullity, Vasse Felix was the first winery to be established in what is now one of Australia’s most renowned wine-growing regions. Bill says it is a “little bit more upmarket” than several of the other family-owned wineries in this list, and worth it for the sense of history and views from the tasting building.

Bill describes the wine-tasting experience at Hugh Hamilton Wines as the best he has experienced. Even the dirt from the vineyards is brought out for the tasters, so that they can gain a deeper understanding of the flavours of the grapes. “It was a great way to gain a good nose for a red. Such a good experience, complimented from the beautiful views from their tasting area.” The wines are complimented with cheeses and chocolates depending on which was the better fit.

Opal by Living Gems Neil Diamond Spectacular

On Saturday 24 June, Opal by Living Gems hosted the Neil Diamond Spectacular, with 150 people attending the sold out tribute concert.

Annette Reberger, who has been living at Opal by Living Gems for just three months, heads up the event committee at the resort, and was thrilled to see the success of the sold-out event.

“It was brilliant seeing all the ladies dressed up and the bar open and everyone enjoying themselves to the music,” says Annette.

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Opal by Living Gems Croquet Field Launch

This week was the launch of our brand new croquet field at Opal by Living Gems!

Residents enjoyed a relaxed afternoon testing the green and were treated to a sausage sizzle lunch. 

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Four New Display Homes Open at Opal by Living Gems

Opal by Living Gems has four brand new display homes open for inspection and available to purchase.

Take a look at these four beautiful designs below.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to book an inspection while they are still available. Call Lyn Butler today on 07 5547 2333.