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Active retirees; one of the fastest growing communities on For retirees living on a fixed income, home swap is a great way to travel the world on a budget

Australian retirees are being forced to seek alternative ways of pursuing their travels dreams, meaning sites like are becoming an attractive proposition. Managing a budget long term is a concern shared by many. Nevertheless, the appetite for travel, both domestic and abroad, remains high.



After a life dedicated to work and raising children, retirement is the time to enjoy life – arts and culture, music, food and wine, sport and, of course, travel.

In Australia, a 2014 study found that for a comfortable lifestyle in retirement men aged 65 need to have amassed $340,000 and women $370,000. However, the average account balance falls alarmingly short of what is needed — for males aged 60 to 65 the average account balance is $114,000 and females $94,000[i]. A fixed low income and financial woes are preventing many retirees from realising their goals to travel the world. includes an active community of retirees around the world. For this fast growing sector, home swap is an alternative way to travel on a budget year-round. 77% of active retirees exchange their primary residence while 23% list a second home, which enables additional flexibility for non-simultaneous exchanges.

HomeExchange members Jan and Peter Watt have been exchanging their home in Perth, Western Australia for more than ten years. Most recently, they enjoyed a three month exchange in London with a couple they have swapped homes with two times previously and consider each other’s houses their ‘home-away-from-home’.



“Peter and I are both retired – our two sons have flown the nest. The eldest, David lives in England with his wife and three daughters – hence our interest in home exchanging. We like to spend longer than a couple of weeks there each year to bond with our little granddaughters,” explains Jan. “We prefer to have our ‘own space’ and to not be underfoot in their home. To stay in hotels is cost prohibitive – but home exchanging offers travel opportunities at minimum cost. Basically, the cost is reduced to airfares and daily living expenses”.

The travel opportunities for retirees are diverse: discover the world, explore one’s own country, or visit children who live faraway while enjoying the comfort of a real home. Home exchange also offers a way of testing a retirement destination in order to live “as a local” before moving permanently.

As a result, what started as a smart way to save on accommodation has become a lifestyle for some avid travellers, who have a chance to travel out of school holidays and take advantage of “off season” plane tickets. “Except for getting there, a home exchange does not cost any more than staying home,” reminds Ed Kushins, CEO of, a baby boomer himself and enthusiastic user of the site he founded 22 years ago. “ allows seniors to search peers around the world who share the same values – exchange partners sometimes become lifelong friends.”

About was named one of the fastest growing private companies in America in 2013 on the Inc. 500 / 5000 list for a third consecutive year. Started in 1992 by Ed Kushins, has evolved into the largest and fastest growing online home exchange travel company in the world. This year their 55,000+ Members will make over 130,000 home swaps across more than 150 countries. makes it easy to plan and enjoy a home exchange vacation in almost any country, city or area of interest and offers travellers a memorable, authentic ‘live like a local’ experience. The site is now available in 16 different languages and offers 14 days free trial. For more information:

About Gate 7

Gate 7 is an award-winning Sydney based representation agency specialising in the promotion of travel and tourism-focused clients in Australia and New Zealand. Gate 7’s services include sales and marketing, public relations, consumer marketing, social networking, MICE services and brand development.

[1] Source: Deloitte ‘Adequacy and the Australian superannuation system’ report, June 2014


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