A lot of people look forward to their retirement life, but not many find this new life as satisfactory as they’d expect. This is because retirement comes with major lifestyle changes like independent living. Therefore to settle well into retirement, Aged Care Weekly encourages residents to search for a conducive environment.
Retirement villages are one of Australia’s more popular residential communities that people search for when they retire. Here are some information you need to know when choosing retirement villages.
What are Retirement Villages?
A retirement village is a residential community occupied primarily by retired seniors. Such can be a property complex where people aged over 55 years are accommodated. Retirement villages provide residents with a wide range of services and facilities, including recreational activities.
Features of Retirement Villages
Although most residents are seniors, retirement villages are not senior centres or aged care facilities. These features set retirement villages apart from a retirement home.
Residents in retirement villages generally take care of themselves. People have to search for their own aged care services if they need them.
- Independent accommodation
A resident has his own home on the property in a retirement village. These may be serviced apartments or otherwise.
- Joint social activities
Retirement villages may provide social and lifestyle activities communal for residents.
Pros and Cons of Living in Retirement Villages
There are several benefits residents enjoy when choosing a retirement village. These include:
- Strong sense of community interaction through many joint social activities
- Low maintenance living for aged care as all necessities and amenities are within convenient reach within the property
- Access to health staff support even if healthcare is not one of the care services primarily involved
Whilst some of the staff in retirement villages have health care training, residents have to search for and arrange for visits from a health care professional. Here are the disadvantages when you opt to live in a retirement village.
- Limitations on the use of the unit as regulations involved in using the rental become inconveniencing when you try to enjoy your retirement years.
- No capital gain in retirement living because to search, find and procure a unit in a retirement village is quite the investment. The question is, should you choose to leave, will the investment be worth it?
- The deferred management fee structure, which allows you to defer some of your purchase costs until you’re leaving. Most retirement living villages though have very cumbersome structures that most people find more stressful than helpful.
How much does it cost to live in a retirement village?
There are a plethora of costs associated with a retirement village lifestyle.
- Entry costs
This could go anywhere from $200,000 up to $2 million in the posh residential areas of Victoria and Sidney in Australia.
- Ongoing costs
This may cover the services provided, including but not limited to maintenance and management fees.
- Monthly fees options
Residents may incur average spend that can range from $250 to over $1000, depending on the residential area you are in.
- Exit fees
These include your capital gain entitlement and fees you’re obligated to pay. Your obligations are simpler as they involve minor refurbishing and repair costs on the residential apartments you subscribe to.
Your entitlement, however, is a bit more complicated. Although in certain areas like Victoria, Australia’s legislation ensures you get your settlement no later than a specific number of years.
Moving Into and Choosing a Retirement Village
You know you don’t just join a retirement village. It is a bit more complicated than it sounds. Here are some information you want to search for as you choose retirement living.
- The first thing you need to decide on is the type of tenancy arrangement you want to search for. Options include leasehold, loan or license, strata or community schemes, company title schemes, rental, serviced apartments, etc. With that figured out, have a general inquiry document issued by your retirement village operator no more than two weeks after your first-time inquiry.
- Next is your asset management plan. This is a roughly 10 years plan showing all your costs, including everything you buy, land, repair, rental and maintenance.
- Next is a signed contract between the resident and the village/land operator before you retire and move in. The search for a buyer is easier with a contract in case you choose to leave.
Living and Leaving: Takeaway
Living in a retirement village requires awareness of your ongoing cost obligations, rules and regulations, safety and emergency protocols, maintenance and lifestyle obligations. These sound like a lot, but once you are settled in, you get used to the routine.
Leaving the village also has almost as many protocols and moving in for residents. Well, leaving the village depends on the type of tenancy agreement you have. Leaving involves a search for a buyer for your unit, which includes selling costs, ongoing and departure fees.
Was this helpful information? Do you need further inquiries about retirement living villages? You can find more helpful reads at Aged Care Weekly. You may also subscribe to stay updated with what’s new in senior living in Australia.