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Retirement and lifestyle villages

Retirement village exerciseConsidering what type of retirement accommodation is right for you, or for your relatives, can be overwhelming and stressful. One of the most important things to remember is to take your time and consider the options carefully. It's a good idea to discuss with your family, friends, and a trusted legal advisor.

Retirement and lifestyle villages are developments that are purpose‑built to cater for people over the age of 55 years. They're usually developed by a private company rather than public providers.

Some of the reasons why people move to a retirement or lifestyle village include:

Choosing a retirement village

There are important things to consider when choosing a retirement village.

Things you may wish to consider include:

Having a look around the village is a good way to help you decide if it's right for you. Meeting other residents as well as the village owner and manager is important. In some villages, staff have an active role in activities, while at others they have less. Find out if there are regular social events or meetings and ask if you can come along and see if the village community feels right for you. It's a good idea to visit more than once before you make a decision.

It's important to check the village is registered as registration gives you additional protection under the Retirement Villages Act (2003).

The Eldernet retirement village checklist will help you make the best decision.

Buying into a retirement village

Buying into a retirement village is different from buying a house. It can be complex, and villages vary in their accommodation, support, management, legal and financial structures.

The Commission for Financial Capability have written a guide for people thinking of living in a retirement village that covers important information for new residents, their families, and existing residents of retirement villages

Financial considerations

Consider your budget when you move into the village. All villages have a number of costs and fees associated with them.

Here are some questions to consider:

You may still be eligible for government financial assistance (benefits) if you live in a village. Check with WINZ to see if you're eligible.

Costs associated with leaving a village

You should know about any costs that can occur if you leave or sometimes when transferring within a village. It's also worth remembering that if you enter a village but change your mind, you may need to purchase again. It's a good idea to talk to a trusted advisor about your options.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2019.

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Review key: HIRRV-48277