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Fact sheet for retirement living

So, you’re thinking of your life in retirement? It’s a big decision, but with some planning, moving into a retirement village can mark a new beginning – and a relaxed, comfortable lifestyle with more time to enjoy the things that matter.

 

We’ve prepared this checklist to help guide you through your next life chapter.

Finances

More than 180,000 downsizers have made the move into retirement living villages for their amenities and lifestyle, safety and security. Before you make a commitment, do your homework. The Retirement Living Council website is a good place to start, but here are some things to consider:

 

  • What are the service and maintenance fees? How often is this paid? And how often does it increase?

  • What are the exit or deferred management fees at the village?

  • How much is the deposit and is it refundable if you change your mind?

  • Are you entitled to a refund if you leave the village?

  • Will you be signing a strata title or leasehold contract?

  • Will you be eligible for the Australian Government’s tax concessions for downsizers, which commence on 1 July 2018? Find out more.

  • Is the home energy and water efficient? How much will it cost to heat and cool? How much will you spend on water?

  • Will you be close to public transport? Is transport included in the village fees?

Liveability

Liveability is the sum of all the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life – everything from the built and natural environments to culture, community activities and cafés on your doorstep.

 

  • What sort of lifestyle do you want? How will this village support your lifestyle?

  • What type of accommodation do you want to live in? A villa, apartment or services apartment?

  • Is this home low-maintenance?

  • Does the village have access to aged care facilities?

  • What activities and services are available in the village?

  • Are you allowed to have pets?

  • Can your friends and family stay?

  • Are the floorplans, gardens and amenities right for you?

  • Do you have easy access to green space and parks? What is the level of tree coverage?

  • Is the village located in a walkable community? Are there ample pedestrian paths with regular street furniture for easy walking?

  • Is it a safe neighbourhood?

  • What will your weekly routine look like? Will this place encourage you to get out and enjoy life?

  • What kinds of community activities are available? Is it a diverse and inclusive community that brings together people of all ages and abilities?

Location

Ask any real estate agent to list the three most important factors when buying, and you’ll likely hear: “location, location, location.” This is just as important for people looking at retirement villages as it is for first home buyers. Ask yourself:

 

  • How close is this village to your family, friends and established social networks?

  • How close is this village to public transport? How frequent and convenient are the public transport options?

  • How long will it take you to get into the city?

  • Will you have convenient access to shops, cafés and other services like libraries?

  • Is the home close to hospitals or other healthcare facilities, like physiotherapy and dental care?

Health and wellbeing

Moving into a retirement village is about more than bricks and mortar. It’s about the peace of mind you get for knowing your health is a priority. Ask yourself:

 

  • What arrangements are in place at times of ill health or hospitalisation?

  • Is a nurse on duty in the village?

  • Is there an emergency call system in place?

  • What types of health services and wellness amenities does the village provide?

  • Is there an aged care facility on site? Or if your needs change, is there alternative accommodation nearby?

 

Quality

Quality is more than just fancy taps and marble benchtops. Keeping your eye out for quality can be tricky, but there are some simple signs:

 

  • Is the home well insulated?

  • Does it feature energy and water efficient fixtures and fittings?

  • Will you have enough space to store and display your prized possessions?

  • Does this home have good cross-ventilation, orientation and outlooks?

  • Is it north facing to make the most of the sunlight? How much daylight access will you get?

  • Will you have access to high speed internet?

  • Does this home comply with Livable Housing Australia’s guidelines for accessible design?

  • Is the village accredited?

  • Is this retirement village Green Star rated?

 

Assurance

Depending on where you choose to live, moving to a retirement village can give you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy life. To do that with confidence:

 

  • What assurance do you need that you’ve made the right choice?

 

Making the decision to move to a retirement village can be stressful. Moving into a Green Star rated retirement village can alleviate some of this stress, giving you assurance in the quality of your property, the liveability of your community and confidence in your choice.