Entering into a Retirement Village is a big decision and lot more complex than buying a house. It’s important that you fully understand your rights and obligations before committing.

How Do Retirement Villages Work?

There are three types of Retirement Village models in ACT:

  • Unit Title: you, as the Resident, purchase a unit in a units plan or apartment building which is subject to certain rules and restrictions that reflects its intended use as a Retirement Village. In addition to buying the unit, you will sign further documents that records your rights and obligations to live in a Retirement Village.
  • Sublease/Underlease: under this model, the Retirement Village Operator owns the Retirement Village and leases a residential unit to you.
  • Loan/Licence model: this is where the Retirement Village Operator owns the land and gives you a licence to live in the unit.

What Payments Do I Have To Make?

Commonly in Sublease/Underlease models and Loan/Licence models, you will be asked to make certain payments when you enter into the Retirement Village, including:

  • the Ingoing Contribution, which is an interest-free loan to the Retirement Village Operator.
  • the Recurrent Charges, which are your monthly levies;
  • the Departure Fee, which is usually payable when you exit the village.

When you enter into a Unit Title and own your own property, you will need to purchase the unit or apartment in addition to contributing strata levies and recurrent charges. Depending on the term of your residence and the arrangements at the Retirement Village, you may pay a Departure Fee when you leave.

Depending on the Retirement Village, there may be additional or other payments that Residents may be asked to pay.

How Do I Know If It’s Right For Me?

You have the right to a 7-day cooling off period, and a 90-day settling in period, during which you can walk away from the arrangement without having to pay the Departure Fee. This can give you the comfort to enter the Retirement Village, get your bearings and be comfortable in your decision before it’s irreversible.

The positive feedback we receive from our clients is that a well-run Retirement Village improves their lifestyle and extends the length of time they can live independently on their own.

You may need to think about your next move if it is likely that you will need to transition to aged care. Give careful consideration to this if you are entering the Retirement Village as a couple, and only one of you will require a higher level of support and care soon. Some Retirement Villages cater for different lifestyles and levels of care in one location, so it pays to look around.

Who Should I Talk To?

Retirement Village entry involves some complexity and we do recommend that Residents consider their circumstances closely prior to committing.

We recommend that you seek financial advice to ensure that the financial structure of your preferred Retirement Village is suitable and affordable for you. You will also need to plan for your future care requirements if you have to take the next step to move into aged care and whether the timeframe for receiving your funds will affect which aged care you can afford, especially if you are a couple and only one of you needs to transition to aged care.

We always recommend that you seek legal advice before you enter into a Retirement Village contract. This advice will include and is not limited to checking whether the documents are compliant with the relevant legislstion and, depending on the Retirement Village model, how you may need to protect the funds you have paid.

We are only too happy to assist you with prompt, straightforward advice and fixed professional fees, as with all our other matters.