Showing posts with label Retirement townhouses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Retirement townhouses. Show all posts

Sunday, November 6, 2016


We look at some of the health benefits of moving into a retirement village.

1. Social connections

Living in a retirement community provides endless opportunities to develop close social connections and friendships. This becomes increasingly important as we get older and face a variety of life events that could trigger loneliness and isolation. The variety of social activities at retirement communities also plays a large role in mental stimulation. Informal games are readily available and fun activities and events like movie-nights, yoga lessons, weekly socials, and more are at the reach of seniors.

2. The end of home maintenance and repair

Freedom from home maintenance and repair becomes more and more attractive during senior years. The idea of fixing unanticipated, and often costly, problems that occur in a home can carry a lot of stress. By making the move to an independent senior living community, the cost associated with home problems is eliminated. Often, most repair and maintenance is included in your living arrangement.
The cost of moving into a retirement community can also prove to be more economical. Downsizing from your current home will allow you to reign in your monthly expenses and remove the responsibility of maintaining your home. Using a cost calculator can help you estimate how much you may save. Moving into a retirement community can also offer an opportunity to determine which of your possessions are important to you, rather than leaving this task to others.

3. Ensured safety and proper nutrition 

There are many residents living with us in our independent senior living communities who used to be alone, and who were not eating properly. Residents do not need to worry about meal preparation or even grocery shopping. Another benefit—the food is delicious, and chef-prepared! So not only are seniors enjoying mealtime more, but they also tend to notice improvements in their health by eating three quality meals each day. From pleasant housekeepers, to attentive servers at mealtime, and helpful maintenance technicians who are there when you need those, Holiday Retirement communities are the new extension of your family. We're here to make your life easier in any way we can. 

4. May help you live longer

A Swedish study found that following a healthy lifestyle - being sociable, physically active and participating in leisure activities - could add up to five years to women's lives and six years to men's. "Encouraging favourable lifestyle behaviours even at advanced ages may enhance life expectancy, probably by reducing morbidity," concluded the authors.
Which is great news as all Bupa retirement villages offer a range of daily activities and communal areas where residents can be social and physically active.

5. Help you be healthier

Retirement villages offer a range of activities from movie screenings, bingo games, gardening programs and regular outings. Which may be good news for your health. According to research conducted at Rush University Medical Center, higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. It was found that a person who reported a high level of social activity was about twice as likely to remain free of a disability.

6. Hobbies can help make you healthy

When you move in to a retirement village, we go to great lengths to encourage and support you to continue on with your hobbies or start a new one which may be beneficial to your health. A study by Columbia University, New York, found that engaging in hobbies such as arts and crafts, music and reading could help reduce the effects of stress-related diseases and slow down cognitive decline.

7. Ready made friends

A retirement village can provide you with a ready-made circle of friends. Studies have found that as we get older it's important for our overall health to maintain and make friendships. Not only can it help you live longer, but if you do fall ill, it can help you recover quicker.

8. Onsite support

Knowing that a health professional is nearby can help put your and your family’s mind at ease, especially as we get older and are more susceptible for falls or becoming ill. Retirement village living is a positive way to help you stay happy and healthy during your later years.


Life in a retirement village is like living in a resort, and residents should expect to pay the price.
With an ageing population, it's boom time for the industry, with retirement villages popping up all over.

The house price boom in cities like Auckland has also been a boon to village operators as the prices charged for their units are set in reference to the prices of local homes.
But moving into a retirement village is not the same as owning your own home.
On the upside, people get to move into a ready-made community of like-minded people, with pleasant communal land and facilities, and an instant feeling of safety.
The downside is that in the vast majority of villages, residents don't own the units they move into, buying only the right to live there. Ownership remains with the village owner, and the Occupation Rights Agreement (ORA) residents have to sign before moving in, spells out not only their rights, but also their responsibilities.

Because of the complexity of the agreements, residents have to get legal advice before signing up to them, and there can be big differences between the terms different villages offer.
ORAs spell out how different retirement village living is from living in your own home.

Residents don't own the units they live in, they can't sell them, and a resident can't sell on their own occupation rights without permission. By contrast, the village operator can sell the village without permission from residents, although the new owner has to honour existing ORAs.
Should a resident decide to leave, or dies, the village markets for a new resident to occupy the vacated unit. The vacating resident, or their estate, usually gets paid the amount they paid to get in, minus a "deferred management fee" of about 30 per cent, which is a major income source for the village operators.

If you own your own home, capital gains belong to you and falls in price make you poorer. If a resident leaves a retirement village, occupation rights to the unit they vacated can be sold for more than they paid, but the village operator gets the benefit.
Some villages expect vacating residents to shoulder falls in price. If you buy your occupation right for $300,000, and there is a 30 per cent deferred maintenance fee, then you, or your estate, should get back $210,000. But should the ORA now be worth $250,000, then the exit payment would be just $170,000.
As Christchurch's Archer Village's ORA puts it: "If the amount we are able to obtain from a proposed new resident . . . is less than the entry payment, then we may ask you to accept this reduced amount in writing."

Residents pay the ordinary costs of running a village, including maintenance, staffing costs, insurance, rates and utility bills. In effect, the resident is swapping paying outgoings on their own home for paying a share of the outgoings on the village.
The ongoing fees, sometimes called the "village outgoings payment", can sometimes rise, but are sometimes fixed, depending on the village. They are generally charged monthly, and continue to be payable even after a resident leaves, or dies, and until new occupation rights for the unit is sold.
Sometimes the obligation is unlimited, and could go on for years, albeit at a reduced rate. Sometimes it's limited to six months.

The village operator organises the insurance for the village, but the resident pays for it. It's there to repair or rebuild the facility in the case of events like fire or earthquake, or at best, pay residents back the amount they paid for their occupation rights, though that may not be enough for them to buy occupation rights in another village, if prices have risen.
Some villages carry insurance that provides some temporary accommodation cover, such as Metlifecare villages. Others do not, which would mean residents would need to have their own insurance to cover that.
A resident whose carelessness causes a fire or flooding can often be required to pay the excess on the claim to fix the damage they inadvertently caused.

Pets are allowed only at the absolute discretion of the village operator in most cases, and even when permission is given, it can be withdrawn at any time. This can be like a Sword of Damocles hanging over little Tiddles' head should they annoy other residents.
In your own home, within the law, you can do just what you like. You can walk around in your underwear, experiment with chemicals, paint murals on the walls, put up shelves, etc.
Retirement village rules require residents to get permission to make alterations, which likely as not the operator will make for them, charging the costs to the unit occupier. There can be rules banning drying clothes on the balcony, or putting things on them that make the village look scruffy.
Serious breaches like threatening a fellow resident can lead to occupation rights being terminated.

Unlike in your own home, there are limits on friends and relatives coming to stay. Usually fairly permissive, the rules are designed to stop villages becoming doss-houses for non-residents.
Residents can't sublease the units without permission. If love strikes late in life, single residents will usually be allowed to move their new love in. This can be subject to provisos.
At Auckland's Hillsborough Heights, owned by listed village operator Metlifecare, married, or de facto partners can move in if they meet the "normal criteria", and must sign a "deed of covenant" agreeing to follow the rules.

While relatively few people have a right of entry to a home you own, and then usually in very limited circumstances, such as police with a warrant, village operators have rights of entry.
These are usually with reasonable notice, but they can be without notice, if they deem there is a reason pressing enough such as a fire, or medical emergency.

Villages often offer several levels of care, starting in self-contained units, with residents able to move on to nursing care if it becomes difficult to look after themselves.
Operators have the right to require a resident undergo a health check if they consider them unsafe to live there any more, and terminate their occupation rights, if they are. The resident has a right to get a second opinion.

If a resident develops dementia, or suddenly dies, it can pose difficulties for a village operator. Because of this, ORAs require residents have a will and also enduring powers of attorney, which allow others (usually family) to administer their affairs when they are no longer able to.
As the ORA of the Aparangi Village in Waikato says, residents need to keep the operator informed of the names and contact details of executors and attorneys.

As businesses, retirement village operators often expand their facilities to be able to sell more units and earn more fees. ORAs ban residents from raising objections to this with planning authorities.

ORAs are not a one-way street. They impose obligations on the village operator to do things like adequately staff, maintain and insure villages, although these are also legal requirements, and to provide certain services such as access to medical help.
In their own homes, owners usually do not have anyone but themselves and their families to rely on in these areas.

 - Sunday Star Times

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cost to live in a retirement village

Tips for choosing a retirement village

Don’t rush it! We’re more likely to choose the right retirement village if we don't make a quick decision:

  • Think ahead and consider what we might need in the future – will we be able to continue to live there if our health or mobility declines?
  • Imagine the ideal lifestyle in a retirement village, and make a list of the things that are most important.
  • Visit different villages and find out about the lifestyles they offer, including housing options, facilities and services.
  • Talk to the residents – they know better than anyone what life is like in the village they live in.
  • Take time to read the documentation associated with buying into, living and leaving the village, including the disclosure statement and occupation right agreement.
  • Find out the total costs. How much is payable on entry? What are the ongoing expenses? Will we share in any capital gain when we leave? Will we have to pay for any capital loss? How will these affect our future and the choices we have?
  • Get independent financial advice from a financial planner or accountant with experience in retirement villages.
  • Get independent legal advice from a lawyer with experience in retirement villages. Ask them about the different legal titles and what they mean.
  • Involve family or friends in the decision.

Fees & Charges

Entering retirement can often enable you to get into a new home that is suited to your lifestyle at an affordable price.

A unique advantage of retirement village living is, in many cases, the ability to defer a large part of the cost until after you leave a village, which for most people is well after they have a need for significant financial resources.  This is a major benefit of retirement living.

There are many different models and, as with any decision of this type, you should consult your financial advisor, accountant or lawyer before making any decision so as to ensure you fully understand the costs and structure of any agreement entered into. Involving your family in the decision is also a good idea.

To be sure that retirement living is for you, it’s very important to be clear about your current financial circumstances.

You need to be aware of three different types of costs before deciding to live in a retirement village. These include:

  • The entry fee or purchase price
  • The service or maintenance fees
  • The exit fee, also known as a departure fee or deferred management fee.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What is a retirement village | Best Retirement Communities

Retirement Villages, also known as retirement communities or care villages are relatively new to the New Zealand but are growing quickly, offering a variety of housing types, an extended range of facilities for older people, and attractive settings. Retirement Villages are generally large developments consisting of individual properties which are available to buy, rent or part own. The villages offer independent flats or bungalows, with central leisure facilities such as shops, swimming pools and restaurants. Depending on the provision of the individual village, residents can buy additional care provision as and when they need it, from meals to 24 hour nursing or dementia care.

What is the housing like?

The housing within a retirement village is usually an independent flat or bungalow, but one which essentially which allows people to enjoy the independence, security and privacy that comes with owning their own home and having "their own front door". There is usually no garden to worry about and people are free from the worry of maintaining a traditional home. There are normally terms relating to living in a community setting - some do not allow pets, for example, so be sure to check for any restrictions.

Where will I be living?

Each village an active community in its own right, with its own amenities and facilities. This provides opportunities for plenty of social interaction and an active lifestyle all on one site. There are usually organized activities and events which you can take part in if you wish and many communities have their own leisure centers, shops, surgeries, libraries and so on which are even more useful if you give up driving.
However, there are some points to be aware of. Smooth running can sometimes depend on the tact and skills of themanager. Other residents may try to introduce rules with which you disagree. The guest accommodation may be booked when you need it. In spite of owning your own property, you may find yourself needing to compromise on certain issues.

What care can I receive?

In general, living in a retirement village can give you access to flexible care, tailored to meet your needs at the time. It is vital that you check the provision for more care, before making your decision, as there are some villages which will expect you to find alternative accommodation if your needs cannot be provided for (check for 24 hour nursing or dementia care). Many villages have care homes or dementia homes on site, so although you may need to move from your independent flat, you will still be situated in the same community. This can be a reassurance for couples. It is important that you find out the costs of buying in any care before making your decision about a retirement village, as it can be charged as an hourly rate and costs can mount up easily. 

What should I know before buying a property? 

Keeping equity in a property can be very tempting for many people. It is a good idea to see if you can rent a property prior to purchasing however, to make sure that the community and facilities are right for you. On the assumption you decide to buy a property this would normally be on a "leasehold" basis. Typically, a lease may last for 100 years initially and when you have finished with the flat, the property could then be resold. It is important to check your options for when the property is no longer needed - are you or your family able to rent it out or sell it (most villages do not allow private leasing or private re-selling), or do you have to sell it back to the managing company? If so, how will you be assured of receiving competitive market value?

Equally, whether you are renting or buying, you will be asked to pay service charges. These are either monthly or annual payments to cover all the services provided, including building maintenance, use of village facilities, heating and lighting of communal areas, use of the fitness facilities, upkeep of the grounds, provision of staff etc. This is in addition to any care which you need to buy. These costs along with terms and conditions should be available on request from any prospective retirement village which you are considering.

Does Your Intended Retirement Village Provide Enough Technical Support?

It is important to be able to evaluate different retirement options, but what criteria are the best to use to evaluate if a retirement village has adequate technological facilities to suit your needs?
As the population becomes more 'digitally aware', the demand for current and accessible infrastructure to facilitate the technology is becoming ever greater, and more of a necessity rather than simply a desire. Contrary to what some may think, this demand for current technology is present in the aging population, and will grow in importance over the next decade.

Are you in your sixties, use social media, a 'smart phone', a laptop computer, or an iPad, or all of the above? If you are, you certainly aren't alone; on Facebook the fastest growing demographic segment is women over that age of 55. Additionally, a significant proportion of iPad users aren't the tech-savvy gadget hungry teens, as is commonly believed, but in fact elderly user. This adoption of the iPad over other computers can be attributed to its small size, adding to mobility, appropriate screen size, and most importantly ease of use. With trends such as mobile computing and social media, which are unlikely to go away in a hurry, the infrastructure to support these needs to be available for you when you choose to move in to a retirement village. As such, the following list summarizes three key components that can be used to evaluate whether or not a retirement village meets your requirements.

1) Wireless Network Access

Having appropriate wireless access points enables a large area to be serviced by a single network. The advantage of having a good wireless system is that no matter where in a complex you are, you will always be connected to the network, and through it the internet. The set-up, from a user's perspective, is simply to input a password when connecting to the network for the first time, after which it will remember the details and connect automatically. This should require no ongoing inputs, and should enable an internet connection on all appropriately fitted mobile devices. When evaluating a wireless network system, ensure that there is blanket coverage over the entire complex, and no that blind spots occur.

2) Staff

Let's face it, no one likes when their computer isn't doing what they want it to do. When choosing your retirement destination, be sure that the staff are knowledgeable in how to address any technical queries that you may have. While initial support may simply be to direct your query to someone more experienced in technical problems, it is good to know that all staff have been trained in how to address this situations accurately and efficiently. If the staff can fix your problem themselves, even better.

3) Power Points

While a seemingly trivial and nonsensical point, particularly in a short list, the issue of power points is one that needs to be considered. With our growing attachment to electronic devices, we have a growing number of devices to charge. As such, be sure that your facilities have an appropriate number of power sockets, so you aren't reaching for double-adaptor ever time you want to charge your iPad.

This issue of technological facilities in retirement villages is one that is important to consider when choosing a retirement destination, particularly for those who have come to enjoy their relationship with their gadgets. As such, I anticipate that the topic will gain much attention over the coming years, and will be an import consideration for years to come. Hopefully these criteria may assist in evaluating retirement villages

Best Retirement Communities
Retirement seems to have finally occurred and you couldn't be happier. Forget about waking up early to go to work, forget about stressing about work, now you have all the time to accomplish everything you genuinely wish to do. Needless to say you will find things to consider for instance money but you most likely have thought about as well as prepared for this way before now. An additional concern usually comes up just before retirement is if you'll continue to live inside your existing house or perhaps it is time for you to relocate to an over 60 community or possibly think about some retirement villages.

Which are the downsides regarding retirement villages?

Just like any final decision you need to ponder the possible risks which may happen when you move whether you are retired or not. Maybe the greatest disadvantage of living inside a retirement village or even a retirement house is the price. Although a retirement village isn't as costly as an elderly care facility it may be somewhat pricey due to the services which it offers. Some of the communities could be regarded as assisted living or independent living therefore you are fully aware of just how much services are offered. So it is crucial to take a look around to make certain that your final choices are one which you are able to live with in financial terms. Lots of that also is determined by the services which you purchase at the retirement village, not every one of them are exactly the same, a number of them offer more services than the others.

Many people don't like restrictions particularly when it comes to their own life style or where they live, regrettably with retirement villages or even communities there generally is rules regarding such things as the upkeep of your apartment or home. The majority of polices exist to help keep up the look and feel of the community which ultimately benefits everybody that lives there.

What are the advantages of a retirement village?

Because the human population in general is becoming older the business associated with retirement villages and also communities possess truly flourished. The variety of locations offered and the types of services which they provide differ significantly which can be great due to the fact that not all seniors or retired people require the exact same type of living accommodations.

Nobody wants to be solely by themselves on a daily basis and at a retirement village it is possible to find men and women your own age to hang out with. A lot of these communities also provide get-togethers and things to do where one can meet other folks and enjoy their company. Staying around friends can also be very healthy for seniors as it is for the majority of people.

Residing in a safe and secure neighborhood is one thing that many of us desire and it's also more essential once we become older. Retirement communities will often have plenty of security that can definitely provide the reassurance that you don't need to bother about being robbed or assaulted.
Additionally you don't have to worry about repairing things when they are broken in your residence. The majority of senior living locations offer that service. This can be a real comfort any time things go awry. 

Prior to making any choices about moving to a retirement village be sure the advantages exceed the potential issues that you may confront.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Retirement Village Lifestyle Checklist | Financial Checklist | Signing up checklist

1. Retirement Village Lifestyle Checklist

The information in this checklist is based on the Retirement Villages Act 2003. 

Things to do

 1. Write a list of the most important things you want from retirement village living. 
2.Talk to residents about how they find living in the village. 
3. Get a copy of the village’s occupation right agreement, disclosure statement and any other relevant documents. 
4. Involve your family or friends in your decision. 

Questions to ask


  1. Make sure you understand how the village operates.
  2. Is the village commercial or not-for-profit?
  3. What is the village’s philosophy regarding the care and support of older people?
  4. Is the village a member of the Retirement Villages Association or the New Zealand Aged
  5. Care Association? If so, what benefits does this provide?
  6. Who manages the village and how are they appointed? Is there a management agreement and when is it renewed?
  7. Is there an onsite manager and what rules must they follow?
  8. Is there a staff member onsite or on call?
  9. What experience do management and staff have in meeting the needs of older people, and what are their qualifications?
  10. Who is the statutory supervisor and what is their role? (Some villages are exempt from having a statutory supervisor.

Entry criteria

  1. What are the criteria for living at the village, and do you meet them?
  2. Is there a waiting list? 


In addition to the usual location issues when buying a house, there are other issues to consider when moving into a retirement village. The location will determine how much independence and contact with the wider community you’ll have.
  1. Is the village separate from or in integrated into the local community?
  2. Is the village close to friends and family?
  3. Is it close to medical services including hospitals?
  4. What public and village transport is available, and how much does it cost?
  5. Will the location allow you to keep up your existing interests, such as place of worship and clubs?
  6. Is the village situated on the flat? 

    Villages or units not yet constructed or completed.

    If you’re buying off the plans: 

    1. Are the units and facilities designed for older people? 
    2. Will they be finished to the expected quality? 
    3. Can you build to your own design and choose your d├ęcor, furnishings and appliances? 
    4. What is the proposed completion date for your unit? What right do you have to cancel or to compensation if there is a delay in completion of the unit or other facilities? 
    5. If you’re buying into a village where other units or facilities are still being built: 
    6. What measures are taken to reduce disruption to residents during construction? 
    7. Who pays for the rates, insurance and maintenance of units that are unsold? 
    8. How long will it take for advertised services or facilities to start operating? What rights do you have if these services or facilities do not eventuate? 
    9. How will future development plans affect your unit or the facilities?

Residential and care options

  1. Are there different housing options available, such as independent self-care villas and serviced apartments or studios? 
  2. Are there rest home and hospital facilities? 
  3. Who decides whether you need a higher level of care either within or outside the village? 
  4. How is this decision made? 
  5. Do residents have priority for these facilities and can you return to a more independent unit if you recover . 
  6. Is temporary help available during a short-term illness or accident, such as a fall or ongoing care after a stroke? 


  1. Will the healthcare offered meet your existing and future needs?  
  2.  Can you negotiate the level of healthcare and its cost?  
  3. Are you allowed to have your own doctor?
  4.  Are you able to use other service providers at the village e.g. DHB personal care services?  
  5. Are services such as a doctor, dentist or ph ysiotherapist available within the village or nearby?
  6.   Is there a qualified nurse onsite? When are they there? Where is the nearest hospital? Does the unit have a medical call button? 


  1.  Are the units, grounds and facilities in good order and how are they maintained?
  2.  Who arranges for repairs and maintenance such as leaks or changing light bulbs?  
  3. What are the timeframes for urgent maintenance?
  4.  Is there a long-term maintenance plan for big items such as re-roofing, painting or road works?
  5. Who is responsible for updating installed appliances? 


  1.  Are there burglar alarms, sm oke alarms and sprinklers?  
  2. Is there sensor lighting? Are there 24-hour call buttons? 
  3. Who answers th ese calls and how quickly?
  4.  What does it cost? Can windows and doors be securely locked?
  5.  Are gates locked at night? Is the village patrolled at night? 

Facilities and amenities

Facilities may include shops, lounges, dining rooms and bars, libraries, hobby rooms, workshops and computer rooms, meeting rooms, gardens, swimming pools, spas, saunas, gyms and bowling greens.

  1. What facilities are provided an d are you likely to use them?
  2.  Are there restrictions on using the facilities, such as the number of people or whether visitors or outside groups can use them?  
  3. Are new facilities planned and when will they be completed? 


 Services may include a registered nurse availa ble 24 hours or a doctor on call, housework, laundry, gardening and lawns, and rubbish collect ion, meals, personal care such as help with dressing and bathing, mail collection, watering indoor plants and feeding pets when on holiday, and transport such as a vi llage van for shopping and outings.

  1.  What services does the retirement village provide?  
  2.  What services are contracted in by the village?  
  3.  Are you eligible for some of these services through government assistance? 

Social activities

 Social activities may include shopping trips, ga rden visits, walks and pi cnics or trips to the movies or theater as well as clubs such as chess or bridge and keep-fit classes. In some villages, the residents organize these activities.

  1. What activities does the retirement village offer? 
  2. Who organizes them? 


  1. Check the location of telephones, power points and switches, medical call buttons and lighting. Is there adequate lighting, heating and ventilation in the unit and communal areas? 
  2. Are taps and handles easy to use?
  3.  Is there easy access to the shower and grab gr ips and non-slip surfaces in the toilet and bathroom? 
  4.  Are cupboards and shelves within easy reach, and benches and ovens at a suitable height? Is the unit likely to meet your future needs as well as your current needs? 
  5. Can you make any modifications to suit your needs? 
  6. What facilities are personally allocated to you, such as car parking and storage? 


  1.  Is there wheelchair and walking-aid access in the village and within the units? 
  2. Are there handrails where needed?
  3.  Can you use a scooter in the village? 
  4. Where are they stored? 


  1.  What are the village rules?  
  2. Can they change and how does that happen?
  3.   Do residents have a say in the rules? 

  Resident involvement

  1. Are there meetings between residents and management, and how often?
  2.  Is there a residents’ committee and what is its role? How is the AGM organised and how can residents get involved?
  3.   Is there a village noticeboard or newsletter, and how often is it updated or published?
  4.   Talk to residents about how they find living at the village. Ask them about having input into how the village operates and the attitu de of management to their involvement. 


  1. How does the village deal with complaints?  
  2. How are complaints lodged?
  3. Who manages the complaints process and what is the response time? 
  4.  Can you or the village management involve someone independent if your complaint cannot be resolved? 

Leaving the village or transferring within the village

  1.  In what circumstances can you be made to leave or to transfer to a higher level of care?  
  2. Who makes this decision and what say do you have? 

2. Retirement Village Financial Checklist

The information in this checklist is based on the Retirement Villages Act 2003.
 Things to do
  1.  Contact an independent financial adviser or accountant who is experienced in retirement villages. Talk to them about th e costs involved and what you can afford.  
  2. Think about how much money you might need for housing or care if you choose or need to leave the village, or you wish to leave a legacy.  
  3.  Ensure you make realistic arrangements that suit your financial situation.
  4.  Ask the operator for a copy of the village’s disclosure statement, occupation right agreement and any other relevant documents and make sure you understand them.  
  5.  Make sure you get any verbal agreements in writing, or have them written into your occupation right agreement. 

The financial viability of the village

You’ll need to be confident that the village is financially viable – if it isn’t, it won’t be able to provide you with the accommodation, facilities and services you’re paying for.
  1. Who owns the village and what is their reputation? 
  2.   Are the village’s financial accounts stand-al one or combined with another village or business?  
  3. What does the village’s insurance cover an d what are the premiums and excesses?  
  4. What are your rights if the village gets into financial difficulty?  
  5. Who is the statutory supervisor?  
  6. What is their role? 

Entry costs

  1.  What is the entry cost?  
  2.  What does this cost cover?
  3.   How long is the ‘cooling-off’ period? 

 Ongoing costs

  1.  How much are the ongoing fees? What do they cover and how are they calculated?  
  2.  What costs do you pay in addition to the regular fees?Also, ask who pays for normal outgoings such as rates, insurance, telephone and power. 
  3.   Are there any limits to how much and how often fees can be raised or changed?
  4.   What is the village’s policy for passing on increased costs?  
  5. Can you defer payment of some charges until you leave the village? If so, what interest is charged on these deferred payments? 
  6.   Do you pay these fees if you’re on holiday or in hospital?
  7.  Do the fees change if the number of people in your unit changes? 

 Costs of transferring within the village

  1.  Do you have to sell the existing unit before moving to a different one?
  2.  Do you have to continue to pay village fees on the original unit until it sells, as well as on the new one?  
  3. Do you have to pay further entry costs when moving to a new unit within the village as you did on entering the village? 

Leaving costs (these questions are also relevant if transferring within the village)
  1.  How is the unit sold? Can you participate in the sale?  
  2. Can you live in the unit or rent it out while it’s on the market?
  3.   What ongoing fees will you have to pay while the unit is on the market, and for how long?
  4. Does the unit need to be refurbished before it goes on the market, and to what standard? 
  5.   Are there deductions from the original purchase price or actual sale price for refurbishment, marketing or administrative costs?  
  6. Will you be reimbursed for improvements you’ve made, and how are these valued? Will you get the capital gain or any share of it?  
  7.  When do you get paid what is due to you? 
  8. What happens if there are significant delays? 

3.Retirement Village Signing up checklist

The information in this checklist is based on the Retirement Villages Act 2003.

Things to do

Get a quote or estimate for hiring an independent lawyer, who is experienced in retirement villages, to carry out the legal work for buying into a village.

This will cost more than the legal fees for buying a house because it is more complex, but will be worth it in the long run.

Make sure the village manager has given you all the necessary documents. 

This will include:

  1.     Occupation right agreement
  2.     Disclosure statement
  3.     Code of Residents’ Rights
  4.     Code of Practice

  1. Keep a written note of verbal assurances that are given or promises that are made. Ask the village manager or your lawyer to in corporate these in the occupation right agreement.  
  2. Have the lawyer explain the occupation right agreement in a way that you understand before you sign it. This is a requirement under the Act. Make sure you go over any areas you’re unsure of in greater detail, and check that the agreement includes all the things agreed to. Make sure the lawyer witnesses yo ur signature and certifies that they have done this.  
  3. Keep copies of these documents and any advertising or promotional material. 

 Other things to consider  

  1.  Use this time to review your will and prepar e an enduring power of attorney. There are two types of enduring power of attorney – one for your personal care and welfare and one for property. Do not appoint an yone associated with the village.  
  2. If you have a family trust, find out if it ca n enter into an occupation agreement. If not, find out whether the trust can still pay the pu rchase price and if a payment like this is allowed under your family trust deed.