Wills & Estates

Moving into a Retirement Village? The top three things to consider.

You or a member of your family may have made the decision to move into a retirement village and enjoy this time of your life.

There are plenty of things you need to consider before signing the agreement and moving in. Here are the top three things you should think about before you commit!

  1. You should find an area you like. This seems obvious, but it is important to make sure you are happy with the location, the staff, your potential neighbours and the day-to-day operations of the retirement village. Ask questions and find out what you are getting yourself into.
  2. If you and your spouse/partner move elsewhere or pass away, the retirement village will advertise for that unit to be leased to a new person. You might be familiar with the concept of refundable accommodation deposits, which are often required when entering residential aged care facilities. Retirement villages operate differently. Rather than requiring a deposit which will be refunded later, retirement villages operate through purchase agreements that give you a license to occupy the unit. This agreement is usually similar to a lease agreement. It is important to understand that under these agreements, you do not own the unit itself, so unlike a sale of a house usually you will not receive the amount you paid on entry or any increased value on the unit. The amount to be refunded to you will usually be the amount you paid, less service and administration fees and costs of refurbishing the unit once you have left, as set out in the agreement.  You should read the agreement carefully and ask questions about the costs that will be deducted upon re-leasing of the unit, if you are unsure. You might want to consider the impact this might have on your estate when you pass away.
  3. Most agreements permit a surviving spouse/partner to remain in the unit if their spouse/partner has died, but this is not always the case. Make sure you are both included in the agreement and your spouse/partner can remain in your home, so that your spouse/partner does not have to move to new accommodation if you pass away.

Be cautious with these agreements and read them thoroughly, so you are fully aware of what you are entering into!

Any questions?

If you have any questions about moving into a retirement village, please contact Caitlin on (08) 8531 4109 or clennon@tgb.com.au. TGB has experienced lawyers that can help you with any of your estate planning needs, or assist you to understand any aged care contracts and agreements before you enter into them!