When you start delving into the world of Seniors Living options – you can be forgiven for feeling there are too many to choose from – let alone understand the differences!
You – or the favourite elder in your life – is contemplating downsizing, or consolidating their options.
As you start to think about the style of living you (or they) can afford ongoingly, you might start to consider the safety and security of a well-managed retirement village, and its supportive environment vs other options like Independent Living units or Residential Nursing Homes.
However, is it essential you ask enough questions and really drill down into the contracts to understand the financial implications of ‘owning’ or ‘investing-in’ a unit in a village.
I recommend seeking independent advice, in addition to the advice you’ll receive from the village’s residents’ committee.
Financial concerns notwithstanding, let’s go through some of the terms, sizes of living and levels of accommodation available in the realm of ‘Seniors Living’
Retirement Living Choices
The options vary from self-contained independent living, all the way to serviced apartments and everything in between.
What is a Retirement Village?
First things first – a Retirement Village is designed for people aged over 55 as an alternate housing and lifestyle option. They are popular with people who feel they would be supported by more security, support or company nearby… yet also maintain their independence and have access to extra facilities such as pools, gyms, golf etc as part of their package.
Seniors Independent Living
Independent Living Units [ILU] are designed for active retirees.
Also known as villas or apartments, they vary in size from one to four bedrooms and may be located in medium-to-high rose complexes; terrace-housing; semi-detached or stand-alone units.
Serviced apartments are generally one or two bedrooms and provide residents with some daily living assistance.
These services may include cleaning, laundry and assistance with personal care. Some may have a kitchenette included in the layout, however meals are provided in a dining-room setting.
Residential Aged Care
Some retirement village complexes also offer residential ‘low-level’ and ‘high-level’ care accommodation ( ask about ‘ageing in place’)
Some also offer Home Care Packages for people with personal, domestic or clinical care needs. An aged care assessment (ACAT) will be required to access either of these types of care.
Types of Retirement Villages
There are two types of retirement villages: 1. Resident funded; and 2. Donor funded Villages
Resident funded villages are owned and operated by private or NFP (Not-For-Profit) organisations on a commercial basis to produce a profit or surplus.
Donor Funded villages Villages are generally owned by organisations like church groups or NFP’s and include an element of charitable subsidies and eligibility requirements.
It is worth taking time to read the fine-print on any retirement living contract to understand the financial outcomes at the ‘end’ of the contract.
Many families believe they are investing in a Retirement Village and are often disappointed when the management fees eat away at what they may have considered to be their inheritance…. please get independent financial advice!
The NSW Government’s “Seniors Housing Overview” PDF is also a good reference ( and gives insights into councils and planners!)
Need more personalised help!? Book a Free call with me or Contact me to chat and /or request a list of skilled (and reputable) Aged Care Financial Advisors I recommend.