Retirement villages provide a good quality of life for senior residents, from a sense of community, easy access to a range of facilities and low maintenance living.

While living in a retirement residence provides seniors with numerous benefits, there are costs to consider before making the move to a retirement village in Melbourne east.

The cost of retirement village living can vary depending on a range of factors, such as the property type, facilities and services offered. Check over all the costs and charges included in your contract to ensure you know what is covered.

Some of the main costs to consider include, deposits, entry and exit payments and monthly charges for ongoing costs.

Deposit & entry payment

To buy into a retirement village you will typically be required to pay a deposit and a capital sum for an occupation right agreement (ORA). The most common legal title under an ORA is a licence to occupy, which gives you a contractual right to live in a specific property within a village, but no legal ownership of the property itself or the land.

If your tenure is strata, community or company title, you will usually have to pay stamp duty, also known as land transfer duty. You will also have to pay stamp duty on leasehold titles if you can sell the balance of the term of the lease to a new resident when you leave the village.

An entry payment, also sometimes referred to as the purchasing price or buy-in price, is what you pay when you buy into a retirement village. The deposit will generally be part of the purchase price and will need to be paid before moving into the. There may also be a set period between making the deposit, to when you can move in.

Make sure to thoroughly read through the terms and condition of your deposit. Check if there is a cancellation fee or if you’re able to receive a full refund of the deposit if you change your mind.

The purchase price will vary for each retirement village, depending on the facilities and location. It will also be impacted by whether you buy a unit or villa, an apartment or free-standing home, and the size of your home and the appliances and amenities.

Ongoing costs

Retirement villages are designed for the needs and lifestyle of people aged 65 years and over. The appeal of retirement villages is that they support an situation, but in a safe environment where health and home maintenance needs are cared for by the provider, and help is nearby in an emergency.

When living in a retirement village, you’ll be required to pay regular fees (usually weekly or monthly) to cover day-to-day operating costs. The fee amount and what’s included will vary from village to village so make sure to ask for details upfront.

Most retirement villages have regular charges to cover the running costs of the entire village.

These will cover things such as facilities, staff, water rates from common areas, security, insurances including workers compensation and public liability, contents insurance for common areas as well as village building insurance.

If you have a strata title unit, you will receive separate council and water rates, and probably have to pay strata fees and ongoing fees for services and facilities.

Each retirement village is different, but in most cases, you will be required to pay for things like contents insurance, phone and internet, power and some additional services, separately. If you live in a serviced apartment some of these costs may be included in the overall cost. For those who require more assistance, you may have the option to pay assisted living costs, which may include things such as meals, cleaning and help with personal care.

Ongoing costs may also differ depending on the type of villa you choose. Some may offer more space, have an outdoor area or a garage, which can result in higher costs. Fees can sometimes increase over time or may remain the same during your entire occupancy in the retirement residence.

Outgoing costs

When you leave a retirement village permanently there may be some additional costs to consider.

Exit fees, also known as a departure fee or deferred management fee (DMF), will generally depend on the circumstances in which you leave the property, such as whether you leave the village altogether or transfer to a different property within the village.

When you initially sign your contract, check to see if it outlines any exit fees and if not, make sure to inquire about it so you don’t get hit with any surprises down the road.

There is a range of fees and payments that come with living in retirement villages, and it’s important to understand them before signing a contract. When considering retirement villages in Melbourne East, ask upfront about all costs involved, both one-off payments and ongoing charges.

For many seniors, retirement village living offers an improved quality of life, so when looking at the costs involved it’s important to take that into account and focus on finding your loved one the best retirement residence for their needs.