October 2021

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When you’re ready to settle down in a retirement or lifestyle village, you’ll find many options to suit your needs. Some villages offer fantastic facilities and activities to help keep your mind and body active. Other villages take a more hands-off approach offering less involvement in your lifestyle, enabling you to be more self-sufficient when you want to be.

Whichever option you decide on, the choice is up to you. Before you make a decision, it’s worth knowing exactly what you’re getting or what you’re missing out on. While most places offer great options when it comes to facilities and activities, you should always read the fine print.

Depending on what state you’re in, legislation can have a major impact on your retirement lifestyle. Both types of villages have their own payment options and arrangements when it comes to renting and purchasing a property. You’ll soon find that the way contracts and fees are structured can vary. If you would like to know more about the difference between a retirement village living and a lifestyle village, then read on.

Facilities and activities

Retirement and lifestyle villages can offer a vast range of facilities to help support the kind of lifestyle you’ve been looking forward to in your retirement. Both types of villages can feature libraries, gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, or even a bowling green for lawn bowls.

What you may find is that fees from your retirement village will cover the maintenance of facilities in order to keep them in great working order. The maintenance of your home’s garden beds may be looked after by a retirement village, but the same may not be said for a lifestyle village that might only offer the services of professional gardeners.

Another area of expertise where retirement villages really shine is the inclusion of daily activities. Most retirement villages understand how important being active is for your health. That’s why you’ll often find a great range of activities available from art and dance classes, to book clubs, and pool.

Contracts and fees

The structure of contracts and fees for a standard retirement village can vary drastically compared to a lifestyle village. Both of these options can vary because of the different obligations and costs of your lease agreement.

A retirement village contract will usually give you the option of a strata title or leasehold when you’re selecting accommodation. Lifestyle villages tend only to provide you with the option of a rental agreement. These rental agreements enable you to purchase the house and rent the land that it’s built on. The contract you sign for your accommodation will also outline the fees and charges you’ll be paying. It’s very important that you review these fees thoroughly to understand exactly how much you’re paying on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

If you move into a retirement village, pay close attention to what’s commonly referred to as deferred management fees or exit fees. This fee can add up to around 30% of your house’s original sale price and must be paid when you exit the property. Exit fees can be significantly lower depending on where you’re staying.

Alternatively, most lifestyle villages won’t charge you a deferred management fee. Lifestyle villages tend to charge you a single purchase price for the property you’ll be living in along with ongoing rent for the land it is built on. You should also be aware that the rental rate may increase over the years unless otherwise stipulated in a contract.


When it comes to the legislation of retirement villages and lifestyle villages, it can vary depending on what state or territory you’ll be living in. Lifestyle Retirement villages are generally governed by the legislation aligned by the state’s strata title property ownership laws.

Lifestyle communities are usually governed by the same legislation that also applies to mobile home and caravan park residents for your state or territory. This legislation is very similar to what you’ll find for strata title property ownership.

Here are the main differences you’ll find between retirement village and lifestyle village legislation:

Retirement village 

  • You may be required to pay stamp duty depending on the title, leasehold, or licence.
  • You may be eligible to keep some or all of any capital gains from your property minus any deferred management fees.
  • Residents have the right to form a committee or residents association to look after the interests of local residents.

Lifestyle village

  • You own the property you live in but pay weekly, monthly or, yearly rent on the land it is built on.
  • You may be eligible to receive rental assistance from the government but cannot use it to cover maintenance fees.
  • Residents committees or associations have no rights under lifestyle village legislation.

Final advice

Whichever village option you choose, we recommend you don’t rush into things. Take the time to read through all the paperwork properly, so you have a clear understanding of the costs involved. Both options can offer great benefits, depending on your lifestyle expectations.

Don’t be afraid to ask around and get feedback from current residents either. Honest reviews are one of the best forms of feedback for places like these. Moving to a retirement or lifestyle village is one of the biggest decisions of your life. So make sure it’s a good one!

Kind regards,

Annie Warner

Village Manager

To learn more about Evergreen and our thriving community, please get in touch.