Looking to retire?
Retirement villages are rapidly becoming a new style of residence for retirees and people aged fifty-five and over.
You should keep in mind that living in most retirement villages is quite different to your own house or home unit. The residence you occupy will most likely not be owned by you and there will be rules and regulations where people live together in retirement villages.
Generally, residents will sign an occupation contract with an operator. Some operators are charities and churches. Others are often private providers. The type of accommodation offered can also vary. Some villages provide serviced apartments and assistance such as 24 hour medical alert services.
Most villages charge a fee to enter the village and to continue residence there. Often there are deferred fees which are deducted for your contribution when you leave the village or pass away.
The law provides that the contract with the village operator must contain certain standard provisions and before signing you must receive a disclosure statement which clearly sets out all of the financial requirements on your part, a copy of the village rules and a plan of your residential apartment and its facilities. You are also given cooling off rights if, having signed a contract, you change your mind. Time limits apply.
You should always check that the village you are considering is registered as required by law.
Some villages also have higher care facilities such as nursing homes. Generally there is no guarantee that by being a resident in the retirement village you are entitled to transfer to higher care. Your entitlements to enter higher care are based on Commonwealth Law, rather than NSW state law which governs the operation of retirement villages.