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The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

How many years before my retirement age, should I plan for retirement?

The average retirement age varies yet most retire from the full time workforce in Australia at 65 years of age. Life insurance companies suggest 25 to 30 years in financial planning prior to retirement.

As the average Australian is living longer than previous generations, there is a growing trend towards retirement beyond the age of 65 years. Retirees should consider the following when working beyond the average retirement age:
  • You’ve received medical advice about your health to consider working longer
  • You’ve considered working part time as opposed to full time work
  • You have spoken to your financial planner about the impact on your superannuation
  • You have discussed this arrangement with your employer in advance.

I can’t afford to stay in my home. Is a reverse mortgage the answer?

Reverse mortgages help unlock access to the wealth tied up in your home, but…
  • They may leave you with too little equity in the future, affecting your financial capacity to move into supported accommodation
  • You may fail to adjust your lifestyle to your post-retirement reduced income
  • You may not be in a position to leave an inheritance for your children

Should I consider a retirement village or a retirement home?

Most retirees consider a retirement village or retirement home if the gardening, housework and maintenance has become more than they can easily manage. However, make sure you’ve considered alternatives like local community home help, a handyman or moving to a smaller nearby apartment first. Other reasons to move could be:
  • You’ve lost your partner or spouse and have allowed yourself adequate time to adjust before making such an important decision
  • You believe the social or religious activities available in a village would appeal to you
  • You can see the time approaching where level access, doorways that can easily fit wheelchairs, and other support would be handy
  • You’d feel more relaxed knowing emergency assistance is readily available
  • You feel you’d appreciate being part of a village community and the social interaction it offers

Is living in a retirement village or retirement home better than private property?

This depends entirely on your outlook and strength of desire for independence. Most retirees choosing to move into a retirement village or retirement home think it’s better because:
  • They no longer want the responsibility of maintaining real estate
  • The community of a retirement village usually offers social interaction and activities, reducing the sense of isolation experienced by some
  • Villages are frequently well positioned in terms of public transport, making it easier to continue to enjoy a normal lifestyle when driving is no longer an option

What does it cost to live in a retirement village or a retirement home?

There are many different types of retirement villagesand retirement homes and the financial implications of your choice can be complex. It is important you have sought the advice of a solicitor, lawyer or financial advisor and you fully understand the costs of entry, residency, exit and who pays what bills.
  • There is usually an initial entry price, recurring service charges and a departure charge when you leave
  • There are a great many departure fee structures so it’s vital that the structure you are considering is explained to you
  • Ask the village you are considering for comprehensive information about its fees and charges then seek professional advice

Do all retirement villages and retirement homes charge entry fees?

Most retirement villages and retirement homes charge an entry contribution of some sort and this usually goes toward ongoing updates to the common property and individual homes/units.
  • If you have limited funds, some villages may offer an apartment and negotiate a small donation of several thousand dollars

Will my pension be affected living in a retirement village or retirement homes?

A complex range of factors affects your pension so it’s important to speak to Centrelink for detailed advice.
  • Your pension and/or rent assistance situation might be affected
  • Centrelink will assess any entry costs you may incur
  • Contact Centrelink to discuss your individual financial circumstances

Do I pay Stamp Duty when buying in a retirement village or retirement home?

  • If the village you are considering offers a title over your property then Stamp Duty will be applicable.
  • If you are entering a leasehold arrangement, Stamp Duty is not applicable under current legislation.

What rights do I have in a retirement village or retirement home?

Living in a retirement village or retirement home requires an appreciation of the rights of neighbours in much the same way as living in an apartment building.
  • Whether you own the title to your property or whether you enter a lease, you generally enjoy a similar level of security to that of owning your own home
  • Make sure your legal representative reviews the terms and policies of your proposed village and explains the implications before you sign any contract

Who maintains a retirement village or retirement home?

The owner of the retirement village or retirement home generally maintains buildings, common property, recreational facilities and garden areas. While every village is different, individuals are most commonly responsible for:
  • Private outdoor areas
  • Interiors
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