Retirement Lifestyle Villages: What to Know Before Moving In

As a leading lifestyle retirement village in Auckland, we know the process of moving into a retirement home inside and out. It can be complex, so we’ve gone over the basics in this blog post, so you know what to expect.

After all, the decisions you make when selecting a retirement village can have a significant legal and financial impact on your life, so it’s best to know exactly what you’re doing and be as informed as possible. Choosing the right property for you is a big part of the process, and this is because there can be big differences in how retirement and lifestyle villages operate, as well as the services they provide.

Take your time choosing the right property

The key lesson is to make sure you don’t rush into anything. To help you make a more informed decision, we’ve come up with a few different steps to make sure that a village is the best fit for you:

  1. Think about the future. Not all villages provide medical support, and some focus entirely on lifestyle and community aspects. This might be exactly what you need today, but it’s best to double-check and consider what your options will be in the future if your mobility or health declines.
  2. Compare the documents of different villages. Retirement villages are required to give you a copy of their documentation before you sign anything. This includes the disclosure statement and the occupation right agreement. Comparing these documents can help you get a better understanding of what each property offers.
  3. Find out what you can about costs. Different villages handle costs differently. Some may require you to pay into a body corporate fund to help maintain common areas, but others might not. It’s also a good idea to find out if you will keep any shares in capital gain should you choose to leave.
  4. Talk to your family and friends. By no means should you feel as though you need to make a choice alone! Talk to your loved ones and find out what they think as well.

Retirement village costs

Talk to the retirement villages you’re interested in to find out what their cost structure looks like. The main costs you’ll want to ask about are those associated with entering or exiting the village, but there may also be ongoing expenses to consider.

Here at Settlers Lifestyle Village, we offer Occupation Right Agreements (ORA’s) on your choice of an apartment or townhouse. This application is made subject to acceptance by Settlers and (if appropriate) the selling of your existing property. To find out more about our process for purchasing, just get in touch with us. We’re happy to explain our full system.

Legal requirements

The next considerations when moving into a retirement village are the requirements laid out by the Retirement Villages Act 2003. This act requires that anyone wanting to sign an ORA must have independent legal advice from a lawyer not connected to the retirement village in question. This lawyer is primarily required to explain the ORA to you and ensure that you understand it, but they may be able to help you with other questions as well. For example, your independent legal counsel will also likely be able to outline the differences between legal titles if you are comparing two villages offering different types of ownership.

It’s important to find a lawyer with experience in retirement village documentation. If you’re having trouble finding a lawyer that has the experience you need, you can approach the Law Society. They can assist you in finding good independent legal counsel.

Want more details about us?

We have outlined the most important factors of moving into lifestyle retirement villages, but if you want to know the specifics of the moving process itself, feel free to contact us. We’re more than happy to help answer your questions!