A Guide for Seniors When Choosing a Retirement Village

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Retirement villages are a popular choice for senior Australians who seek social interaction with their peers coupled with independent living. Such homes offer a supportive environment for individuals who are experiencing declining health, as most of them are no longer in a position to afford and maintain a huge family home. This article offers some useful tips for seniors who seek to stay in retirement villages.

Seek the Services of a Lawyer -- You will incur a substantial cost when moving to a retirement community. Therefore, before rushing into making any decision, it is essential to talk to a lawyer who is experienced in property and financial matters. A lawyer will go through the fine print that the retirement village operator will provide and advise you accordingly before you put pen to paper. Also, if you plan to live with your partner, your lawyer will inform you if you need to have both your names included in the contract document. It is recommended that both names be added because, in case your partner dies or moves to an aged-care center, then you will not be removed from your home just because the contract was only in your partner's name.

Budget -- Consider your finances to know if you will be renting, leasing, or buying a home in the retirement village. If you have the resources to invest, you can acquire a freehold title as a form of occupancy. A freehold title will grant you ownership rights to a home or undivided interest in the village. For those on a low budget, renting a home or entering into a long-term lease agreement could be ideal. Whichever option you decide, remember that you should leave some savings for your upkeep while living in the village.

Compare Retirement Villages -- You should make a point of visiting or reviewing as many retirement villages as possible before making a suitable choice. The best way to get information is to talk to residents of retirement villages. Compare this information with what the operators have provided you. You should develop a fact sheet to gather the information so that it is standardized and easy for comparison. Compare amenities and services, including chef-prepared meals and laundry. You should also compare community policies regarding visitation and pets. Most importantly, examine the contract documents to see which one fits your preferences. Notably, you can complement first-hand inquiries with online searches to get perspective on quality of services.