Retirement villages: can I afford it?

Resident in the workshop

If you’re thinking of moving into a retirement village, there are lots of things to weigh up – and money is one of the biggest considerations. You’ll likely have lots of questions, not just about how much it will cost to move in but how much it will cost on an ongoing basis, and when it comes time to leave.

We understand you need certainty about your financial future, and that you might feel concerned about affordability and hidden costs. Let’s walk through each step of the process so you know exactly what to expect.

Payments – how much, when, and will they change over time?

To increase financial certainty, we’ve made our contracts as clear and transparent as possible. We specify, upfront, which costs you’ll need to pay , and what they cover. Here’s a quick breakdown of the fees you’ll need to pay over the duration of your stay in one of our villages:

Entry payment

Your entry payment gives you the right to reside in your new home. The good news is that this is typically 70-80% of the local median housing price, making your move into a village  more affordable and allowing you to maintain a healthy cash flow after the sale of your home.

Monthly service fees

Service fees typically range from $600-700 per month depending on which village you choose, and are set at a cost-recovery rate only. These cover our operating costs as well as:

  • Council rates
  • Water rates
  • Building insurance
  • Building maintenance
  • 24 hour emergency call system
  • Access to and upkeep of communal village facilities

Retirement village operators don’t profit from this fee, and you can rest assured that it can’t be increased greater than the Consumer Price Index without the approval of village residents. For further peace of mind, these fees are audited by an independent party each year.

Deferred Management Fee (DMF)

When it comes time to leave the village, you’ll receive an exit entitlement, which is the purchase price minus the DMF. This fee is calculated on a sliding scale for your first three years in the village, starting at 10% and capped at 35% of the entry payment at the three year mark.

By charging this on exit – rather than incorporating it into the purchase price – you’ll not only free up your cashflow but find that your move into the village is much more affordable.

It’s important to note that the DMF is the only charge that allows the team at RetireAustralia to reinvest back into your village, through capital replacement works, maintenance of communal facilities, and village upgrades. This helps maintain value in your home and community, which is important when it comes time to sell.

What’s more, you’ll know the exact DMF you’ll pay before you move in, making your future budgeting clear and predictable.

What do I get for my money?

Our residents tell us that choosing to move into a retirement village is about far more than bricks and mortar. In reality, it’s a lifestyle investment. You’ll be moving into a friendly community filled with people at the same stage of life, and you’ll have access to a range of amenities.

These vary depending on the village you choose but can include things like:

  • Swimming pool
  • Gymnasium
  • Tennis court
  • Bowling green
  • Hair salon
  • Community centre
  • BBQ areas
  • Resident’s bar
  • Billiards room
  • Library

You can also get involved in a range of interest groups, social activities and events from happy hour to mini-golf and more – it’s really up to you and the community.

What’s more, when you don’t need to worry about maintaining your house and garden, you’ll actually have time to explore new interests!

These intangible benefits are an important consideration, and should be weighed up alongside the financials. Moving into a retirement village is about so much more than the property. Residents tell us that the lifestyle, health and wellbeing benefits enhance their quality of life immeasurably.

Cost of living comparison

A true cost of living comparison can only be obtained by spending time with a sales consultant in a village, talking through your circumstances and needs, and understanding the fees and inclusions in your chosen village. You also need to do your own homework and make sure you have an accurate picture of your current living expenses to make the comparison valid.

In a general sense, retirement villages offer great cost of living value but trying to put a specific dollar figure to this comparison can easily become misleading. Your own cost of living and those applicable to villages can vary substantially, so it’s best to check with your village of choice directly.

On top of the hard costs listed above which village fees cover, the costs associated with living in a retirement village also provide residents with a sense of community and belonging, support from friends and staff, and numerous opportunities to lead a happy, active and healthy life.

You can view our unique communities across Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia here.

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Our villages

With 28 unique locations across three states, RetireAustralia's communities cater to a range of needs and preferences.