Moving into a retirement village is a big step and it can be difficult to know what to expect.
For Newling Gardens Retirement Village resident Lorna Moore, making the decision was the easy part.
“My house was getting too much for me and I felt as though I had no company of my own age around,” she said.
Lorna needed somewhere she could remain independent and active with added security and support. A RetireAustralia community was the perfect fit.
We spoke to Lorna and to Tea Tree Gardens Retirement Village Manager Lucy Mulvany about the stages every new resident goes through.
Once you’ve made the decision to move, decide what features you need, such as access to public transport, support services, great activities. Then, find out which retirement villages in your chosen area offer them.
Lucy recommends visiting several retirement villages and getting as much information as you can.
“Compare pricing, service fees and deferred payments and chat to existing residents to get inside information on village life,” she said.
Once you’ve found your chosen village and unit, you’ll need to put down a deposit to secure your new home.
Under RetireAustralia’s independent living unit residence contract, your deposit is fully refundable if you change your mind within the 21-day cooling off period.
Selling your home
Most Australian retirement villages require an entry payment, meaning that most retirees must sell their primary place of residence first.
The process of choosing a real estate agent, preparing the home for sale, putting it on the market and finding a buyer can be both time-consuming and emotional. Try to keep your end goal in mind throughout.
Many people opt to nominate concurrent settlement dates to ensure a smooth transition from one home to the next.
Once you receive your contract, RetireAustralia strongly recommends you seek independent legal and financial advice.
“I got my solicitor to have a look through the contract before signing,” said Lorna. “I think it’s fair for both sides.”
Consider discussing the contract with your family members so everyone understands your rights and obligations.
On the day of settlement, you’ll officially take ownership of your new home.
Lorna was able to schedule her settlement date to take advantage of one of RetireAustralia’s limited-time incentives. She received $10,000 worth of free service fees—the equivalent of 25 months at Newling Gardens!
Moving day is a significant milestone and it’s important to be prepared. Most villages are more than happy for you to pop in to take measurements beforehand and can even help to arrange utilities or downsizing specialists to help with the move.
On the day, the village manager will be there to greet you. They will also give you a copy of RetireAustralia’s resident handbook.
All RetireAustralia villages also offer two hours of free support to help move furniture, hang pictures and make your new place feel like home.
Once you’ve unpacked, you can focus on settling in and getting to know your fellow residents. Your village manager will check in regularly throughout the first few months.
“You don’t quite know what to expect when you make the decision, but I’ve got myself settled here—I’m doing a little bit of gardening and I go to cards and all the functions,” Lorna said.
“The people I’ve met have been lovely and I’m very happy.”