Home is where the heart is: How to choose a retirement village

Finding the perfect place to call home when you’re coming into retirement, or need extra support for your day-to-day living, can be a challenging process. There’s plenty to think about with lots of criteria to look over, your own needs to keep in mind and the support options available to you in these packages.

To help you get a head start on finding somewhere that makes you feel right at home, we’ve collated a few key steps.

Plan ahead of time

Making the move to a ​retirement village​ is a decision that you’re likely to make, depending on your own circumstances and current lifestyle. Because of this, it’s important to check out your options well in advance. If you can make the process harder to navigate.

Even if you’re not planning to move into a retirement home in the very near future, it’s always worth while assessing what paths you can take while you can. Delaying this – or even the move itself – can be detrimental to your overall quality of life.

Choose a convenient location

Once you’ve made the move, it might not be an option to jump in the car and head down to the shops. This is why having shops, amenities or medical resources nearby is always handy for keeping up your independence. If you can walk there, you’ll thank yourself later for doing the research into geographical positioning.

Meet your needs

Don’t ignore any of the basic needs or qualities that you need fulfilled. It’s not worth scrapping out any essentials just so you can get into a village quickly. It’s important to consider all aspects of your potential new home – from the environment itself, through to the property and even the overall community. Think carefully about the bigger picture, and take time to ask plenty of questions to the village manager.

Satisfy yourself that the village will be able to efficiently meet your needs in the future if you envisage requiring additional assistance as you age. Also observe whether the facility can support your needs in the future, if your health circumstances happen to change or you need extra support.

Know the legalities

There are lots of legalities that come with retirement homes, including stamp duty, GST, additional service charges and even levies. You may also be responsible for any refurbishments, capital replacement costs and the obligation to fulfil security of tenure. To understand all of these facets, we recommend speaking to a contract lawyer or the village team itself, so that you can make an informed decision.

Determine if there’s an early-leaver fee

If you need to exit the agreement early, you’ll need to know whether there’s a departure fee involved and if you’d be able to deliver that yourself.

Hunt around

Take the time to explore other facilities in your area before you lock down on your pick of the bunch. Each comes with their own pros and cons, so it’s important to put your energy and time into assessing whether these will embrace and support your lifestyle. Additionally, you’ll want to know if you’re getting the best value for money, and that starts with understanding all fees involved.

Read the fine print

Like we mentioned above, there’ll be a lot of documentation and jargon involved in signing an agreement. The moral of the story is to make sure everything is in writing, before you go ahead with any decision. As the process can be complicated, it’s always recommended to ask plenty of questions or seek further information from a solicitor.

Overall, this new village will be your home, either for the long-term or even for the rest of your life. You want to feel like you fit in and that you can easily slip into the ambience of the surroundings. The community should feel welcoming and the amenities easy to access. More importantly, your health needs to remain a top priority, so all aspects need to embrace this, too.

If you’re looking for a new place to call home, we recommend getting in touch with the Centennial Living team to see how we can help you with your journey.

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