Renae Diggles

October 6, 2020

Understanding the Different Types of Retirement Villages

Renae Diggles

October 6, 2020


Housing developments that are designed to cater for mature aged people are called retirement villages. They offer different types of accommodation options and contain a variety of services to meet your requirements. They may vary in size, and be single-level or multi-level buildings. Typically, they’re self-contained for the more independent seniors and come in the form of villas or apartments. For those who need a little extra support, many retirement villages offer serviced apartments with assistance in daily living. Although these villages are condensed, some offer detached homes, others offer semi-detached homes, and many are high-rise complexes nowadays.

According to The Property Council Retirement Census from 2019, there were an increasing number of vertical villages being erected (high-rises). Also, a combination of vertical and broad-acre village settings were popular too.

Researching Retirement Villages

Entering into the retirement years presents a new phase in your life. Some people might choose to stay in the family home while others might look at downsizing to age in place. Ageing in place is more feasible these days with many retirement villages also offering higher-level aged care facilities on the premises.

If you are looking at moving into a village, do your research and find out what services and facilities they have on offer. Many villages offer swimming pools and gymnasiums. Others have golf courses and movie cinemas, and much more.  There are also social activities and bus trips. Or having extra safety and security might be your highest priority. Several complexes have around the clock emergency assistance.

This option of downsizing into a retirement complex may be attractive as you’ll be in a community surrounded by people of a similar age. You’ll likely have surplus funds from the sale of your home, and you’ll have security and safety at your fingertips. Plus, if you’re wanting to stay in one place, you can really consider ageing in place if the retirement villages offer aged care insight as well.

Last but not least, when you’re looking into buying a retirement villa, be sure to look at all of the costs involved. Many people nowadays prefer to rent. And lucky for them, many villages offer rental properties. This is great for so many people who really want to enjoy the benefits of retirement living but can’t afford to buy a villa.

Different Structures of Retirement Villages

Villages in Australia offer ownership and rental opportunities. Resident-funded villages are a commercially based, for-profit structure. Under a strata title, residents purchase their units and become registered owners. They must pay owners corporation fees while they own the unit.  Alternatively, you might sign a long-term lease or licence on a retirement unit. You’ll need to pay a contribution and in return, you’ll receive a lease or license to live in a unit for a period of time. In addition to the contribution, you’ll pay a recurrent maintenance charge on a regular basis. In many cases, this is a fixed amount of the aged pension.

Donor-funded villages are a little different. They’re operated by not-for-profit organisations and are offered to those in greater need. You’ll see church groups running these communities with some charitable subsidies. Keep in mind though that residents do still need to pay to live there. Contributions, in this case, are typically taken from the resident’s Centrelink aged pension.


Types of Retirement Living Options

So many older Australians are now opting to downsize into a retirement village while they’re still completely independent. When this is the case, most independent seniors opt for villas or independent living units (ILUs). These types of retirement homes are typically spacious with a few bedrooms and can be stand-alone, semi-detached or in a high-rise community. You’ll be able to continue living independently in these villas while reaping the benefits that retirement living has to offer.

It’s not uncommon for people to live with pain, discomfort and co-morbidities as they age. Therefore, cleaning, washing and cooking may no longer be for you. Serviced apartments are still really private and they have a kitchenette. However, most people choose to attend meal time in the dining room. And they offer additional support and 24-hour assistance if required.

Getting Extra Support in a Retirement Village

For those living in an independent unit, your circumstances may change at any time and you could require additional support. There are government-funded in-home care services available. Often the retirement village providers are home care package providers too. For eligible seniors, you might want to access a home care package through them or you may decide to go with another provider. The choice is yours as you’ll be accessing the services independent to the village.

There are different types of aged care support services that you may be eligible to receive at home. Whether you need help with personal care, transport support, or nursing care, you can live in your retirement unit and receive extra services. Contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to find out if you’re eligible for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) or a Home Care Package (HCP).

Transitioning from a villa to Residential Aged Care

If you want to age in place, you might opt for a retirement complex that offers integrated levels of care, from independent living to high care. You can stay in the same community if you’re living with your partner, and get to remain close by.  But there are different loopholes that you have to jump through to access residential aged care. You must have an assessment with the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and receive approval for residential aged care. this is a one-off process. Once you have approval, you don’t need to apply for it again.

Also, don’t forget that the costs for your accommodation will change when you transition to high care in a residential aged care facility. Before you choose a village with integrated levels of care, find out what the different fees and charges are for different types of care and accommodation.

Finally, while retirement villages are not for everyone, they are feasible options for many seniors, offering an abundance of choices in your retirement years.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission.

Join Retirement Now

Join our network and receive exclusive offers, the latest eNews and retirement eGuides.

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe. You can always unsubscribe.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.