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To begin your search,
please make a selection
on the map or from
the list below:

Woodstock West Village

Woodstock West Village
Bunbury WA

IRT Kangara Waters

IRT Kangara Waters
Belconnen ACT

The Grange Deakin

The Grange Deakin
Deakin ACT


Retirement Villages and Homes - Top 10 Tips

There is a lot to do and think about before you move to a retirement village. The following list should help you get started.

Don't leave it too late

Moving to a retirement village is essentially a lifestyle decision so it doesn't necessarily make sense to put it off until your health starts to fail, your mobility starts to deteriorate, or your spouse moves into residential aged care or dies. Depending on the village, there could be a waiting list to get in or for particular home styles, configurations or locations.

Shop around

It's a good idea to look at several retirement villages before you make a final decision. You will then have at least some basis for comparison, which is usually the best way to identify relative value for money. You can Search our Retirement Village Directory to find information and contact details for hundreds of retirement villages across Australia.

Do you have a pet?

If you have a furry friend who simply must come with you, then this should be one of your first considerations because not all retirement villages allow pets and those that do usually require prior approval. The listings in our retirement village directory indicate whether the village is pet friendly and may include information about the village pet policy, but you should confirm that your particular pet will be welcome.

Do lots of research

For each village, go over the unit, the village and the surrounding area in detail to satisfy yourself that they are appropriate for your requirements. Talk to village management and current residents, particularly members of any Residents' Committee, and carefully observe daily life in the village.

Think ahead

Satisfy yourself that the village will be able to efficiently meet your needs in the future if you require additional assistance as you age. Consider whether other services you may need are available in the area.

Read the disclosure documentation and marketing material carefully

In most States the relevant legislation imposes a fairly high disclosure requirement on the village operator, so you can expect to receive a range of disclosure documents, as well as marketing material. Read it and don't rely on anything that's not in writing. The documentation should set out a lot of important information that you need to know and which will help you make comparisons between different villages. In particular it should outline the legal structure, initial entry price, ongoing charges, how much stamp duty will be payable on the contract and what happens when you leave the village, including whether a departure fee is payable.

Understand the departure fee

If there is a departure fee, understand how the formula works and estimate how much it could be in a range of scenarios. You can use our free Departure Fee Calculator to do this. Satisfy yourself that the structure is appropriate for your intended or likely period of occupation. Remember that in most cases capital gain foregone or handed back is effectively part of the departure fee.

Remember it's a job lot

Don't make decisions based solely on the legal structure or the initial entry price or the ongoing charges or the departure fee structure. Retirement villages offer a range of benefits and involve a number of costs and risks, all of which should be taken into consideration.

Find a lawyer with retirement village experience

Retirement villages are a specialized area of law and the legal documentation that you will be required to sign will be quite lengthy and complicated. So it makes good sense to find a lawyer who has suitable experience and doesn't have to muddle through or reinvent the wheel. You should endeavour to read the legal documentation and then discuss it with your lawyer in detail to ensure that you understand it and that it includes all information on which you have relied. You can search the Legal Services category in our Products & Services Directory to find law firms that may be able to assist you.

Don't forget the big picture.

Always remember that as well as a home, you need money to live on. Put a financial plan in place that will ensure that you can have your cake and eat it too. If you don't have a will or it no longer reflects your wishes, make one or have it updated.

More Information?

Please see the following pages of this Retirement Villages Guide for further information:

  1. Introduction and Overview

  2. Why Are Retirement Villages So Complicated, Confusing and Controversial?

  3. Financial Considerations

  4. How Are Retirement Village Departure Fees Calculated?

  5. What Are Retirement Village Departure Fees For?

  6. Free Departure Fee Calculator

  7. Top 10 Tips

  8. Rental Accommodation

  9. Pets

  10. Legislation

  11. The Retirement Village Handbook

Please also see the following pages for further specific information regarding the particular application of the retirement villages laws in the respective Australian States and Territories:

  1. New South Wales (NSW)

  2. Queensland (QLD)

  3. More Coming

Queensland Northern Territory Western Australia South Australia Tasmania Victoria Australian Capital Territory New South Wales New Zealand