Retirement Accommodation - FAQ

What options are available?

There are numerous options including Retirement Villages, Independent Living Units, Serviced Apartments and Supported Residential Facilities. Some offer independent units with their own back yard and garage while others offer apartment style units located under the main roof. Some facilities offer amenities including a community centre, dining room and meals, and a swimming pool, and services including a carer on site, medical alarms and fall sensors. Other facilities may not offer any of these amenities or services.

Do I own my unit if I move into a Retirement Village?

No – you own a license to occupy.

What are the types of Retirement Villages?

There are two main types:

  • Resident Funded: where an upfront payment is made, then after vacating the unit a deferred management fee and other costs are deducted, then the residual (either cost price or market value) is refunded.

  • Entry Contribution: where an upfront payment is made, usually significantly less than for a Resident Funded unit. After vacating the unit, it is usual that there is no refund of the upfront payment, although in some cases a part refund is paid, being a percentage of the upfront payment. The upfront cost is usually higher than for those units where no refund is paid.

How do you access these facilities?

In most cases it is a matter of contacting the facility and requesting that your name be placed on their waiting list. To formalise the process, they may request you to complete an application form and some may request a small deposit.

Do these facilities have vacancies?

This will vary from one facility to another. Some may have vacancies now, where others may have a lengthy waiting list. The facility should be able to give you an indication of the time you can expect to wait for a vacancy to arise.


What should you consider when choosing Retirement Accommodation?

It is likely location, size of the unit and cost will be major considerations, and then things such as having a carport, garden & private area, and whether pets are allowed will be others. You may also wish to consider the following;

  • What amenities the facility provides, eg; community hall, dining area, swimming pool?

  • What services the facility offers, eg carer on site?

  • Is the facility located near to shops and public transport?

  • Are the surrounds/common areas on flat ground?

To increase the likelihood that you will be able to enjoy a lengthy stay we encourage you to consider the amenities and services that may be valuable to you as you grow older. For instance, following a hospital admission it may be of benefit to have a meal delivered to your unit and to have a carer assist you with showering & dressing.

Can you access a Home Care Package in Retirement Accommodation.

Yes - it should be possible for you to engage a provider of your choice to deliver a Home Care Package in your Retirement Accommodation.

What do Retirement Accommodation facilities provide?

Appliances are sometimes provided, although with most you will be required to provide your own fridge and washing machine and other furniture.


What  is the Maintenance Fee and what does it cover?

A maintenance fee is charged by facilities for both Resident Funded and Entry Contribution. The maintenance fee usually covers council rates, water rates, building insurance, communal gardening and general maintenance costs etc., but excludes contents insurance, electricity and telephone costs.  The village gardeners maintain the front gardens and the communal gardens.

Are there conditions you should be aware of?

Retirement Village contracts are long and often complex. You should understand your rights, obligations and responsibilities before you sign. Things to consider include;

  • the amount of entry, ongoing and exit fees and charges you are required to pay

  • when will payout be made when you vacate the unit, and what ongoing fees are payable until the unit is relicensed?

  • what provisions are in place to meet the costs should you need to transfer into Residential Care (Nursing Home) pending relicensing of your unit?

  • what is the policy with respect to visitors and pets?

  • how are disputes resolved?

It is likely there will be significant differences in costs between different facilities, especially the entry and exit costs, and the time frame when payout will occur.

What are the costs?

Apart from the entry and maintenance costs, a deferred management fee is charged when vacating a ‘Resident Funded’ unit. The amount of this fee will vary between facilities. Some facilities refund the market value less the deferred management fee and other costs, while others use the cost price to calculate the refund amount. The amount you are refunded could be considerably less if the cost price is used in determining this amount.

Also, when you vacate the facility, you may be charged a capital contribution cost (based on how many years you’ve resided in your unit), refurbishment and marketing costs.

When will I get my money back when I vacate the unit?

The timing of when you will receive payout upon vacating your unit will also vary between facilities. A recent variation to The Retirement Villages Act 2016 SA has provided that payout must occur within 18 months from when you vacated the unit.

As there are so many options and things to consider, can anyone help me with shortlisting suitable Retirement Accommodation?

Yes. Age Care Directions offer a service where we meet with you, then research the Retirement Accommodation options that closely meet your preferences and affordability. We are impartial in compiling this list of suitable options and do not receive any commissions or other incentives.

Get in touch with us today if you would like to find out more