Retirement villages are essentially a community for seniors. The name is somehow an inappropriate designation because one doesn’t necessarily have to be retired at all to live in these retirement villages. However, the entry is normally restricted to people who have reached fifty-five years of age or have retired from permanent employment, and their spouses. The standard age is anywhere in the early to mid 70’s and the common entry age is in the mid to high 60’s.
There are mainly two kinds of retirement villages, resident funded and donor funded. Resident funded retirement villages may be owned and controlled by non-profit organizations or the private sector. The donor funded retirement villages are customarily owned and managed by non-profit organizations, which includes the element of charitable subsidy and entry usually restricted to the needy.
Retirement villages’ accommodation varies enormously when it comes to size and style, from bed-sitter apartments to spacious tile and brick homes. Nearly all retirement villages have common areas and an array of facilities on hand for the use and enjoyment of all residents.
When looking for retirement villages, it is important to know the levels of care provided in a particular village or to particular units because ones comfort and convenience depends on this. There a number of terms used to describe the level of care such as “independent living units” or “self-care units”, which offer the lowest level of care. An assortment of personal services may be obtainable on request for “flexicare” units and user pays on basis of this arrangement. “Assisted living units” or “serviced apartments” offers the highest level of care and generally includes regular provision of a variety of personal services.
Sometimes there is confusion when low level residential care facilities, often known as hostels, describe their accommodations as “assisted living units”. Hostels and nursing homes are regulated and partly financed by the Commonwealth Government and diverse legislation, where admission criteria and funding agreements apply.
There are at least eight different legal arrangements for retirement villages which include long-term lease, long-term license, strata title, community title, company title, unit trust, manufacture home, and conventional lease. These different arrangements can have diverse implications and raise various issues in terms of applicable legislation, GST, stamp duty, responsibility for refurbishment and capital replacement costs, service charges, operator default, security of tenure, termination, capital losses, credit risk, and vacating the premises.
Every state and territory has ratified specific legislation that regulates the operation of retirement villages. Retirement villages residents may be required to pay an initial entry price when they move, rent and/or recurring service charges during their stay and perhaps beyond and a fee called a departure fee, deferred management fee or exit fee when they leave.
Retirement villages will provide for an accommodation and lifestyle alternative that can suit a lot of senior people, but they can be quite complicated and looking for the right retirement villages that will appropriately fit ones need, can be quite challenging.
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