When the time comes to leave the family home, deciding where to move next can be difficult and will depend on your financial situation, your health and the lifestyle you plan for the next 10 to 20 years.

Often the decision to move comes after a crisis, such as a fall or illness. Downsizing may also be a financial decision.

Retirement villages are purpose-built for older people and have many practical and lifestyle advantages.


The benefits of retirement villages

One of the most popular benefits of moving to a retirement village is it provides an opportunity to make new friends and become part of an active community. ‘Building community’ is the new catch cry of village providers.

Retirement villages also provide access to a range of social, physical and cultural activities to help residents continue living healthy, active and fulfilling lives.

Some retirement villages today are like resorts, with pools and high-end facilities, and active social committees ensuring residents have plenty of engaging entertainment and interests to enjoy.

Many retirement villages also provide access to health services and support, which may be particularly helpful as you grow older. Having easy access to health services may mean you are able to stay in your home for longer.

One of the reasons often given for downsizing is the amount of work it takes to maintain a large house and garden. In a retirement village, your home and the building and grounds are maintained by the village manager – relieving you of a significant burden and giving you peace of mind.

Residents’ safety and security is also assured within the retirement village confines.


Things to consider before choosing a retirement village

Before moving into a retirement village, it’s important to read the contract carefully to determine the type of contract, entry fees payable, what your ongoing expenses will be and if any exit fees apply should you decide to move out at some point. Generally speaking, moving into a retirement village will give you certainty about your financial future.

There is a growing trend for retirement villages to have aged care facilities on their grounds, so when the time comes that you need more care, the move is relatively easy, it’s local, the surroundings are familiar and you remain close to the community of staff and residents you already know.

While moving into a retirement village may seem daunting, it’s an important step in planning for your future.