Signing the contract to move into a retirement village is a big step – so it’s important to know that there are cooling off periods in place.

These depend on where you live and also on the contract being offered by the operator of your retirement village.

Under the legislation:

NSW: You can default on your contract within seven business days after signing the document. The Retirement Villages Act in NSW also guarantees your money back before 90 days from the occupation date cooling off period.

Queensland: You can exit the contract for up to 14 days after signing the document. There is no money-back guarantee after the cooling off period.

South Australia: The cooling off period is 10 business days after entering into the contract. Its Retirement Villages Act guarantees your money back for up to 90 days from the occupation date.

Western Australia: If you sign a contract, you have a cooling off period of seven business days.

Tasmania: The cooling off period for a retirement village contract is five business days.

Individual retirement living operators are introducing contracts that go further than the legislation demands. For example, Aveo Group has a cooling off period of 21 days and provides a moneyback guarantee of between three and six months depending on the type of contract signed.

It’s also important that, before signing a contract, you understand the financial consequences that will apply if you change your mind after the cooling off period has expired.

It’s strongly recommended that you seek independent legal advice before you sign it and take whatever time you need to discuss with family and friends.

Then when you take the step, you will be sure this is the right choice for you.