The South Australian Retirement Village Survey 2016 has revealed that “very few” village residents had received legal or financial advice before signing their contract, with over half receiving advice from a sales person at the village and a quarter from their family members.
The survey, which received over 2,000 responses from 240 villages, also found 31 per cent thought that their understanding of their contract was average or poor.
Another 22 per cent didn’t know what type of payment they made to buy into their retirement village, while the same number didn’t know what happens financially when they leave their village.
While most village residents do have a good understanding of their contracts, it’s a reminder that moving into a retirement village is no different to renting an apartment or buying a property.
Majority of residents recommend village life
We speak to many residents about their experience of village life and those that are happiest with their decision always have a good understanding of their rights and obligations – and those of their operator too.
There was plenty of good news too, with 94 per cent of the respondents saying that they enjoyed village life and 84 per cent recommending it to their family and friends.
Why? The opportunity to move to a smaller home, the convenience of living in a village and affordability were the main drivers.
Yes, there needs to be more transparency around village contracts and more assistance available for prospective residents – and the industry is working towards this as we reported here.
But if you are unsure about fees and contracts, it’s worth paying for independent legal and financial advice now so you can enjoy your retirement later.
For more information about retirement villages and their costs, check out villages.com.au.