Which retirement village is right for you?

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The concept of retirement village living was initiated in places like Australia and the United States, where they have now become an integral part of the housing market landscape.

While there is still a long way to go here in the UK, retirement villages are becoming more and more prevalent across the country, making them a viable and attractive option for people who are enthusiastically planning their retirement and the best place to spend it.

The key aspect of living in a retirement village that really sets it apart from other alternatives is the unique combination of amenities and services it offers. Choosing to live in a retirement village gives you full control of your life now, as well as for the future, so you can enjoy your well-deserved retirement years knowing you have support as and when you want. this.

With such a range of retirement villages popping up across the country, it’s worth spending some time researching thoroughly so you can determine what’s available to you in the area you have in mind.

Read on to find out what you should consider when looking for the right retirement village for you.

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Not all retirement villages are created equal

Don’t assume that all retirement villages are the same. There is no “one size fits all” or general industry standard when it comes to providing equipment and services.

It is not because one offers certain provisions that these are necessarily available from another. Developers are starting to realize the possibilities offered by a retirement village in terms of facilities and quality of accommodation, so it is worth shopping or considering places still under construction in the long term.

Your “must-haves”

Decide on your personal “definitions”, what things you would insist your retirement village has, followed by things you consider less important. This can help narrow down the options. Being able to get to town easily may be more important to you than having a hair salon on site, for example.

Flexibility for the future

Retirement Villages are home to a wide range of ages and physical abilities. As a result, there is a range of services available to residents, from standard domestic help, such as a housekeeper or housekeeper, to specialist medical care at home.

Check the services offered by the village and that they can be implemented at any stage of your residence and grouped together as part of a personalized package.

Visit your favorites

Once you’ve made a shortlist it’s time to start visiting.

Plan to visit more than once, take initial visits to gauge your first impressions, then spend a full day there if you can. This will allow you to get a feel for the flow of daily life in the village, see people come and go and chat with the locals.

Some villages have a “try before you buy” program where you can stay for a few days to see how you would settle down. If possible, bring your family or a friend on your visit. It always helps to have another point of view and you can talk about any concerns you have.

Look further

Keep in mind that although this is in the most idyllic setting, you don’t have to spend all of your time in the Retirement Village. Make sure to research what’s within walking distance and what you can reach by public transport if you don’t have a car.

Take a look around the local town for the availability of department stores, galleries, train stations, and cinemas if those are things you like.

Key questions for retirement villages

Is there a minimum age limit for residents of a retirement village?

Most villages will specify a minimum age of between 55 and 60 years. These minimum ages will vary and may depend on local planning requirements. Some may specify, if there is a couple occupying a property, that only one of them must be of the minimum age.

Will I own the property where I live?

Most properties in retirement villages are offered on lease, in the same way apartments and apartments are generally sold. Some villages may also offer properties for rent.

How does a leaseback work?

Unlike freehold where you own both the building and the land it sits on, a lease gives you ownership of a building, or part of a building, for a set period of time. Most apartments or apartments, whether in a retirement village or not, are sold as leasehold properties.

Can I sell my house if I want to?

If you are a tenant, you can sell your house. There will likely be fees to pay when selling your property. These fees should be clearly defined before you agree to purchase the property and explained to you in detail by your lawyer.

Am I responsible for my household bills?

Yes, you will be in control and responsible for all household utility bills, such as electricity, water and gas.

Can I make changes or improvements to my home?

Decorative modifications may be authorized by the village management. In some cases, maintaining good decorative order is part of the contract.

Structural changes are unlikely to be allowed. You should check this with the operator or owner of your village.

What costs can I expect?

All monthly, annual and one-off charges should be clearly defined by the operator of the retirement village.

As retirement villages offer more facilities than conventional retirement homes, a fee is charged to cover the cost of the services and equipment provided. The more there are, the higher these fees are likely to be.

In addition to management and service delivery fees, there are also fees billed at the end of your residency such as “exit” or “deferred management” fees. The village operator should tell you all about it, but you should make sure your lawyer tells you about each of them as well.

What is included in the monthly fee?

You have to study this thoroughly with the retirement village you have in mind.

Usually, the fees cover things such as building and land maintenance, village administration, coverage of communal care, and provision of basic village services. There may be other costs to pay for the additional facilities offered by the village and the individual treatments you have arranged.

Can I bring my pet?

Most villages will welcome you by taking your pet with you when you move in. There may be restrictions in certain areas, for example apartments or common areas designated “animal-free”, such as restaurants and cafes.

Retirement village lingo buster

Dealing with retirement villages and the associated paperwork is not without jargon. Let us help you through the basics.

Here are some terms you might read in brochures or hear about when visiting a retirement village. This list is not exhaustive and different retirement villages may use different terms or formulations.

If something doesn’t seem clear to you at any point, ask the seller or your lawyer for further explanation.

Transfer costs

This royalty is due by you to the free-owner of the retirement village when your accommodation is sold and transferred to a new owner.

It covers the costs of the free-owner for the establishment of a new lease in the name of the new owner.

Aid to life

Retirement villages should offer a basic level of care and support, such as the ability to contact someone around the clock.

Assisted living, or “additional care”, is the availability of additional services that you can request at any time. This may include meals provided, access to laundry services, or a cleaner tour.

Contingency fees

This royalty is payable to the free-owner of the retirement village to pay for any major repairs or major improvements, such as the addition of a new communal building or the replacement of a roof. The fees are usually a percentage of the sale value of your property when it is sold.

Service charge

This fee covers a wide range of costs. He pays for all things necessary for the operation of the retirement village, from repairs and maintenance to financing the administrative aspect of the business. Depending on the size and facilities offered by the village, these service charges will vary from development to development.

Deferred management fees

These fees are paid at the end of the rental agreement. In the case of retirement villages, it supports the provision of collective facilities. These provision costs are “deferred” and collected at the end of your residency. For example, your service charge may cover the maintenance of a swimming pool but does not cover the cost of its construction. Deferred management fees are akin to a “use now, pay later” payment and should be fully explained before signing a contract.

Exit fees

These fees are paid to the owner free at the end of your rental contract. This can be a lump sum or a percentage of the sale price of your property. Exit charges should be clearly stated before committing to purchase. Exit charges are also referred to as “transfer charges” or “departure charges”.

Freeholder

This is the person or company who owns the land and buildings in the retirement village.

Owner

This is the person who owns either full ownership or the main lease and with whom you have your lease.

Tenant

A tenant owns a home in the retirement village for a fixed period (eg 99 years) under a lease agreement with the landlord.

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