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How to Choose a Retirement Village That's Right for You

Has downsizing been on your mind recently?

While it’s common post-retirement to starting thinking about downsizing your home, it often can often seem daunting with many people having no clue where to actually begin.

Perhaps you’re evaluating if your home still suits your lifestyle and needs. Maybe all of the home and garden maintenance has become a bit of a hassle, or your health might be not be the same as when you were younger and you’d like to live in a more supportive environment.

If any of these are familiar to you, then moving into a retirement village might just be what you’re looking for at this phase in your life.

While selling your home and moving out might seem overwhelming, carefully looking at all of your options will help you make the decision that’s right for you.

No matter what your reasons are for downsizing, it is still important to select the retirement village that suits your lifestyle and needs the best. To help you make the decision, we’ve put together a 5-point checklist to help you make the right choice for you.

1. How well does the retirement village suit your lifestyle?

It’s important that you take stock of your needs as well as the things that are important to your lifestyle before you move anywhere.

If you still enjoy heading into town, then you might consider how close and easy it will be to access things like cinemas, museums, restaurants and shops.

On the other hand, if you prefer the outdoors then you’ll probably want to think about whether you want to live near the beach or a lake, or if you want to be able to access bushwalks and parks.

After you’ve decided what’s important to you, then you can start taking a look at what different retirement villages have on offer.

2. Book a tour of the retirement villages you’re interested in

Booking a tour of different retirement villages is a fantastic way to determine which one is the most suitable for you and your needs. Take a look at the facilities the community has to share, like cafes, gyms, pool, community buses, etc. Also, if you want to bring pets along make sure you ask if they are permitted.

3. Make sure you talk to the residents and staff

Another great way to determine if a retirement village is a good fit for you is to chat with some of the residents and staff. Do they come across and friendly and helpful? Are they transparent and honest about what life is like in the community?

Nothing can substitute experience, so chatting to the people that already live there can provide a lot of information you might not have found on their website.

4. Think about what your health needs will be in the future

While living in a retirement village can help you remain independent for longer, it’s still important to think about your health in future.

What happens if your health needs increase significantly after you move? Will the retirement village you move into be able to cater for this higher level of care?

Remember, not all retirement villages are co-located with an aged care facility, you’ll want to investigate this first before making any final decisions.

5. Consult independent legal and financial advisors

As always, it’s very important to get independent legal and financial advice before signing any contract.

Contracts can be confusing, so you should make sure you fully understand the different payment options and any ongoing fees.

Living in a retirement village offers a whole range of benefits. It is important though, that before making any decision you carefully consider all of your options.

You want to enjoy this next phase in your life, so it’s very important that you make a wise move.