If you are ative and vital, a Living Gems resort could be the simply lifechanging move you've been waiting for.
Living Gems

Retirement living: what are your options?

If you are ative and vital, a Living Gems resort could be the simply lifechanging move you've been waiting for.

Whether your plans include lots of travel or dedicating more time to long-neglected hobbies, there is no single ‘right’ way to enjoy retirement. But before you put up your feet, there is some homework you should do before stopping to enjoy the best years of your life.

In this article, we’ll explore four types of retirement living options available in Australia and some of the financial and lifestyle considerations to consider.

Four retirement options to explore

If you’ve made the decision to downsize your current home and eliminate the costs and time associated with home repairs and maintenance, you may be considering the following options:

  • Leasehold retirement villages
  • Strata retirement villages
  • Aged care facilities
  • Land lease lifestyle communities

It’s important to take your time and carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each choice before deciding, so let’s dig a little deeper.

Leasehold retirement villages

Retirement villages appear to be springing up everywhere – including some of the popular retirement destinations in Australia.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons.

Retirement village pros

  • Low-maintenance homes with no gardens
  • Independent living in a community of people sharing many of the same interests
  • On-site management with gates entries for security and peace of mind
  • Some retirement villages may offer separate aged care facilities for people who need greater at-home or nursing home support

Retirement village cons

  • Age requirements – you must be 55 years or older to move to a retirement village
  • Restrictions – some places have restrictions on pets, the ability to entertain guests or even whether your grandchildren are welcome to stay overnight.
  • Leasehold arrangement – many retirement villages operate on a leasehold contract, which gives you the right of occupancy but not ownership of your home.
  • Entry fees – many retirement villages require a substantial upfront deposit which can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • Exit fees – these are called deferred management fees (DMF). These are payments when you sell and can amount to up to 40% of the sale price of your home.

The verdict on retirement villages

In summary, retirement villages offer a low-maintenance lifestyle with independence and access to support services if needed.

However, it is important to carefully review the DMF and other fees, understand the potential pitfalls of selling a retirement village home, and be aware that they may not own their home outright.

By taking the time to carefully consider these factors and seek professional advice, individuals can make an informed decision about whether a retirement village is a right choice for them.

A smartly finished country club and high quality facilities are yours to use at Living Gems.

Strata-titled retirement village

This is a much less common option. In a strata-titled retirement village, residents own a share in the common property, such as gardens and common areas, as well as a part of the building itself.

Strata village pros

You can downsize to a home in a desirable area with reduced maintenance with access to resort and leisure facilities in some cases.

Strata village cons

  • You’re paying stamp duty – in addition to the cost of the property, you are also liable for stamp duty on its purchase
  • On-going costs – you also pay administration and maintenance fees which can become quite expensive over time.
  • Restrictions – just like retirement villages, your strata committee may place restrictions on pets, visitors, operating hours of amenities and even how you can modify or decorate your home.

The verdict on strata villages

In the end strata villages may not offer the level of facilities or the freedom of choice you’d like. If you decide to downsize to an apartment or townhouse that isn’t explicitly for those over 50s, you might find yourself with neighbours who don’t share the same values as you.

Aged care facilities

Aged care facilities or nursing homes provide around-the-clock care and support to residents who require help with daily living tasks like bathing, dressing, and meal preparation.

Pros of aged care facilities

Around the clock access to medical assistance and nursing care is the chief benefit of moving into an aged care facility.

Cons of aged care facilities

  • Limited facilities – there may not be facilities like gyms and other active living leisure amenities that active and healthy over 50s enjoy.
  • You don’t own your own home – aged care facilities operate on a leasehold basis. This means you have the right to occupy but not have ownership.
  • Restrictions – they may be limitations on the number of visitors you can have at any one time and pets may not be allowed
  • On-going costs – there may be further fees to pay for your care

The verdict on aged care facilities

It’s important to carefully consider the costs and services offered by aged care facilities, as well as the suitability of the facility for the individual’s needs.

Aged care facilities are designed to provide care and support for older adults who need help with daily living. They aren’t suitable for active and independent over 50s.

Retirement villages have complex contracts with exit and entry fees.

Land lease community over-50s lifestyle resorts

Land lease communities like Living Gems over-50s lifestyle resorts are becoming an increasingly popular option for older Australians who are looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle and still value their independence.

Land lease communities are an affordable retirement choice because residents own their own homes and lease the land it is on. Let’s look at some of the benefits of this type of retirement resort:

Pros of land lease communities

  • Own, not lease, your own home – in land lease communities, residents own their homes outright. The cost of the land is covered by a separate site rental which includes the care and maintenance of gardens and resort facilities.
  • Security of tenure – although you don’t own the land your home is on, the right to occupy your home is guaranteed by state government legislation.
  • You don’t have to be retired – Unlike retirement villages, which typically require residents to be over 55 years old and retired, active over 50s land lease communities are open to people who are still working full-time or part-time.
  • No restrictions – Residents have full control to decorate and design the inside of their home as they wish. There are no restrictions when they have visitors or whether they can have a pet.
  • No stamp duty to pay – residents do not pay stamp duty on their homes, as they are leasing the land on which it sits.
  • No exit or entry fees – there are no entry fees, deferred management fees or hidden charges. After the purchase of the home itself, land lease communities only charge a weekly site rental to cover the ongoing maintenance and facilities.
  • You keep the capital gains – when it comes time to see, the capital gains are yours. You do not share them with the resort owner.
Living Gems resorts are like your own private holiday resort.

Questions to ask when taking the next step

Now that you have an overview of the types of retirement options available, it’s time to look at other factors that should figure into your decision making.

Consider the facilities and location

If you’re ready to retire from work but not retire from life, you’ll be looking for a resort with high quality resort facilities to fit your active lifestyle.

They also should be well-maintained as you’d expect to see at a quality holiday resort.

The location of the resort should be close to amenities like shopping and medical services. The level of facilities available will differ depending on the type of retirement community you choose.

At Living Gems resorts, the weekly site fee covers the maintenance of the resort.

You might qualify for rental assistance

If you have a Department of Veterans’ Affairs card or qualify for the Australian Seniors pension, you may be eligible for rental assistance to further reduce the cost of the weekly site fee.

What about the family (and the pets)?

Unlike aged care facilities and some retirement villages. There is no restriction on when and how you decided to entertain. At Living Gems, residents are welcome to host family gatherings, hold dinner parties and have the grandchildren for a few days over the school holidays.

At Living Gems, pets are as welcome too. Our resorts have secured off-leash dog runs, plus walking trails where leashed pets are welcome to walk with their owners.

Enjoy ‘lock-up-and-leave’ security

If travel is on the agenda, you’re looking for a resort that has gated security and on-site management – not to mention a friendly community to take care of things while you’re gone.

Many solo occupants tell us they choose the Living Gems community for their peace of mind.

Simply lifechanging over-50s resorts at Living Gems

If you’re looking for a high-quality, low-maintenance lifestyle that gives you more time to do the things you want to do, then make an appointment to visit a Living Gems resort and see the difference for yourself.

With over 30 years of experience developing land lease communities for over-50s, Living Gems offers a luxury retirement lifestyle that is surprisingly affordable.

To learn more about the Living Gems lifestyle, facilities and resort locations, reach out to us today, and request an info pack.

If you are ative and vital, a Living Gems resort could be the simply lifechanging move you've been waiting for.