Retirement villages fees, how to understand the DMF

31 Jul 2018

Retirement villages fees, how to understand the DMF

While the over 50’s aren’t running after their children any more or as focused on work, they still lead busy, active lives and deserve life’s little luxuries as they near retirement. With more retirement living options than ever before, choosing the right one for you can be difficult.
There are many things to consider – location, security and lifestyle to name a few. But what about the financial considerations?

Buying into a retirement village can have a long-term financial impact if you don’t read the fine print.

Many retirement villages charge an exit fee, otherwise known as a deferred management fee (DMF). This fee is paid at the end of your time at the village, and deducted as a percentage of the overall sale of your property when you leave.

According to the Property Council of Australia, deferred management fees are commonly calculated as a percentage paid per year of residence, and are capped at a maximum rate. For example: 3% per year capped at 30% after 10 years. See below:


Entry price $400,000
Length of stay 10 years
Percentage per year 3% (capped at 30% after 10 years)
Sale price $550,000
DMF. Exit fee paid on sale $165,000
Return to resident $385,000


When first entering an agreement with a retirement village, residents and operators also agree whether the resident receives all, some or none of the capital gains on their unit when they leave. This can also affect the exit payment.

This can leave residents with a lot less money than they expected for the next stage of their life; and less inheritance for their families.

In a time where retirees are demanding more choice and transparency, it is essential that retirement living operators provide more financial security for residents than ever before.

At Living Gem Lifestyle Resorts there are no entry fees, no deferred management fees and no stamp duty. Homeowners own their own homes and retain the sale price of their villa plus any capital gain when they sell.

On top of this, Living Gems Lifestyle Resorts are located in property growth areas such as Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast, Living Gems Resorts don’t simply represent a place to park your hard earned nest egg.

In the right market, your nest egg can actually increase in value resulting in a capital gain, which you do not share with anyone. Investing in a Living Gems Resort is as much an investment in your physical wellbeing as it is in your financial wellbeing.


Inside a typical home at Living Gems Toowoomba


Homeowners lease the land from Living Gems under a site agreement, which is protected by the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003. The site agreement doesn’t have an expiry date and the Resort owner is not empowered to evict you from your home; thus ensuring your right to live in your home indefinitely.

Living Gems recommends that residents seek independent financial and legal advice before signing any contract to ensure there is a clear understanding of all the terms and conditions.

Our stunning homes are architecturally designed with plenty of space, providing residents with exclusive access to all resort facilities including award winning country clubs, swimming pools, bowling greens, cinema and gym.

There are no surprises with what will be built next door and no run-down properties that could affect the value of your home. All this, built in a beautiful community with excellent facilities with likeminded neighbours.

Family owned and operated, Living Gems Lifestyle Resorts has successfully created, developed and managed affordable over 50’s lifestyle resorts for more than thirty years.

With 8 stunning properties to choose from across south east Queensland, Living Gems Lifestyle Resorts provide homeowners with a quality of life and greater certainty than ever before. What a great investment!

For more information on your slice of the good life and to arrange a tour call 1800 785 594 or visit