Here at LegalVision, we like to know who our clients are and what the future holds for them. We are passionate about giving clear, concise and practical advice to our clients. Providing advice to residents and prospective residents of retirement villages is no exception.
Retirement Village Census
With this in mind, we closely studied the recent 2015 Census on Retirement Village Living by the Property Council of Australia and PwC, released late August 2015.
Retirement is an issue that impacts all of us. Particularly in deciding whether or not we need to place an elderly parent or grandparent in a retirement village or aged care facility or when we reach that time of life ourselves.
The Census shows the changing face of Retirement Village Living in Australia and will allow state and federal governments to plan better for the future in this area. Particularly in an ageing baby boomer population.
The following are some interesting facts to come out of the Census:
- There are more than 2,300 retirement villages in Australia;
- Many Australians are choosing to downsize from their family home and move into an over-55 retirement village community not far from their friends and family;
- Retirement villages offer independence to older people while allowing them to access some support services (such as medical and other services);
- Most retirement villages in the country have a high occupancy rate (average occupancy of 91%);
- Around 67% of residents in retirement villages are female. It’s uncertain whether this is because villages are more attractive to women or as a result of the fact females have a longer life expectancy than men;
- The average age a resident enters a retirement village is 74;
- The average amount of time residents stay in a village is around seven years;
- Almost three quarters of retirement village apartments have two bedrooms or more; and
- The average monthly service fee (which is payable in addition to the ingoing contribution fee) is $434 per month.
What does this mean for you?
The above statistics and the Census provide an insightful snapshot and an indication that Retirement Village Living is becoming increasingly popular among older Australians. The fact remains, however, that retirement village documents can be complicated. They quite often involve a large suite of documents including a Retirement Village Contract, a long-term lease with extensive provisions, a loan agreement and an agreement for support services.
It is crucial that anyone entering into a retirement village obtain detailed and clear advice. Some of the matters we commonly advise clients on include:
- The amount of the ingoing contribution to any village;
- How the exit amount is calculated upon departure from the village;
- The amount of extra service fee payable during the ongoing period of residence; and
- “Make good” and other requirements upon leaving the village.
Although not covered by the Census, Aged Care is a growing area and our lawyers are also skilled in providing advice to residents (or families of residents) in relation to contracts with Approved Providers under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).