Understanding the costs can be confusing.
Our advice is tailored to you to deliver better choices & a clear path for the journey ahead.
Retirement Village Costs and Fees
The cost aspect is by far the most difficult to navigate if you are considering a move into a retirement village. The retirement village costs and fees are quite unique and you will also need to consider the implications of selling the family home and how this may impact your Age Pension.
You may speak to a range of people who have opinions on these costs and whether they are worthwhile, but the best place to start is to discuss your situation with a specialist at Affinity. We are the industry leader in retirement village financial advice, and the best placed to work with you to assist you to:
- Understand how retirement village fees and charges work
- Maximise and protect any entitlements you may have to an Age Pension
- Consider the impacts of selling the family home and how to invest any excess funds that arise from the sale, and
- Devise the best and most cost efficient options for you when making the move into a retirement village.
The uniqueness of the costs of retirement village living means that some people you speak to may not fully understand how they work and why taking these costs into consideration may still make a retirement village the best option for you. Ensure you speak to a specialist at Affinity first for an objective assessment on how this move will impact you both personally and financially.
How are Costs Structured?
Retirement villages tend to be an affordable option when compared to the median price of houses in the same postcode. This often gives residents of retirement villages extra funds to help further enjoy retirement. There are generally three types of fees and costs associated with retirement villages:
- Purchase price to live in the retirement village.
- The communal running costs of the village covered by general service fees, recurring charges and capital maintenance fees.
- User-pays fees such as access to swimming pool, onsite hairdressers and outings.
- Ordinary living costs, such as meals.
- Home Care Packages (if required), and which may be Commonwealth government subsidised.
- A Deferred Management Fee (DMF) – paid on exit, where the village operator recoups fees in exchange for a lower upfront cost.
- Capital Gain sharing – the increased resale value of the unit upon departure.
- Reinstatement or Refurbishment fees – to help restore the property to an acceptable standard for the new resident.
- Commission – some retirement villages appoint their own agent to sell the unit and a commission is charged on the sale price.
What is a Deferred Management Fee (DMF)?
A DMF is paid on exit, where the village operator recoups fees in exchange for a lower upfront cost. They are charged to help ensure that villages are affordable for a wider range of people by keeping the entry cost lower.
Often, village properties are marketed at what can be considered a low price, relative to the price of comparable freehold property. The advantage of a DMF is that it effectively allows you to defer a large part of the village cost until after you depart the village – so you can maximise your finances while you live in the village and pay lower ongoing fees during your tenancy. A DMF is commonly calculated as a percentage of the purchased price, paid for each year of residency, but capped at a maximum. This gives you great peace of mind in knowing what the maximum fee payable will be on departure.
The DMF is often the most misunderstood aspect of funding a move to a retirement village. An Affinity specialist can work with you to devise a plan on how to structure your finances to ensure you are making the best decision possible.