Choosing A Retirement Village? Ask these questions first!

So, you have decided to move to a retirement community and have identified a few options that will best serve your lifestyle, budget, and (current or future) healthcare requirements. How can you be absolutely sure that the retirement village you eventually choose is perfect for you?

Before you sign on the dotted line, remember to ask these important questions to ensure you fully understand each village’s offering:

  1. If you are buying into a development:
    • Check that your money will be paid into an Attorney’s trust account. This is for your protection and should be non-negotiable when you purchase a unit in a retirement village.
    • When will the developer be paid? Ensure they only get paid on occupation and upon the issuing of your Life Right certificate.
    • Will all services and amenities – especially the healthcare facility – be complete and operational at the time of occupation? 
  2. If you are buying a Life Right:
    • What is the total value of the refund when your Life Right is terminated?
    • Is there a sliding scale for the refund amount based on your length of tenure? 
    • When will this refund be paid?
    • Who is responsible for resale of the Life Right?
    • Will your spouse be able to remain in the unit if you pass away?

  3. What does the monthly levy cover and are the following included:
    • A specific number of meals per month (and can your meals be delivered to your cottage or apartment?)
    • Rates and taxes
    • Primary healthcare services
    • Emergency response services
    • WiFi
    • Garden services 
    • Building maintenance
    • Security
    • Use of  facilities such as a gym and swimming pool 
  4. Are there any additional costs that are not included in my levy? 
  5. Is there an on-site lifestyle centre with a  restaurant, hairdresser, spa, gym, etc? 
  6. Will your medical aid authorisations be done on your behalf? 
  7. Does the development have an “Age-in-Place” policy? In other words, will you be cared for in your home until the end of your life? 
  8. Will you be able to receive frail care in your home? 
  9. Will you be allowed to bring your existing caregiver? 
  10. What happens when you or your spouse requires memory care while the other party remains in your cottage or apartment? 
  11. Is there an on-site, specialist facility that cares for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia? 
  12. Are pets allowed? Retirement villages have differing rules regarding pets, so it is important to check whether you will be allowed to bring your current pets (especially if you have more than one pet, or if you have a large dog) when you move in. 
  13. Can you cultivate your own garden? 
  14. Can visitors stay over? 
  15. Is there a transport service to, e.g., the hospital, shopping centre, restaurants or the theatre? 
  16. Will there be any organised entertainment or activities like on-site yoga, music concerts, scheduled walks, etc?

Deciding to move to a retirement village can be an emotional and stressful process, so having all the necessary information at your fingertips is essential. Ultimately, the power of choice is yours.

Contact Great Oaks to book your chat about how we can offer you a luxury retirement with world-class care.

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