Things to consider
There are so many advantages to village life, but we don't expect you to take our word for it! We encourage you to visit as many villages as possible so you can find the one that suits you best. Talk to people living there and ask as many questions as you like of the staff.
How do you know if village life is right for you?
Everyone is different, and most people say it just “feels” like the right move. If you answer YES to any of the following, it could be a sign that the time is right for you:
- You want to spend less time on maintaining the family home.
- You want to travel more, so you'd enjoy the peace of mind that someone is keeping an eye on your home while you're away.
- You want to spend more time doing new things – a village can make that easy by having facilities and activities on your doorstep.
- You want to be surrounded by like-minded people and neighbours who care.
- You'd like a more sociable lifestyle and don't want to be on your own all the time.
- You've just retired, and you're not sure what you're going to do with all this newfound freedom.
- You have the energy to move and you're ready to embrace it.
Do you have to be “retired” to live here?
Just because you want to enjoy a village lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean you don't work. More and more people who are over 65 are moving to retirement villages while still working, perhaps on part-time or flexi hours. The lifestyle on offer is just too good to wait around for.
Choosing the right village
There are lots of retirement villages out there, and they're all different. How do you compare them and decide which one is right for you?
When you're first looking, Open Days are the perfect place to start. At Arena Living, we run regular events that you're welcome to come along to (and bring a friend!) so you can experience first-hand what it's like. You can ask our residents what they think, too.
Your Open Day checklist
Here are some things to think about when visiting different villages:
- Location matters. How close do you want to be to your current community, work, activities, family and friends? Or do you want a change of scene; perhaps move closer to a beach? A golf course? Near shops? Local transport?
- The atmosphere. All villages are different. Some are lively and social. Some are warm and caring. Some feel like you're living in a holiday resort. You might have something in mind and then visit one that just feels right.
- Facilities. Are the pool and grounds well maintained? Are there activities and clubs that interest you?
- Guest room. Is there room for friends and family to come and stay?
- The garden. Is having your own garden important to you?
- Pet friendly. Will the village allow your pet to move with you?
- Décor. Can you personalise the décor of your home?
- Transport. Will you keep your car? Is there a garage or designated off-street parking? Where's the nearest bus stop? Is there a village minibus service?
- Your say. Is there a residents' committee? Will you get to have a say in how the village is run?
- Weekly fees. Check the Occupation Rights Agreement and the weekly fees. Some villages offer fixed fees and others are subject to change in the future.
- Auditing. Check that the village you're interested in is a registered member of the Retirement Village Association. As members of the Retirement Villages Association (RVA), villages undergo independent, external auditing. RVA certification is a resident's guarantee that the village is being run in accordance with the Retirement Villages Act.
Choosing a home
Of course, one of the most important factors is the kind of home you want to move into, and how big or small it is. Are you keen to downsize or do you need just as much room as you have now? A smaller home offers benefits of less housework and chores, while extra space means you can still have friends and family to stay.
All our villages have a ‘Guest Suite’ available for your family to stay if you decide a smaller space is preferable for most of the time. Have a think about your situation and talk to the Sales Consultant about the types of homes available at our villages.
Talking it over
Deciding to move into a retirement village is exciting, but like any move, there are lots of things to consider. We encourage you to talk things over with your family – they might offer advice or a perspective you haven't thought of.
Here are some important things to discuss to help you make your decision:
- Is it the right village for you? Do you like the feel of the place? Will it be easy for your friends and family to visit? Is it close to things you like to do – like shopping centres, beaches, or sports clubs?
- Is it the right home for you? Can you imagine living here? Do you like the street, the aspect, the flow? Do you want something smaller than your family home, or do you still need just as much room? Is there storage? Is it going to be easy for you to look after?
- Your needs. Are you in good health and do you value your independence? Some of our villages offer help with cooking and cleaning, but if you have a medical condition that you're concerned about, you may want to look for a residence with hospital facilities.
- What are your move-in costs? Will you have change from the sale of your current home? What will your weekly outgoings be?
- Ask an expert. Get independent advice so you're armed with the knowledge on how different retirement villages work.
- Legal advice. Get advice from a lawyer with a background in retirement villages so you understand the contracts and costs, and things like what your home insurance will cover, or if there's a refund policy if you change your mind.