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Retirement Planning

Make sure you are financially prepared for the next stage of your life.
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Independent living in retirement communities

For people with an active lifestyle this type of independent accommodation offers the freedom of living in their own unit or apartment, within the safety and security of a retirement community.

Independent living is buying or renting a home within a housing development inhabited by a senior community of like minded people, who want to remain in a home of their own rather than entering a residential aged care facility.

You don’t have to be retired to move into independent living, but you do have to be at least 55 years old.

Options for independent living come in many shapes and sizes, from large communities with hundreds of villas to boutique sized villages with only a handful of units or retirement apartments in a 'vertical village'.

The most common type of independent living is retirement villages. There are two types of retirement villages in Australia which you can either buy a house in or rent in.

Resident-funded villages are owned and operated by the private sector or a not-for-profit organisation to produce a profit or surplus and are funded through the payments or residents.

Donor-funded villages are usually owned and operated by not-for-profit organisations and entry is generally restricted to those who need it most.

There are also two types of retirement properties - villas and Independent Living Units (ILUs). These properties generally range from one bedroom to four and vary from high or medium-rise complexes to semi detached buildings.

Each of these housing developments comes with not only an independent home for you to live in, but also a range of services and facilities you can access if you choose.

Moving into a retirement village often takes some big financial decisions and planning for what your future costs may be. It’s important to get independent advice about the decision.

For expert advice on how to arrange your finances to access independent living options, call a financial advisor on 1300 863 216.

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Independent living in retirement communities

Serviced apartments or assisted living

Serviced apartments are a combination between retirement living and an aged care facility, where you can live independently with access to various levels of care and assistance.

This type of accommodation is also referred to as supported or assisted living.

Residents of serviced apartments are generally mobile and independent but require some help with some - but not all - daily living activities. In a serviced apartment you benefit from being part of a retirement community, just as you would in a retirement village, but the apartment will have even less maintenance and there is more of an opportunity to receive higher levels of care in your apartment.

Services and facilities which may be offered to residents of assisted living include:

  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Nursing care
  • Group exercise classes
  • Visiting allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and podiatrists
  • Hobby and interest groups such as knitting, craft or card games
  • Entertainment shows by visiting groups
  • Social events such as morning teas
  • Social events to bring family along to
  • Outdoor or indoor lawn bowls
  • Table tennis
  • Swimming pool, as well as hydrotherapy or aqua aerobics sessions

Unlike retirement villages, all serviced apartments operate with rental lease type arrangements and you cannot buy an apartment outright. To enter into the assisted living development you pay a lump sum deposit and there may also be a fee charged when you leave the accommodation, as well as weekly fees for services.

For independent advice on the costs of assisted living call a financial advisor on 1300 863 216.

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Serviced apartments or assisted living

Information guides

Read more about retirement living and what to consider when you're thinking about moving into a retirement village.

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