How to find peace of mind

New home, new life, new community. Change can be as hard as it is refreshing, and if you’re considering transitioning into a retirement village, it’s only natural you might have some jitters. There’s a contract to sign, fees and charges to navigate and a different (albeit rewarding) lifestyle to embrace. The good news? The following insights will give you an idea of what to expect before you make a decision.

Transparency is key
Before you sign on a dotted line, knowing what you’re in for financially is essential for your sense of security and wellbeing. Ask questions about anything and everything you want answers to, from long-term costs and deferred management fees, to what happens if you want to move out. It’s important to understand that moving into a

village may not make you a profit if you decide to sell on –  though, you may share in the capital gain. But what you benefit from is a lifestyle that provides security, support, and a ready-made community. At Lendlease villages,

your health and wellbeing is a priority. Our aim is to connect you with the best health and wellness initiatives, offer a schedule of life-enhancing programs, easily connect you with medical and health practitioners, and empower you to live your best life.

Navigating the contract
You have to sign one when you buy a house or when you get a job – it’s no different when you move into a village

– except that you also have to sign a residence contract as you’re also buying into a community (no wild parties,

or chandelier-swinging, ok?). Engaging the services of a trusted solicitor and financial advisor is key, so you know what you’re signing for. “With the contract, you have to balance up your rights, your responsibilities and your costs,” says Rachel Lane, Principal at Aged Care Gurus and Co Author of Aged Care, Who Cares? “The job

of your contract is to balance those three things – and whether or not that’s right is a question for the individual. Remember, it’s not a pure transaction like if you were buying a car. You’re buying an experience; you’re buying a lifestyle – and it has to be the right one for you.”

The DMF is A-OK
What exactly is a DMF? You’ve heard the acronym bandied about here and there, but what does it mean

in real terms? “The DMF – also known as a Deferred Management Fee – is essentially an affordable housing model that allows residents to pay for some of their housing now, and some later. It’s come about through legacy and necessity where operators have wanted to keep their upfront price low,” says Rachel Lane.

The lowdown on fees
Nobody likes paying bills, but if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have electricity, or water, or that TV-subscription service you love with its endlessly addictive dramas. Villages have costs from ingoing (the cost of your home), to ongoing (monthly service fees for village upkeep) and outgoing (DMF, see above – and refurbishment). Depending on the terms of you contract you’re liable to pay for fair wear and tear in most cases. In most cases this is new carpets and paint. Depending on the condition of your unit, it may make sense to refurbish the kitchen and bathrooms to achieve a sale in a timely manner or for a significant price increase. The costs are agreed upon in consultation with you before any work is undertaken. All costs payable upon entry, during your occupancy and upon exit are disclosed in your residence contract.

Trust is everything
Lendlease recently held its Lifestyle Masterclass events in Western Australia and Victoria, busting myths and answering your burning questions around retirement living. Hosted by industry experts, audiences were invited to discover the facts, discussing topics such as contracts and financials including levies and exit fees followed by Q&A sessions. But being upfront, open and honest is what we’re all about. When Lendlease was established in 1958, it was built on a foundation of ethics, innovation, sustainability and ‘finding a common interest’. Today, we are the largest owner, operator and developer of communities for older Australians– and our residents’ satisfaction is the most important measure of our success. Retirement offers a whole other life to live – and being in an environment which nurtures and supports that life is worth every cent.


If you’re thinking of moving into a retirement village, refer to the Retirement Villages Act, consult with a financial and legal advisor, and call our friendly team on 1800 550 550 for more information.