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How Much Does it Cost to Live in a Retirement Community?

If you’re considering moving to a Retirement Community, the first step is to gather all the essential information you need to make an informed decision. This includes finding out about the location and surroundings, accommodation styles and options, type of facilities available on-site, and the costs involved.

Because the fees and costs around purchasing a home in a Retirement Community are structured differently from a standard home sale and can vary from village to village, it can cause some confusion. So, to help you gain a clear understanding of what you will pay when you purchase a home in a TriCare Retirement Community, we’ve put together this explainer article.

Moving in costs

Mt Gravatt Retirement Community

When you purchase a home in a TriCare Retirement Community, you will generally find the price is lower than the median price of similarly sized homes in the area. On top of this, you will not pay any stamp duty as our communities operate under a lease or licence agreement rather than a freehold arrangement.

Once you find the ideal unit and decide to proceed, you will purchase a lease or licence and (in certain locations) preference shares in the TriCare company, which owns the community. Like any purchase of a new home, this is a big decision. Our team aims to be as supportive as possible throughout the decision-making process to make sure you have all the information you need and a clear understanding of all of the terms, fees and conditions of the sale. 

Further to this, we provide you with the Form of Disclosure and Terms and Conditions documents for the community you are considering which contains full details of the buy-in process, the community’s operation, relevant terms (including tenure) and the service fees and charges. We recommend you discuss the documentation in detail with your solicitor, accountant and family, to make sure it is the ideal fit for your needs. 

Living in costs

Stafford Lakes Retirement Community

Our Retirement Community residents pay monthly fees to cover the annual operation costs, allowing us to provide our first-class facilities and services. TriCare does not profit from these fees, and it is a similar structure to how a body corp works in an apartment complex. The monthly fees have different names depending on the state you live in. For example, in Queensland, it’s the General Service Charge and Maintenance Reserve Fund Contribution, in New South Wales, the Recurrent Charge and Victoria, the Maintenance Charge. 

The monthly fee typically covers staffing and administration costs, and community services and utilities (cleaning, waste removal, electricity and gas). It also covers Government rates and charges (excluding water), general insurance (on units, community buildings, facilities, equipment and furnishings), and repairs and maintenance (to community buildings, gardens, facilities, equipment and the exterior of residence units).

Residents are typically responsible for living costs within their unit, including personal telephone, electricity and gas accounts, contents insurance and interior repairs and maintenance (however, this is included in the monthly fee in some communities).

TriCare determines the yearly General Services and Maintenance Charge budget in consultation with residents as necessary. Any annual increases in fees and charges are limited to CPI and external cost increases unless approved by residents.

If you choose to live in a Serviced Apartment, you’ll enjoy a range of extra services for which additional fees are payable. Depending on the community, this may include breakfast, lunch and dinner, supply and laundry of bed and bath linen, and housekeeping. You can view costs for these services in the ‘Prices, fees and charges’ flyer specific to each community.

Moving out costs

Willow Glen Retirement Community

Should you decide to sell your home, we take care of this for you at no extra cost. With an ongoing marketing strategy to attract prospective residents, we’re committed to promptly locating a buyer for your unit.

We will consult with you at the time of sale to determine if any renovation works are necessary to reinstate the unit to a marketable condition. We will share the costs as set out in the Disclosure Document and Resident Contract if works are needed.

The Exit Fee (also known as a Deferred Management Fee or Departure Fee) is a one-off cost payable when you leave your retirement community home. It is a commonly used model in Retirement Communities across Australia, which allows you to pay less upfront. The Exit Fee is also used to reinvest funds directly back into the community to cover asset replacement, community facility upgrades and unit renovations.

Retirement living is an investment in your lifestyle

When you buy a home in a Retirement Community, you invest in more than just bricks and mortar. Along with a comfortable home, you’ll also gain access to a host of quality facilities and services on your doorstep and become part of a close-knit and friendly community. Before making a decision, we recommend you discuss your options with your family and your legal and financial advisors to be sure a move to a Retirement Community is the right option for you.

To find out more about our villages and the costs involved, get in touch with our friendly team on 07 3360 9000 or book a tour of our homes and facilities today!

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