Seniors advice: will over-55s housing cost the world?

Seniors advice: will over-55s housing cost the world?

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say over-55s housing developments (aka retirement villages) are a rip-off.

They do work differently from ordinary housing, but the waiting lists for retirement villages suggest that there’s more to it than return on investment.

Financially, there are several different models.

For example, you might purchase an exclusive lease on a property, and to all intents and purposes it’s yours, just as if you owned it outright.

You should expect the lease price to be based on current market conditions, and the property to return capital appreciation to you or your estate when it’s sold.

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Alternatively, there are villages with rental units, which work very much the same way as ordinary rentals.

The main difference with over-55s housing is the additional services and facilities.

These vary enormously across the range.

At one of our villages, residents benefit from an on-site coordinator, social lounge and dining, heated pool and spa, bocce court, pool table, hair and beauty salon, and visiting doctor, nurse, osteopath and podiatrist. It’s not unlike resort-style living.

And there’s an emergency call system in each home for additional peace of mind.

As you can imagine, all this costs money to provide, so residents pay management and operating fees to cover all these as well as things like external maintenance and refurbishments.

When doing your research, it’s important to demand transparency, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Of course, you always have the option not to choose over-55s housing.

The return on your investment may well be higher when you leave, but with your new-found freedom in later life, lifestyle and peace of mind could be equally important to you.