After working hard our entire lives, providing for a family, and serving society, retirement is an unavoidable stage in all of our lives that each one of us should begin preparing for at least ten years before the official retirement age. Many people are taking early retirement and wishing to spend their remaining years indulging their desires and dreams, free of all responsibilities.
The nuclear family social structure often leads to seniors spending their retirement years alone, with no support system or help, especially when they are unwell or exhausted by life’s struggles. These are the years when one needs care and company, and retirement villages are the best alternative to living alone.
More people are opting to make retirement communities their homes and plan accordingly. Retirement communities do not necessarily grant you outright ownership of the residential property you consider your future home. Many retirement village arrangements are based on a lease or a loan license. Read and understand the terms and conditions carefully in consultation with your financial advisor.
Before deciding on and moving into a retirement village, consider the following points carefully.
- Gather information
Once you decide to move into a retirement village, begin gathering information about the various options around your city. Apart from the usual channels of conversing with family, friends, and others already staying in a retirement home, stay updated by reading the retirement village news. Become a part of their mailing list for the news mailed by most retirement homes. Find a daily journal or newspaper that regularly writes on retirement homes, which will apprise you of the various aspects of the retirement village scenario and quality of service.
- Choosing accommodation as per your purpose
The reasons for moving to retirement homes may vary from individual to individual as per their age, health conditions, and life choices. If you are relatively young, independent, and in good health, you may want a spacious apartment with a garden in a community with various activities and facilities that align with your lifestyle. But if you are at a stage where you would prefer a slower and more comfortable pace of life, you will not want to spend unnecessarily on outdoor activities and adventure sports. But in both cases, do keep in mind the care and assistance you need, opting for a facility with professionally trained and compassionate staff and caretakers. Ensure that the village has medical assistance and doctors on call and that the grounds are secure and well-maintained.
- Quality of life in the village
Knowing how village life will be for you as its resident will help streamline your decisions and choices. You are looking for a place where you feel welcomed, comfortable, and well cared for, with a choice of activities that interest you. Most importantly, finding out about the culture and atmosphere of the village and community will give you an insight into the quality and sincerity of their services and staff.
- Know your legal obligations and rights
Know and understand the legal aspect of your investment as a resident, whether as an outright owner or on a leasehold or loan-license arrangement. It is advisable to consult a lawyer, who will help you understand your rights and obligations and also help you prepare the documents and conduct legal dealings with the village operators and contractors. The lawyer will help you stay updated regarding any changes in policies or taxation.
- Investing in the Village
Know the financial aspects and implications before committing, including the finer details. Often, many hidden costs or services can only be noticed if you are diligent and well-versed in the documentation. Again, consult with a financial advisor or investment banker who can apprise you of all the costs involved and guide you through the process. For instance, some retirement homes also levy waiting list fees, among other things. Know the services covered by the sum you are paying, like whether it includes maintenance costs and whether deposits and security are refundable.
- Regulations and authorization
Ensure that the retirement village is registered with the local regulatory authorities. Check if it has fulfilled its obligations and is granted a clearance certificate by the emergency, health, medical, and legal authorities and services.