What is a retirement village, and who can join one?
Retirement villages are many things but mostly they’re age-specific communities where independent men and women live active, varied lives, comfortable in the knowledge they can age well.
Over 150,000 people live in more than 2,000 retirement villages across Australia. Around 900 of them are operated by not-for-profit groups such as the Catholics, Anglicans and even the RSL. Local community groups also run villages, especially in regional areas.
The remaining 1,100 retirement villages are privately operated. Some are owned by individuals while many are run by some of the largest residential developers in the country, like Stockland and Lend Lease.
Two major factors determine whether you can join a retirement village. At least one person has to be aged 55 or older, and you need to be able to live independently. This means you have to be able to look after yourself, and don’t need high level medical care when you join.
The major benefit is that retirement villages provide a safe, secure and supportive environment as we age. You will also find a very active Resident Association in each state that can provide advice and support for you, your family or anyone thinking of joining a village. Links to their websites are here at villages.com.au.
Each state also has its own version of the Retirement Villages Act, specific legislation that provides guidance and protection to both residents and operators.
There is no doubt that people who join a village community find it a rewarding experience.
In fact, 97% of village residents stated they are happy with their decision to join a village, according to our 2011 McCrindle Baynes survey of nearly 11,000 village residents.
That’s a pretty persuasive figure, and one that confirms that retirement villages are a place to age well.