Retirement villages and residential care are different

Purchasing into a retirement village is a lifestyle choice. Residential care is for people with high dependency needs who have been needs-assessed as requiring long term care.

In a village you purchase tenure, for example an Occupation Right Agreement, and pay an ongoing service fee. This usually covers emergency call, rates, building insurance, security, lawns, gardening and exterior maintenance.

Serviced apartment fees are generally higher and include extra services such as meals, housekeeping and personal care.

Villages may also offer units where the occupant can claim subsidy for District Health Board contracted rest home or hospital care in their unit. Check details with your Needs Assessor and lawyer before making a commitment.

Things to note:

  • Access to publicly funded home care can be different in a retirement village. Check your village contract.
  • If you move from your independent village apartment / villa to residential care, you are likely to have to pay both service fees plus care fees.
  • If you require care that is not available onsite, you may have to relocate, continue to pay village service fees and be unable to release equity to cover care costs.
  • Premium room fees often apply in retirement village care facilities. There is no public funding for premium room fees. Even if you are eligible for a Residential Care Subsidy / Loan, you cover the cost of premium room fees privately.
  • Thoroughly investigate potential costs of care and outgoings with family and your attorney before you become a retirement village resident.
The following resources may also be helpful:

The law society

Good legal advice is vital. The Law Society website(external link) lists lawyers experienced in retirement village work or phone them on 04 472 7837.

The commission for financial capability

The Commission for Financial Capability website(external link) has useful information, and publishes a booklet called Thinking of Living in a Retirement Village?

The retirement village association (RVA)

Check if the village is a member of the RVA. The association's website(external link) has information or you can phone them on 04 499 7090.

Eldernet(external link) has listings of rental accommodation in complexes or villages.