Living Options for your Golden Years

When it comes time to sell the large family home and down size people are presented with a variety of options for their next move.  Whether you want the security and community feeling of a Retirement Village, a more relaxed senior gated community or to remain in your own space there are options galore in Papamoa.  Below we discuss some of the options and some key considerations for those making this big step.

Your Own Home

Kiwis have always had a desire to own their own little slice of paradise.  It is always an option to simply do a straight down size.  Sell your home and buy another that is smaller in size and land area lowering the ongoing maintenance costs and effort.

Things to consider
When considering a smaller home look into the outgoing costs, ongoing maintenance needs, proximity to services such as doctors, proximity to public transport if you can no longer drive and proximity to the local shops.
Advantages
The benefits are the same as you have now.  Your home is your castle and you answer to no-one.  Your outgoings will likely be less for a smaller property.
Disadvantages
You will need to engage outside resources if your care needs change over time.  However, government agencies are well equipped to assist you with arranging support with home help, meals, etc.  These resources enable many elderly to remain in their homes even when their needs change.  Another potential disadvantage is the lack of a community group of people in a similar stage of life.

Gated Community Living

For those of you who want a situation that is not a full retirement village but offers some of the advantages there are a number of different options.  There are various gated communities within Papamoa and the wider region that have different ownership structures.  No two arrangements are the same so each needs to be considered carefully.

Things to consider
What is the ownership structure?  Is there an occupation type agreement?  Will you get an ownership interest in the property?  Is it a leasehold title?  How long does the lease run? What fees will there be?  Is there a chance of capital gain potential?
Advantages
You may be able to share in the capital gain of the property.  The buy in costs may be less than a traditional village.  There is likely to be some community facilities available to residents.
Disadvantages
There may not be extended medical support.  There is unlikely to be continuity of care as your needs change.  You may need to move to another location that offers more care.  Some of the ownership structures may decrease in value over time.

Retirement Village Living

Papamoa certainly has no shortage of traditional Retirement Village or Lifestyle Village options and they continue to expand and multiply almost daily.  With a traditional Village arrangement you will enter into an Occupation Right Agreement (ORA) with your chosen Village.  The ORA gives you a right to live in your chosen Unit or Apartment for as long as you like but does not create any ownership rights.  Most Village’s offer a number of living options and care packages to choose from.  The cost of an ORA will vary significantly between Villages and between living options.  Each Village also sets the fee that will be charged to you at the end of the ORA.  Generally the fee represents up to 30% of the price paid accumulated over a period of 3-4 years.

Things to consider
There are some questions we think clients should ask when looking for a Village.  Is their continuity of care?  You want to find a Village that will meet your changing needs for your lifetime.  You do not want to move to another Village because they can’t provide specialist care.  Is the weekly fee fixed?  Some Village’s offer to fix their outgoings fees for the length of the ORA.  This gives you certainty for budgeting, especially if your only income is superannuation.  Can I change my mind?  All Villages are required to give you a cooling off period but some go a step further and offer a “money back guarantee” which is a great way to make sure the Village is the right fit for you.
Advantages
You will have access to communal facilities which may include a gym, pool, bowling green and restaurant.  Most Villages have 24/7 medical alarm services.  You can opt in to further care services as you need them. You will be part of a community of other people at a similar life stage.
Disadvantages
The big one here is pretty obvious – money.  Your hard-earned funds will never earn capital gain while you are in the Village and a large chunk disappears at the end. It may also be costly to move within the Village or if you decide for whatever reason to move on from that Village.

The options when it’s time to downsize can be very overwhelming.  Ask for advice.  Friends and family may have helpful suggestions.  Feedback from current residents is important.  Finally don’t forget our friendly team is always on hand to provide advice on the legal aspects of this big life change.

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