An Age Pension can be more valuable than cash in the bank
Being eligible for a full or part age pension in Australia means much, much more than a top up of cash each fortnight.
Being eligible for a full or part age pension in Australia means much, much more than a top up of cash each fortnight.
Financial Matters with Heidi Schwelger Wednesday, July 12
Join us for an informative session and complimentary 2-course meal with Heidi Schwegler
There’s more to RCA Villages than meets the eye. Sure, we build beautiful homes in terrific locations. But there’s more to it than that. RCA doesn’t just build retirement villages, we build communities, much like country towns.
Your beautiful new villa is only the beginning. As an extension of your new home, our residents share beautiful community facilities — from the clubhouse, to the pool, to the vegetable garden — there’s enough space to entertain and enjoy yourself at our retirement villages.
We’re a family-owned business bringing decades of passion, experience and knowledge about Victoria’s retirement village industry to each of our retirement villages. Our philosophies are multi-faceted and always focused on optimising lifestyle choices for our residents.
Children of residents can take comfort in knowing that their parents are safe and secure in housing designed to age in place.
Ease of cleaning is important as a resident’s mobility, flexibility and physical strength changes over time. Fittings and fixtures are designed to be easy to keep clean, such as frameless shower screens. There are no steps to create tripping hazards or falling risks. The designs always ensure there is a way in without going over a step.
A 24 hour by 7 day a week emergency system means that there is always peace of mind that medical help is at hand at any time. External lighting is carefully planned with resident’s security and safety in mind.
Age in place consideration have been respectfully incorporated into the designs to feel seamless, so that a young, active 65 year old doesn’t feel any loss of dignity, or threat of imminent ageing decline. But it is all there – including the ability to bring in Home and Community Care Packages (HACC) through a local provider in the future.
We’ve designed RCA villas and apartments with a northerly aspect which is important in Melbourne. There will always be an outdoor area or outdoor courtyard or terrace that looks to the north and lets the sun come in, in the winter. We create spaces that are warm and homely to live in but are very practical.
RCA villa designs have considered every aspect of comfortable everyday living. Making the most of natural light and a northerly orientation, the designs feel light, airy and spacious. Every villa has at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Some have a third bedroom or study. There is always a separate large, open plan living room for dining and lounge, as well as a separate living area. Double lock up garages with internal entry are a common feature. The designs flow well and are welcoming and spacious enough to accommodate and entertain visitors.
A key feature of planning every RCA retirement village, is that it must offer good value for money. There are two components to this:
the wholesale cost of buying in to your new retirement village home
the affordability of regular service and maintenance fees.
Retirement Communities Australia (RCA) prides itself on integrity, fairness and on doing the right thing by retirees.
Providing resort style community facilities and services within the village such as heated indoor swimming pools, gymnasiums, Clubhouses, lawn bowling greens, community buses, libraries, hairdressing, physiotherapists, personal fitness trainers, social clubs and social activities – to name just a few – means that residents can choose to be as social as they choose; or retreat to the privacy, sanctuary and comfort of their own home whenever they want to.
Over the years, we have noticed that there are certain areas that attract people who are considering an over 55 retirement village lifestyle. That is why, when seeking to develop new villages, we are keen to locate them in areas where services and amenity is first rate and lifestyle options are premium. We are also keen to create a network of villages in these prime locations.
RCA retirement villages in Melbourne will always be located near amenities within easy reach – mostly on foot. Convenience makes for a lovely, easy lifestyle that opens itself up for spontaneous decisions. The type of spontaneity that most of us reserve for holidays.
As an example Point Cook Village residents are literally within walking distance to Sanctuary Lakes Shopping Centre across the road. New boutique retirement village, Main St Village Pakenham is located right in the heart of Pakenham yet retaining its leafy, wholesome, rural appeal and rich history. Planned weekly grocery shops may be your style, or you may enjoy the deliciousness of deciding mid-afternoon what’s for dinner that evening, and pop across to the shops to grab ingredients when it suits you.
Comfortable access to natural parklands, walking trails and paths to inspire regular activity; easy access for family and friends visiting from further afield; and access to medical centres, hospitals and public transport, all help contribute to easy retirement living. It also frees up residents time. Instead of investing time commuting to appointments, or to go shopping, time can be better spent enjoying personal interests and activities.
From time to time, selected homes become available for sale to new residents at one of our retirement villages. Here are our Melbourne retirement village locations:
Our Active Management model is unique. The village is run by an independent body (an Association) and all residents are members. The Association is led by a Committee of Management and 7 out of 10 Committee members are residents – elected by the residents. This approach empowers residents to ensure that ongoing fees are fair, and as low as practicable.
There are no head office costs imposed on any of our retirement villages. You won’t find a Head Office Management Fee line item in the village budget or levy.
We transfer all the benefits of being a cooperative, on to our residents. Bulk buying advantages mean passing on substantial savings for:
There is no individual user pays scheme at an RCA Melbourne retirement village. Funded by low cost service and maintenance fees, every resident is paying a little bit for everything. For example, all villa residents pay the same service and maintenance levy. A sense of equity across the village makes for a happier community.
Our retirement village financial model has been designed for fairness and great value for money.
Across Australia, each State or Territory has its own legal definition of what a retirement village is. In Victoria, according to the Consumer Affairs Victoria website, a retirement village is:
A community where:
• most residents are aged 55 years or over or are retired from full-time employment
(or are spouses/partners of such people). Residents are provided with accommodation and services, other than services provided in a residential care or aged care facility, and
• at least one of the residents, as a contractual condition of entering the retirement village, paid an ingoing contribution that was not rent. It does not matter who made that payment, or whether it was a lump sum or by instalments.
You don’t have to be retired to make the move into a retirement village. In fact, moving into a retirement village before you transition from full-time or part-time employment is a great way to ease into your new community and reduce the angst of taking on several life changes all at once a few years down the track! Some residents of retirement villages never actually retire and continue work in a part-time or voluntary capacity because they want to.
The main difference between a retirement village and an over 55 lifestyle village is that a retirement village offers residents access to varying levels of care and support services, while an over 55 lifestyle village may provide minimal or no additional services beyond those offered by the community. Retirement villages often include security features and amenities like swimming pools, spas, gyms and other recreational activities. Whereas an over 55 lifestyle village typically operates as a normal residential development with shared facilities such as tennis courts or BBQ areas or a clubhouse. Residents of both types of communities are usually age-restricted (over 50-55 typically) but only those in retirement villages have access to daily care services.
Our retirement villages offer a safe, secure and social lifestyle for people eager to enjoy independent living. A retirement village generally provides minimal levels of daily personal care and support services or flexible options for ‘fee for service’ if required. The level of care and support services available will vary from retirement village to retirement village. If you are considering a purchasing retirement unit for sale close to Melbourne then rest assured most retirement villages offer 24 hour emergency support services.
It’s never too early to start exploring your options as you plan your retirement.
Look into your retirement living options before it becomes a necessity due to poor health, decreased mobility or loss of your partner. At the very best of times, making the decision to sell up your home and plan the move to a new home can feel perplexing.
The earlier you make the decision about where you want to live, the longer the history and memories you have to create with your new community.
You don’t need to have already retired to make the move into a retirement village. In fact, moving into a retirement village before you transition from full-time or part-time employment is a great way to ease into your new community and reduce the angst of taking on several life changes all at once a few years down the track! Some residents of retirement villages never actually retire and continue work in a part-time or voluntary capacity because they want to.
You also need to keep in mind that due to Australia’s ageing population, there’s a high probability that there is already a waiting list of people wanting to buy into the retirement village that best suits your needs.
The right time to move into a retirement village is when:
• You (and your partner) are starting to think about retirement and the opportunities ahead as you begin transitioning from full time employment
• You’re feeling on top of any health or mobility related concerns
• You’ve visited a number of retirement villages, asked lots of questions, engaged legal and financial advisors experienced in retirement village legislation and issues, read and understood the contract you are considering and feel well informed on the opportunities available to you.
What is common across all retirement villages is that you are buying a right to occupy a home to suit your retirement lifestyle, including the right to use and enjoy communal facilities such as a community centre or clubhouse, BBQ areas, sporting facilities such as a bowling green, swimming pool and gymnasium, library, community gardens, internet lounges, meeting rooms, lounge and dining rooms and parking for visitors. Village bars, health and beauty centres can also be part of the retirement village facilities.
You are choosing a lifestyle and an opportunity to live in a community where you feel safe and secure. Better still, potential long term friendships could be just a few doors away.
Importantly, you are also buying into a community whose residents’ rights are well protected by the Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Vic).
Depending on the terms and conditions of the contract relevant to the retirement village accommodation you are considering buying into, there are a number of different legal structures on offer including:
• long term lease
• long term license
• strata title
• community title
• company title
• unit trust
• conventional lease.
A legal counsel experienced in retirement living options and the relevant legislation will be able to help you understand what you are buying.
Visitors and short stay guests and family are welcome at our over 55 retirement villages in Melbourne. There will be provisions in the terms of your contract with the retirement village around the length of time that a guest can stay with you.
There may also be a condition that states that a guest can’t stay in your accommodation if you’re not there to host them, for example if you are planning to go away for a holiday and your accommodation would otherwise be vacant. Consult the retirement village you are considering for more information on their guidelines on guests and visitors.