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When you need to move from retirement villages

For many people, a retirement village may offer a great retirement living solution, especially when you start to find maintenance on a home more difficult or you want convenient social interactions. You might also be able to access some personal care and home help support. 

But as your care needs increase, you might be faced with the decision to move out of the retirement village and into residential aged care. This move will have financial implications and you may need to make decisions around how to structure your finances.  

Exiting the retirement village 

Retirement village (and land lease community) contracts are commercial arrangements and financial details vary greatly. When you leave (including for a move into residential care) the contract usually terminates and the home is sold to a new resident.  

A quick summary of key financial impacts of exit is:  


Retirement village  

(lease/licence arrangement) 

Land-lease community 

Amount repaid to you 


Depending on the contract, you receive a refund of either the amount you paid or the sale price, less departure fees and other charges. This is often significantly less than you paid when you moved in. 

You need to sell the home and receive the sale proceeds, less costs of selling. 

Departure fees  

Deferred management fees and refurbishment costs are generally deducted from your refund. 

You may incur selling fees and expenses. 

Access to capital gains 

It depends on the contract whether you receive any share of capital gains, or the operator keeps all gains. 

Depends on the change in market value – you receive gains if the home is sold for more than you paid. 

Ongoing fees 

Ongoing maintenance may be payable until sold, but for a limited number of days.  

You may incur ongoing fees until your home is sold. 

Paying to move into residential care 

Like any property sale, the refund from the retirement village may not be paid until the unit is sold. The sale process is often out of your control and timing may be protracted. You may have more control in a land lease community, but you still need to find a buyer. 

The aged care fees start when you move into care. Financial advice can help you to plan how to use your other savings to fund the costs in the interim. 

Depending on the state where you live, legislation may impose rules that help with this transition by requiring village operators (not land lease) to advance some of the sale proceeds as a lump sum or daily fee to help with aged care accommodation cost.  

Ask us for help 

Call us to today on 1300 127 284, to see how we can help with making the right decisions and understanding the impacts of a move into residential care.  

Factual Advice Warning: Any information provided in this website is purely factual in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. The information is objectively ascertainable and is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion. This does not constitute financial product advice under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).