A retirement facility is one designed to accommodate people aged over 55 who are able to live independently in their own home. They are increasingly popular in Australia, with many retirees opting for the lifestyle offered by retirement villages. But who can actually buy a retirement property in Australia? Let’s find out.
Who are retirement properties suitable for?
Retirement properties are designed for seniors who are looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle, access to activities, social connections and convenient services and amenities. They are suitable for seniors who are able to live on their own with minimal assistance or supervision. They offer independence and flexibility in a shared community with people who are similar in age and interests. And while the age limits vary according to each individual retirement complex, they generally cater for a population over the ages of 55 or 60.
Who are retirement properties not suitable for?
Obviously, retirement villages aren’t going to be suitable for everyone, and there’s particular criteria you will need to meet to be able to buy one. There are a few grey areas though – here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about who can actually buy a retirement property.
Can I buy a retirement property if I haven’t retired yet?
Although a retirement property has the word “retirement” in it, it might surprise you to know that you don’t actually have to be retired to buy one. Retirement properties are generally marketed to people over a certain age, regardless of what they are currently doing with their lives. As long as you meet the age restrictions of the property you are in, you can still be working. You might be working full time, or transitioning into retirement by working part time, but you will still be able to buy a retirement property.
Can I buy into a retirement village if I’m younger than 55?
This will depend on the policy of each individual community – some may be happy to sell properties to younger people, while others will strictly stick to their age limits. Talk to your protentional community if you’re unsure.
In some cases however, this is certainly possible, such as when one half of a couple is over 55 and the other person is under 55. In such cases, you will be allowed to buy the property, as most retirement facilities will accept one member of the couple meeting the age restrictions, even if the other doesn’t.
Can I buy a retirement property if I need care?
Well, yes and no. There are a number of ways to look at this question.
Generally, retirement properties are suitable for seniors who don’t need a high level of care or round-the-clock care or nursing, as they don’t provide this kind of facilities.
However, if you do happen to fall into this age category and need some level of care, that doesn’t mean you can’t buy a retirement property. There are options you can consider that will enable you to still live in your retirement home.
Firstly, you could consider organising Home and Community Care, or perhaps a Community Aged Care Package. This type of support takes place in your home, and enables you to remain in your own home for longer.
As well, many retirement communities come partnered with higher care facilities, meaning that you can transition smoothly across into the higher care section of the facility when the time is right. If you can find a retirement community that allows you to move depending on your care needs, you’ll be able to start off with a retirement property and transition later as you need to. This means you don’t have to move away from your friends, community and the location you’re familiar with, but can remain in the same area. You just have to find a retirement community that allows you to do so – and there are plenty around.
Can I buy a retirement property as an investment or to rent out?
Again, this will depend on the policy of the individual community. In certain cases (for example, if you want to make sure of securing the property you want for the future) you might want to buy a property before you need it, and then rent it out until you do. Others may choose to buy retirement properties as an investment, as they are likely to be in high demand. Policies will vary between communities – you’ll need to read the conditions of the lease or sale closely, and speak to your potential facility to find out whether this is possible or not.
To discuss your options, get in contact with Alumuna here.