Village Voice

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Common myths about retirement villages

Separating retirement village fact from fiction, one myth at a time.

Many of the myths about retirement villages are simply not true. Here is some context about some of the most pervasive myths to give you peace of mind.

Myth #1: Retirement villages are unaffordable

There are hundreds of retirement villages throughout New Zealand. All villages have different entry costs, fee structures, and property types, with options to suit a variety of budgets. The most common way to buy into a retirement village is to sell a property (usually the retiree’s home) and use some of the equity to purchase an Occupation Right Agreement (ORA). Once living in a retirement village, the shared and fixed costs (e.g. weekly fees) can actually minimise the uncertainty of financial planning.

Myth #2: Retirement villages employ pushy sales staff

The retirement village industry is not like other industries. Village sales managers and advisors don’t wave goodbye the moment a contract is signed. The majority of sales staff are full-time employees of the village, meaning it’s in their best interest to ensure people make the right choice. Village staff genuinely want residents to get the most out of living in the village and be comfortable and happy. The happier the residents are, the smoother the village operates as a whole.

Myth #3: Village residents will be forced to participate in activities

Retirement village residents lead independent lives and have complete autonomy over their schedule. They may choose to participate in social outings and hobby groups if they wish, but there is no obligation for them to do so. Most villages offer a variety of optional activities and facilities to suit all personality types and interests, allowing residents to pick and choose what they’d most enjoy.

Myth #4: Retirement villages are closed communities

When your family member moves into a retirement village, life will continue as normal – there’s no reason why they can’t keep up hobbies such as walking groups, bowls, volunteering or anything else they enjoy. If anything, their interaction with the local community might increase. Most retirement villages actively seek opportunities to engage with the wider community, as this has profound benefits for the residents and also the community itself. There is even a fast-growing trend of ‘open-gated’ villages, where certain facilities within a village are made public, such as the cafe or swimming pool.

Key things to know 

Deciding where to live in retirement is a big decision. Our Choosing where to live in retirement booklet can help you with the decision-making process.

Featuring checklists, tips, and insights, this booklet covers topics such as:

  • Your ideal retirement lifestyle
  • Types of retirement accommodation
  • Facilities, support services, and healthcare in retirement villages
  • Choosing a retirement location
  • Retirement budgeting tools & resources

Download the free booklet: