Once seen as a place for the elderly and infirm, retirement villages are now a popular choice for the fit and able, offering resort-style facilities
and the promise of maintenance-free living.
Recent research confirms that perceptions are changing, with more than 68 per cent of New Zealanders over 45 years saying they would consider moving
into a retirement village at some stage in their life.
And a new report by Jones Lang LaSalle shows that 17.4 per cent of over 75-year-olds in the Bay of Plenty chose to live in a retirement village in
2016 – the highest proportion in the country.
However, it’s important to consider the legal and financial implications before buying into a retirement village.
In most cases, you will not have an interest in the land; rather you purchase a licence to occupy the property.
And, if you choose to leave, you will be charged a village contribution fee, which can total between 20 and 30 per cent of your initial licence fee.
Also, you may not share in any capital gains and village rules may include restrictions on things such as alterations, guests and pets.
Luckily the law is on your side. The Retirement Village Act 2003 aims to protect vulnerable people and requires an applicant to receive independent
legal advice prior to entering into an Occupation Right Agreement.
Many retirement villages also require you to have a valid Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney before they accept your application.
Before making a decision, it is extremely important that you get expert legal advice, to make sure you are clear about your rights and that your affairs
are in order.
Lyon O’Neale Arnold can help you work through the fine print so you can enjoy your new ‘resort’ lifestyle with confidence and security.
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