Retirement villages are run by for-profit and not-for-profit companies and vary greatly in what they offer residents, their cost and the conditions laid out in individual contracts.
A Retirement Village is defined by law as a place where:
- a majority of residents are 55 and over and retired from full-time work,
- residents receive accommodation and services, but not residential aged care services, and;
- at least one of the residents paid an 'ingoing fee'.
For profit retirement villages are privately owned and offer a variety of unit sizes and communal facilities. Their costs are dependent on location and size, and eligibility is based on age and whether you are able to afford the costs.
Not-for-profit retirement villages may also be known as Independent Living Units (ILUs). They are found throughout Victoria and are managed by hundreds of different non-profit and charitable organisations. They are comprised mainly of self-contained, one bedroom and bedsitter units.
Eligibility for Independent Living Units is as varied as the number of organisations that manage them. Generally, they are available for people over 60 years of age who have retired from full-time employment. The vast majority of residents are on the aged pension.
There are many different costs involved when entering a retirement village or ILU such as;
- an ingoing fee,
- ongoing charges, and;
- exit fees.
In some cases an ingoing payment is not required where not-for-profit providers focus on the needs of older people on low incomes.
Retirement villages are covered by the Retirement Villages Act 1986.
ILUs though may be covered by either the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 or the Retirement Villages Act 1986.
For more information on your rights in Retirement Villages call HAAG's Retirement Housing Advice Service on 9654 7389
Useful Resources - Retirement Villages
The Macquarie Retirement Village Fees Calculator
This is useful if you are considering self-funded retirement villages. The application works by taking a number of different fees (such as entry fee, ongoing fee, exit fee) and calculates a simple ‘equivalent monthly rent’ for the years of residence, allowing older Australians to easily compare the cost of different retirement villages; and the cost of a retirement village against renting independently.
Consumer Affairs Victoria Retirement Housing Information
Consumer Affairs Victoria maintains some up to date information on choosing, living in, and leaving retirement housing.
COTA Victoria's Retirement Housing Checklist
Council on the Ageing lists things to consider, including financial and legal considerations, when choosing retirement housing.
Useful Resources – Independent Living Units
ILUs (including Retirement Villages) Checklist
Our list of things to consider when choosing an Independent Living Unit.
Seniors Information Victoria Online Directory
With this directory, you can search for listings and information on not-for-profit retirement villages. Please note, some of this information is out of date, so please call each village for current information.
While this directory also provides information on self-funded retirement villages and residential parks, the information is incomplete and there are a number of mistakes and misinformation. Therefore, we recommend you use this site to search for not-for-profit retirement villages only.
HAAG is in the process of migrating and updating this database - watch this space.