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A step-by-step guide to moving into retirement living with confidence

13th April 2021

Do you really want to spend your weekends attending property inspections, dealing with agents, and trying to outbid others just to find your new home?

While that might sound exciting to some, it probably doesn’t now that you’re in your more senior years. Weekends should be spent with your loved ones in an environment that’s supportive and community-focused.

So, instead of traversing your local area searching (like everybody else) for a bargain, why not consider retirement living instead?

According to Project Resource Partners, six million Australians are retired from full time work and of that number nearly 200,000 are living in retirement villages. Most importantly, that number is predicted to double by 2025.

These statistics prove that facilities like Dalkeith Heights in Traralgon and St John’s Rise in Mooroolbark (the latter opening later this year) are well placed to satisfy a growing demand for retirement living.

But before you simply sell your family home and relocate to retirement living to beat the coming surge, you need a detailed understanding of the process of finding a house in a retirement village that best suits you.

So, if you’re considering moving into retirement living, here’s what you need to know first...

The 5 step process of moving into retirement living

By following this guide you’ll be prepared to make the move into retirement living and confidently transition into your new lifestyle.

1. Research retirement villages

    While it might sound obvious, you need to spend some time researching what you want out of a retirement village. There are plenty of options available so identify facilities that support the lifestyle you want.

    Is 24/7 security monitoring important to you? Do you still enjoy leisure activities like bowls and snooker? Or do you prefer cards and reading? And how close do you want to be to your family and friends?

    Write down a list of what’s important to you and compare it against what’s being offered by a retirement village. If it doesn’t meet your expectations, keep searching until you find a place that ‘feels’ right to you.

    2. Ensure you’re financially ready

      The importance of this step cannot be understated.

      While purchasing a retirement village is often cheaper than the family home you might be selling, there is still a financial component that needs to be considered.

      As an example, Dalkeith Heights Sales Manager, Deanna Paulet, states that homes are available for purchase ranging in size (and price) from the smaller Grevillea through to a larger investment for the more spacious Kingfisher.

      Aside from the purchase cost of a home, other financial factors at Dalkeith currently include a $1000 legal fee incurred at settlement and a $430 monthly service fee that enables Dalkeith Heights to:

      • Ensure your home has building insurance
      • Monitor the 24 hour emergency call system
      • Manage and maintain the communal facilities and common areas including your front garden
      • Keep the facility OH&S and fire safety compliant
      • Provide on-site Management and customer service staff

      It’s best to speak with your accountant or a financial advisor to assess whether retirement living is a viable option for your circumstance.

      3. Enquire and book a tour of retirement villages

        The best way to get a sense of whether a retirement village is best suited to you is to arrange a tour with a staff member. At Dalkeith Heights this will mean you’ll meet Deanna who is more than happy to show you around.

        Resident Sharynne says meeting Deanna really helped her make the decision to move into Dalkeith Heights.

        “Deanna showed us what we could look forward to and made the process effortless for us. In the beginning, our children weren't sure about the move, but now that they have seen what we are enjoying, they couldn’t be happier for us.”

        When touring a retirement village make sure you take note of things like cleanliness of common areas, health and happiness of current residents, and whether it will actually cater to the interests and hobbies you have.

        It’s also advisable to ask any questions you need answers to satisfy any lingering doubts you might have. “I welcome any and all questions. It’s the best way to gather information and know you’re making a smart choice,” says Deanna.

        By touring the facilities and meeting the people responsible for its management and operation, you’ll be able to make a judgment on whether it’s a retirement village you can see yourself living in.

        4. Tailoring a home to suit your budget and ideals

          Once you’ve made the decision to move to a retirement village, you need to begin the process of assessing homes that best suit your needs. As mentioned earlier, Dalkeith Heights has 11 home styles available ranging in size and price (when available St John’s Rise will initially offer six variations of homes).

          When choosing your home, some things take into account are:

          • The position your home will face on the block (i.e. to allow for sunlight)
          • How far away it will be form communal areas (i.e. so you don’t have to walk too far)
          • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms needed (i.e. for when family and friends stay)

          It’s important to note here that when houses are in the process of being built you can opt to upgrade certain features like carpet, floorboards, and appliances, assuming you’ve purchased in advance.

          Tailoring a home to suit your budget and needs is to provide peace-of-mind that as a resident, you’ll be moving into a home that you love.

          5. Moving (and settling) in

            Now it’s time to move into your new home and Dalkeith Heights will work with you to make the relocation less stressful and as streamlined as possible.

            “It’s imperative to us to help residents adjust to their new lifestyle as best we can. And the help we provide is something that’s greatly appreciated by new members of our community,” Deanna says.

            Deanna and the team at Dalkeith Heights ease the burden of moving to a new location in many ways:

            • Helping you form friendships with other residents by introducing you to people with similar interested to yours
            • Providing a food and beverage hamper on arrival so throughout the day you’ll have something to eat when hungry or when needing to refresh
            • Pre-filling and organising amenities forms so power and water is operational when you arrive

            “One of the most important elements of my role is to understand our new residents and accommodate their needs as best as I can. I’m always willing to be of assistance should they need me,” says Deanna.

            Once settled, you’ll naturally start to form meaningful friendships with other neighbours, engage in social and leisure activities, and relax and enjoy your new lifestyle. Like other residents, you’ll question why you didn’t do it sooner.

            To help you assess your situation and find out more about Benetas retirement living facilities, please get in touch with Deanna Paulet at Dalkeith Heights: (03) 5175 0955.