Retirement Villages: tips for choosing wisely

Informed consumer choice and forward planning are critical to avoiding the potential financial dangers of retirement living, following into aged care, according to the founder of Tull Roseby.

“Choosing to move into a retirement village or aged accommodation with greater support can be challenging,” Mr Roseby says. “Not only is it usually a time of significant emotional change, the financial complexity can be overwhelming.”

Mr Roseby, who founded to help Australian’s explore and assess aged care options, says making the wrong decision can have long term financial and emotional impacts.

“We need to think of planning for your later years like planning for education,” Mr Roseby says. “You wouldn’t just turn up to the closest school when your child turns five – you research the options and the make informed choices where you can.”

He says it’s important to start early, before a situation turns critical.

“Decisions are often made hastily when a crisis emerges,” Mr Roseby says. “But the more time you have to work through the options, the better chance you have of making the right choice. Planning with a clear head in advance and ensuring you have the paperwork vetted by the appropriate professionals will help safe guard you”

He says there is a great variety in the market between providers and fees can differ dramatically.

“The cost of purchasing a retirement unit, may impact the affordability of future home care services, and/or residential aged care should a consumer require it,” Mr Roseby said.

“Once you’ve moved in, ongoing costs also range significantly, and potential blow out of life savings can dwindle away.”

He said understanding the complex fees in great detail from the journey of retirement, home care and into residential aged care is critical to financial security.

“Information is key, with sites such as helping to choose the right provider to assist families.

Mr Roseby offered these tips for avoiding some of the pitfalls of retirement living and aged care:

· Look around and inspect a number of facilities, take your family or friends along and ask lots of questions.

· Make sure you understand and can afford the long-term financial impacts of fees and charges.

· Consider all your options, not only for your needs today, but the level of support you are likely to need in the coming years.

· If you don’t understand the contract, don’t sign it and find a trusted adviser to guide you.

· Make sure you get any promises or other commitments in writing.

· Seek out information from trusted sources such as or engage professional help such as an independent financial adviser or aged care placement consultant.