A fresh ap­proach to se­niors liv­ing

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - YOUR SAY -

Aus­tralia’s in­no­va­tive con­cept in se­niors liv­ing is setting new bench­marks in af­ford­able hous­ing for down­siz­ers by of­fer­ing a higher qual­ity solution that’s ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions.

Life­style-fo­cused land lease com­mu­ni­ties have be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with down­siz­ers, many of whom are free­ing up hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to help fund their new life­style.

This new­est hous­ing trend is gain­ing a strong foothold in se­niors liv­ing as it breaks down the walls of con­fus­ing con­tracts, com­plex fi­nan­cial ar­range­ments and ques­tions over le­gal­i­ties, and re­places uncer­tainty with a more sim­ple and trans­par­ent own­er­ship model.

In­ge­nia Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer, Nikki Fisher, said life­style com­mu­ni­ties are specif­i­cally tai­lored to the needs of ac­tive, in­de­pen­dent se­niors who can pur­chase and own their home, lease the land and pay no stamp duty fees or exit fees.

“Land lease liv­ing is not your av­er­age re­tire­ment com­mu­nity – it saves se­niors thou­sands of dol­lars with a more af­ford­able price point while in­tro­duc­ing a whole new hous­ing mar­ket that is not just for re­tirees but for all types of down­siz­ers.

“It’s sup­ported via gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions and leg­is­la­tion with strong levels of pro­tec­tion for both home owner and op­er­a­tor, pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity and peace of mind with a va­ri­ety of so­cial ben­e­fits and fi­nan­cial gains,” Nikki said.

Au­thor and se­niors fi­nance ex­pert, Rachel Lane, said down­siz­ing can be an ex­cit­ing time, but it pays to do your re­search and crunch the num­bers.

“You don’t want to be left be­hind when it comes to your se­nior liv­ing choices and com­par­ing the dif­fer­ent fi­nan­cial ar­range­ments be­tween re­tire­ment vil­lages and life­style com­mu­ni­ties is like com­par­ing ap­ples and or­anges.

“While it may seem that there are too many dif­fer­ent fi­nan­cial ar­range­ments to com­pare, the dif­fer­ences be­tween re­tire­ment vil­lages and life­style com­mu­ni­ties are im­por­tant,” Rachel says.

“I find it eas­i­est to break down the num­bers into In­go­ing, On­go­ing and Out­go­ing,” Rachel ex­plains:

IN­GO­ING:

Ap­ples: Re­tire­ment vil­lages op­er­ate un­der the Re­tire­ment Vil­lages Act with a lease or ‘li­cense to oc­cupy’ as the in­go­ing price.

Or­anges: In a life­style com­mu­nity you buy your own home and lease the land. ON­GO­ING: Ap­ples: Ser­vice charge: For pen­sion­ers in a re­tire­ment vil­lage to be el­i­gi­ble for rent as­sis­tance they need to pur­chase be­low a cer­tain thresh­old (cur­rently $207,000).

Or­anges: Site fees: Be­cause of the unique land lease own­er­ship struc­ture in life­style com­mu­ni­ties, most pen­sion­ers qual­ify for rent as­sis­tance on their site fees re­duc­ing their on­go­ing costs.

OUT­GO­ING:

The great­est con­fu­sion be­tween re­tire­ment vil­lages and life­style com­mu­ni­ties comes from the exit fees, also called de­ferred man­age­ment fees (DMF).

Ap­ples: In a re­tire­ment vil­lage exit fees are stan­dard. The exit fee is likely to be a per­cent­age of ei­ther your pur­chase price or re-sale price, any­thing from 10% to 30% is com­mon.

Or­anges: Life­style com­mu­ni­ties do not charge exit fees. You own your own home and it is a vi­able as­set, so the home owner keeps 100% of any cap­i­tal gains made on the prop­erty if or when they de­cide to sell their home with no re­fur­bish­ment fees.

After down­siz­ing, In­ge­nia Life­style res­i­dents have the op­por­tu­nity for more money in the bank and the free­dom to live a flex­i­ble, low­main­te­nance life­style, con­nect with like-minded friends, learn a new hobby or lock up, leave and travel.

Visit www.livein­wool­go­olga.com.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

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