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Make a good choice. Use our retirement village CHECKLIST

VILLAGE LIFE - find out more on https://www.eldernet.co.nz/retirement-villages

⇒  Is it easy for loved ones to visit? Can your friends/whānau (such as grand­children) stay? If so, for how long?

⇒  Is the village close to services that are important to you? Your GP/local healthcare, church, clubs, or shops?

⇒  What transport is available? Is there a village shuttle or bus stop nearby? Could you afford regular taxis?

⇒  Are the onsite facilities (café, pool, bowling green, dining room, lounge) of interest/use to you? Are they well maintained? Can visitors use them? Are new amenities planned?

⇒  ! Do you prefer your own company or are you a social but­terfly? How might village living affect your quality of life?

⇒  Do the social activities on offer excite you? What are the costs?

⇒  What are the security measures? Is there sensor lighting? Can gates be locked? Is it patrolled at night?

⇒  What are the village’s rules? Can they be changed? If so, do residents have a say in changing the rules?

⇒  Is there a residents committee? What is its role?

⇒  How is the AGM organised? Can residents participate?

⇒  How are residents kept informed about village matters? Are there regular meetings between residents and management? Are newsletters/ noticeboards kept up to date?


⇒  Do you know entry age varies widely across villages? Check you/your partner meet entry age criteria.

⇒  Is the village registered? Not all villages have to be and there are pros and cons with each option. See www.retirement.govt.nz

⇒  Is its accreditation certificate current? See www.retirementvillages.org.nz

⇒  Who owns the village (a listed company, a not-for-profit trust or private partnership)? How might this affect you?

⇒  ! Do the owners have experience operating or developing other villages? Are they reputable?

⇒  Who manages the village? Are they and their staff suitably qualified?

⇒  Does the village require a statutory supervisor? What is their role?

⇒  What is the maintenance schedule? Can residents have input about what is included?

⇒  Is the village finished? If not, could you handle the noise and mess of ongoing construction or expansion? What if it never gets finished?

⇒  How are concerns or complaints addressed? What is the process and timeframe


⇒  Does the size/layout of the dwelling suit you? Will it fit your furniture and precious possessions? If not, can you modify it?

⇒  Can you take your pet? When it dies, could you get another one?

⇒  Will the dwelling meet your needs if your health or mobility declines in the future? Consider non-slip surfaces, accessible bathrooms, easy to reach handles and shelves.

⇒  ! Will you have difficulty downsiz­ing? Your new living space may be more compact than you’re used to.

⇒  Does the dwelling come with a garage, carport and/or scooter parking?

⇒  Is there a call button in the dwelling and is it easy to find? Who monitors it? Will you be charged for ringing it?

⇒  Does it have an outdoor space? Are you free to decorate it? If the dwell­ing has a garden, can you grow what you’d like?


⇒  Have you received and understood independent, specialist legal advice?

⇒  Do you understand the Occupation Rights Agreement (ORA) and disclosure statement?

⇒  Which type of contract are you entering into? Licence to occupy, unit title or rental, for example.

⇒  ! Did you know you can cancel your ORA within 15 working days of signing?

⇒  Remember: a verbal agreement isn’t legally binding. Has everything you’ve discussed with the village manager/salesperson been added to the ORA?

⇒  What happens if the village is bought by another organisation, closes, or hits financial trouble


⇒  What types of services are available in the village? Podiatry, massage, physiotherapy, for example.

⇒  Is there a nurse onsite 24/7 in the event of a medical emergency?

⇒  Who decides if you need higher-level care? How is this decision made?

⇒  ! Did you know some villages don’t allow you to receive government subsidised home support? Check your contract.

⇒  Could you receive high-level care in your dwelling? If not, what are your options?

⇒  Is there a care home on site? If one is planned, when will it be finished?

⇒  Do residents have priority entry to the care home? What happens if there are no vacancies?


⇒  What is the initial cost of entering the village? Aside from your dwell­ing, what else does this cover?

⇒  Will buying into a village tie up all your money? Or will you still be able to afford to do the things you enjoy?

⇒  How much are the regular fees? What do they cover? Can you choose to only pay for specific services?

⇒  Are the fees ‘fixed for life’ or will they increase? If so, by how much and how often? Do you have a say in this?


⇒  Do you understand what the Deferred Management Fee (DMF) is and how this will influence the amount you/your estate receives once you sell your dwelling?

⇒  ! Are you expecting to receive capital gains once you sell? If so, you might be disappointed.

⇒  How will the dwelling be sold? Can you/your estate have a say in how it is valued/marketed?

⇒  Who pays the marketing, administra­tion, and/or refurbishment costs?

⇒  Will you be reimbursed for any improvement/alteration you have made to the dwelling? Or charged to remove it?

⇒  Will you/your estate be responsible for paying maintenance costs/regular fees while the dwelling is on the market? If so, for how long?

⇒  When will you/your estate receive payment from the sale? What if there are delays?

Find more information on Eldernet - New Zealand’s most trusted provider of information for older people and their whānau. Look at https://www.eldernet.co.nz/retirement-villages for communities for seniors, properties that are available across New Zealand

Find: Retirement Villages

Updated: 11 Jun 2024
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