One of the benefits of moving from the family home into a retirement village is that it can give you a new home suited to your lifestyle at a price that’s affordable, while freeing up some extra dollars to enjoy a few of things you’ve always wanted to do. It also provides you with access to a range of community facilities and activities.

However it is important to understand all potential costs and seek independent financial advice. The following sections break these down by the key phases of entering, living in and leaving a retirement village.


  • ‘Running costs’ for your home – electricity, heating/cooling, telephone/internet, rates, water etc.
  • Health and medical expenses – your personal ‘running costs’ which might increase as you age depending upon your health and activities
  • Home modifications and maintenance – can you manage the stairs long term? Will your bathroom need alterations?
  • Will you keep the car? Do you have access to transport if you are no longer driving?
  • How will you maintain contact with family and friends if you are no longer driving?
  • What will my new home cost?
  • Do I pay 100 per cent upfront or can I defer some of this cost? 
  • Are there any weekly or monthly fees? What do these fees cover?
  • Do I pay any fee when I leave the village?
  • Will I make a profit if I sell my village home? Do I share any capital gain? What if I make a loss?
  • What happens if we move into the village as a couple and one of us passes away?
  • Can I leave my home in the village to my children?

These are just a few of the questions you’ll need answers to. 

The average cost of a two-bedroom home in a retirement village starts at $424,000. This is below the median Australian dwelling price at $568,972 for houses and $513,468 for units.

The purchase price of your new village home is just one of three different types of costs attached to living in a retirement village. Generally, these are:

  1. The entry payment
  2. The service charge
  3. The deferred payment fee (also known as an exit fee or deferred management fee).

Read more about the different types of costs below. 


Costs overview

Seeking independent financial advice, deferred payment fee, mortgages, government assistance, staying vs moving.

Living in the community

Service charge, personal expenses, maintenance costs, insurance costs, council rates and utilities, pensioner discounts.

Entering the community

Deposit, entry payment, stamp duty, village health check, comparing villages, things to consider when you visit.

Leaving the community

Key things to think about, fees, sale costs, using a real estate agent, approving buyers, other costs, capital gain/loss, rights of a spouse or relative, reinstatement.