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Are you ready for Retirement Living?

Deciding where to live in your retirement years requires a lot of thought and sound professional advice. Older Victorians decide to move for a variety of reasons, including health, social interaction, safety and security. It is important to understand why you want to move as this can help you determine what you are looking for in your new retirement living option. Maintaining your independence is essential as you make the transition from your working life to retirement. Your home location should take into account not just your financial situation, but also lifestyle needs in your senior years and to make your decision based on your own personal circumstances, and what matters to you. You may choose a retirement village to meet new, like-minded friends, or down size your home and seek peace of mind that you might not find elsewhere living independently. Community living is a focus for retirement villages and the balance is up to the resident, as they may want to be as instrumental as possible in the community or as private as a hermit while still benefiting from the advantages of a close-knit community. More than 187,000 senior Australians call a retirement village home, and this number is expected to rise over the next few years. Retirement/Independent living villages gives you more choices and control over how you live your life and a low-maintenance, hassle-free home. Combine this with the opportunity to be part of a supportive community and you may find an overall improvement in your well being. What are you looking for within a Retirement Village? Deciding where you want to live in your retirement can be daunting. No one knows what the future holds, so you need to make sure you take into account various situations that may arise. Have you considered? - Your level of health now and in the future - What sort of services you want in the village - Location, how close the village is to public transport and other services such as shopping,
medical and entertainment centres? - Accessibility issues - Financial Options - The age of residents you would like to live with - Whether you want to live near family It is important to understand how a village is operated, how your lifestyle is likely to change along with in-going, on-going and exit fees. Entering a retirement village should be seen as a lifestyle decision, not an investment to make money. Some people presume they are making a capital investment when they buy into a retirement village and expect their investment to increase in value over time, just like other property investments. This is generally not the case. Retirement villages are unique and each offer a range of different contract and tenure types, unit types and facilities and services. The cost of entering and leaving a retirement village varies. There are also fees and charges to consider, plus other arrangements that will be new to you. The Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Vic) requires all Village Managers to provide certain documents to interested parties before entering into a village contract. This includes a Fact Sheet providing general information about the proposed village, and a Disclosure Statement containing more detailed information and financial figures regarding a specific unit. These documents will assist in understanding your entitlements when researching the retirement village options. So what can I expect to Pay? Carinya Retirement Living operates as a not-for-profit organisation, currently offering a loan/lease arrangement to occupy our one and two bedroom units. When entering occupancy within the village an In-going Contribution is payable. When vacating a residence, a Departure Fee that is calculated on and deducted from your In-going Contribution, this is 5% per year of residence and not exceeding a maximum of 30% deduction, a 1% Administration Fee and 1% Long Term Maintenance Fund fee are also deducted from your In-going Contribution. Please see example below. Whilst residing within the village a Fortnightly Maintenance Fee is required to cover costs including building insurance, rubbish removal, lawn mowing, garden maintenance, pest control, smoke detector maintenance, unit maintenance (fair wear & tear), street lighting, staff & management costs. Financial Structure Example (based on occupancy of 6 years and over ) : In-going Contribution 2 bedroom unit: $250,000 30% Departure Fee : $ 75,000 1% Administration Costs: $ 2,500 1% Long Term Maint. Fund: $ 2,500 Remaining balance available $170,000 Additional fees Fortnightly Maintenance Fee: $ 200 *please note the above figures are estimates only* So many Australians have discovered the myriad of benefits of Retirement Village living. As you progress through life, happiness and relaxation become a priority and life in a retirement village may be the right solution for you. You cannot underestimate the benefits of living among a community of like-minded individuals, at a similar stage of life. You may share similar values and history, enjoying the social contact, interaction, relaxation, companionship and physical and emotional security that it provides. Further Information For further information regarding the independent living units available at Carinya Retirement Living, please contact our Village Manager Michelle Burgess: P: 0467 220 253

Planning for Aged Care

Author Lucinda Nicholas Making the decision to enter aged care is not an easy one. This decision generally means you or someone you are responsible for are not able to easily maintain independence any longer and require more support physically or medically. The most common road block we see is potential residents and their families having to make a last minute decision to seek a permanent residency at an aged care facility, generally after something has happened (for instance a fall) making the move inevitable. This can be overwhelming and cause stress to everyone involved. Often a family member will call the preferred facility, only to find out that there is not only no vacancies and a waiting list, but many requirements that need to be finalised. Many people are unaware that these requirements and expectations can be completed well before the decision is made to move into care, helping prepare families and potential residents in advance so the transition can be smooth and less stressful. So what should be at the top of your list when thinking about the possibility of an aged care facility for yourself or a loved one? Aged Care Assessment An Aged Care Assessment is an assessment to ensure that a resident is eligible and approved for government-funded services including aged care. Without this assessment the facility will not receive any funding to assist with care (most facilities are government subsidised, so the assessment will be needed). This assessment can be organised through My Aged Care (government website), your Doctor or the Aged Care Assessment Team. My Aged Care has a wealth of information regarding transitioning to aged care and is worth having a look at in preparedness, for more information head over to . Without an assessment the facility still may be able to assist with care, however this will be fully funded by the resident and may exceed $250 per day depending on your care needs (care needs are assessed by the facility). Income and Asset Assessment Income and Asset Assessment is completed by the resident or delegate and then reviewed by the Department of Human Services who will determine how fees will be structured when moving to care. For more information have a look here When considering aged care, it is important that fee structures and expectations are understood. Often there is an expectation of an upfront deposit that changes from facility to facility. Seeking advice from a financial professional who is specialised within aged care is highly recommended and should be seen before admission to care. Depending on the individual situations, decisions can be made to reduce fees and maximise pensions. These decisions need to be finalised before completing an Income and Asset Assessment and entering aged care. All assessments are made at the date of entry and cannot be back dated. Choosing a Facility Generally aged care facilities have a waiting list so it is important to understand the requirements expected to get your name on the list. Facilities may want to conduct an interview to ensure financial expectations are understood and that care needs can be catered for. Facilities will not put you on the list if they believe you are not a good match, and generally this will be discussed during or after the interview. During your visit facilities should allow you to have a tour so you can get a feel for the atmosphere, any activities happening and of course staff. Lots of questions should be asked whilst you are either in the interview or on the tour, this is so you understand how the facility generally runs (make a list in preparation before you go, if you can’t think of anything here is a great start Finally, try to look past the aesthetics of the areas. Brand new facilities can look lovely, however if staff are not competent or if the clinical systems are not in place then the care will not meet your expectations. End of Life End of life is a hard topic to talk about and generally we don’t want to have the conversations that are needed. Not all aged care facilities will care for you once you move to higher care or palliative. Specifically wanting to move to one facility for the final years is fine if you have checked that they will cater for end of life. Advanced care directives are also important to discuss with family and the facility. Advanced Directives describe how someone wants to live their last days. Aged Care Facilities require an Advanced Directive for each resident, if this has never been spoken about it can be hard to complete. Doctors can also assist with advice and assistance in completing an advanced care directive. For a comprehensive information regarding Advanced Directives please have a look at