Retirement villages


PHOTO: ROSS GIBLIN Retirement villages are booming, with 1750 units being built every year.

They’re billed as retirement resorts – lakes, lifestyle, low stress and a bloke’s shed to boot.

But unravelling the complexity of retirement village contracts is anything but low stress.

With 41,000 Kiwis now adopting such grand-sounding addresses as “Rita Angus”, “Bethlehem Shores” or “Hutt Gables”, and another 1750 units being built every year, retirement villages are booming.

The model seems simple enough: you pay for the right to live in a unit for life and you get a like-minded community of older people, a bowling green, bingo and maybe a swimming pool. Then when you move out or die, you get back whatever you paid, minus a fee of 20-30 per cent. Call it a rental for the use – and upkeep – of the facilities.