Let's talk about money and over 55s communities

5 min
15 November 2019

If youre thinking about downsizing from the family home, theres a broad range of residential alternatives to ponder; from communities designed for over 55s and traditional retirement villages through to apartments, duplex living, and even granny flats.  

Stockland’s land lease communities model, delivered through Halcyon communities is about simplifying things so that you can remain independent, enjoy more freedom, make new friends with like-minded people, and afford a better quality of life. 

Here in Australia, these communities are based on a simple and transparent financial model that is governed and protected by state legislation. 

It involves homeowners downsizing to a contemporary, low-maintenance home on land that you lease in a secure resort-style community with lots of recreational facilities and like-minded neighbours. 

The move allows you to unlock an amount of equity in your family home, freeing up money for holidays, a boat or caravan, or simply the sense of security of having more cash in the bank. 

In a community designed for over 55s youre also gaining greater certainty around your finances and ongoing living expenses, with many of these wrapped into a convenient weekly site and management fee. 

At Stockland Halcyon, these fees range from $165 - $245 per week per couple and can be reduced by up to $66.50 per week if you're eligible for rent assistance. 

The site fee covers your land rent, council rates, water rates (at some communities) and all the costs of maintaining the community and its facilities. 

The only other housing-related costs you need to think about are your usual household bills; groceries, telephone and internet, gas/electricity, and home and contents insurance. 

With all that squared away, all you need to do is take it on or take it easy with the added perks of someone else doing the mowing, cleaning the pool, and keeping the community looking beautiful and running smoothly. 

Its important to highlight that, unlike a retirement village, Stocklands’ Halcyon communities do not charge exit fees. There is also no stamp duty on your purchase, no taxes, no mortgage, no strata or community title fees, no body corporate, and no sinking fund.  

So, its easy in and easy out, and if things change or its not for you, theres a simple exit strategy, and you keep 100 percent of your capital gains. 

Of course, before deciding to move into any type of community living, it is important to first be clear about your current financial circumstances. 

At Stockland, we recommend that you consult a financial planner who can help you get a clearer picture of the next 20 years. They will also ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions of any agreement you enter for community living.