Moving Checklist

Moving to a retirement village is a big step.

There’s lots to consider and many decisions to make, so take your time.

So where to start? We’ve created this handy checklist to help guide you through the process and to help you make the decision that’s best for you.


Take a walk around the village. What’s the ‘feel’ like? Is it easy to find your way around? Can you see yourself living there? Are people friendly and engaging? Other things to consider:

  • Is the village located close to your friends and family?
  • What security systems and policies are in place to ensure your piece of mind?
  • Are staff friendly and efficient when dealing with enquiries?
  • Is the village clean and well-kept?
  • How is the atmosphere? Friendly and welcoming?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Have you talked to other residents about their experience at the village?
  • Is the village resident-focused and resident-directed? Who decides what happens in the village?
  • Is there a residents’ committee?
  • Have you been supplied with – and do you understand – the Occupation Rights Agreement (ORA)?
  • Is there a waiting list for occupancy? How long is it?
  • Is the village a ‘closed’ community or open and borderless?
  • Have you sought independent legal advice?

Fees and guarantees

Every retirement village is different – and costs can vary wildly – so make sure you compare providers to find out which option is best for you and your family. Things to consider when making your decision include:

  • Do you understand the fee structure, total costs and what’s included in the purchase price?
  • How much is the deferred management fee?
  • Do you understand the cost of additional services you might need?
  • Fixed fee guarantee. Does the village guarantee that your village outgoings fee won’t increase once you are living in the village?
  • Does your village offer a 90 day ‘cooling off’ period if you change your mind?
  • Is there a termination fee if you decide to leave the village?
  • Is there a cost if you want to move to another villa?
  • Do you need to pay for your own insurance?
  • What costs are you directly responsible for?
  • What protection do residents have if the village gets into financial trouble?


The support requirements of retirees can evolve over time. To make sure you’re supported throughout your stay, it’s worth finding out:

  • Does your village offer continuity of care if your circumstances change?
  • Is short-term help available if you become ill?
  • Can the village provide you with the medical assistance you require?
  • Can the village provide you with the living assistance you require (such as meals, housekeeping, laundry, etc)?
  • If some services aren’t currently available, when will they be?


One of the key benefits of retirement living is the opportunity to enjoy all the activities, events and attractions that village life offers. To make the most of what’s on offer, find out:

  • What facilities are near the village? Shopping centre? Medical? Public transport?
  • Are there communal areas (such as a clubhouse, cafes, green spaces)?
  • What clubs and social activities are available at the village?
  • Is there an additional cost for certain activities?
  • Are friends and family welcome to share the amenities?


Simplifying your living situation is one of the benefits of moving to a retirement village – but it can be a little stressful too. Take a look at the housing options on offer and ask yourself:

  • Is your villa warm, dry and sunny?
  • Do you have a choice of living options, furnishings and colour schemes?
  • Are there smoke alarms in the rooms?
  • Personal alarm system?
  • Air conditioning?
  • Phone, TV, Streaming services?
  • Storage areas?
  • Garage and parking?
  • Are there grab rails in the bathrooms and toilets?
  • Can visitors stay with you in your villa?

For an alternate checklist, have a look at this one provided by the Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand.


We’re happy to answer any questions or queries you have.
Contact us and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.