Part 2 of Our Retirement Village Model: Good Value for Money
Welcome to the second of a series of articles on RCA’s unique philosophies and retirement village operating model. As our ageing population grows, so does the number of retirement living choices. In this series, we are exploring what makes Retirement Communities Australia (RCA) retirement villages unique and a great lifestyle choice for many Victorian seniors.
A warm welcome
We’re a family owned business bringing decades of passion, experience and knowledge about Victoria’s retirement village industry to each of our retirement villages. Our philosophies are multi-faceted and always focused on optimising lifestyle choices for our residents.
Join us and explore each of these facets further, starting with the philosophies that drive our village locations and designs, in Part 1 of this series – Our retirement village model: philosophy driven design.
In Part 2 of Our Retirement Village Model series, we’ll dive deeper into how we’re able to offer good value for money supported by our retirement village financial model and operational approach.
Good value for money
A key feature of planning every RCA retirement village, is that it must offer good value for money. There are two components to this:
- the wholesale cost of buying in to your new retirement village home
- the affordability of regular service and maintenance fees.
Retirement Communities Australia (RCA) prides itself on integrity, fairness and on doing the right thing by retirees.
“We’re not cute about our approach. We’re realistic. Our residents come to us knowing that they have a fixed income – for example a pension or superannuation – and most know what that income looks like. We’ll show you exactly what the village costs are because you need to know, and transparency is a part of how we operate,” shared Andrew Philip, Managing Director RCA.
“What RCA village residents get in return for buying in to one of our villages – apart from a resort lifestyle and a convenient location – is lower ingoing costs than our competitors are offering, and lower maintenance and service fees. I know this because we check regularly to make sure we’re still offering the best value for money, in the localities we’ve chosen.”
Buying into your new RCA home is good value for money
Can you imagine buying a new home with full access to resort style amenities, and only having to pay for part of it to move in and start your new lifestyle?
RCA offers the full benefits of a retirement village lifestyle for near wholesale cost upfront, for your villa.
The balance, or deferred payment is paid only when you leave the village. It is a genuine deferred payment system so that you don’t have to pay full market price upfront. As the retirement village developer we still need to recover the full market value, but we will wait for that return so that moving to the village is more affordable upfront for our residents. Our return is deferred for 10 or 20 years, when the resident has already enjoyed their village lifestyle and full use of the village and amenities.
When a resident leaves an RCA village they set the sale price and receive the full capital gain benefits.
“By only paying a bit upfront and the rest at the end of their residency, retirees retain capital to fund their retirement. It means an opportunity for a better lifestyle funded by a higher level of personal savings,” shared Andrew. “This staged payment approach is in line with the original intention of the retirement village model to make it a more affordable option for residents. It just makes sense.”
We strongly recommend that prospective villagers invest time in comparing villages when making a decision on a retirement village. You should not be expected to pay the full market price of a comparable property upfront, if there is also a deferred payment or exit fee due when you leave. That wouldn’t be fair.
From our own market research, we know that reaping the full capital gains when you sell your villa, is a unique benefit.
RCA’s service and maintenance fees are great value for money
Our ongoing service and maintenance fees are as low as possible, very fair and really good value for money.
Here is how we achieve this:
- Our Active Management model is unique. The village is run by an independent body (an Association) and all residents are members. The Association is led by a Committee of Management and 7 out of 10 Committee members are residents – elected by the residents. This approach empowers residents to ensure that ongoing fees are fair, and as low as practicable.
- There are no head office costs imposed on any of our retirement villages. You won’t find a Head Office Management Fee line item in the village budget or levy.
- We transfer all the benefits of being a cooperative, on to our residents. Bulk buying advantages mean passing on substantial savings for:
- maintenance costs
Electricity savings are a great example. “Each RCA village itself is an electricity re-seller. We have a license that enables the villagers to purchase electricity at wholesale rates. We pass on all the benefits and savings of that license, to our village residents, not just some of it,” said Andrew. “RCA village residents are paying 30 – 35% discount on the standing electricity rate.”
We acknowledge that seniors’ income in retirement is really under pressure. “Offering a cooperative infrastructure means the developer wears a lot of the upfront infrastructure costs, so that residents can benefit from bulk buying,” Andrew reflected.
There is no individual user pays scheme at an RCA retirement village. Funded by low cost service and maintenance fees, every resident is paying a little bit for everything. For example, residents of RCA villas pay the same service and maintenance levy. A sense of equity across the village makes for a happier community.
Our retirement village financial model has been designed for fairness and great value for money. “We encourage prospective residents to do their homework, and explore further afield. Then come back to us and compare. If its good value for money, it makes good sense,” Andrew sums up.
Visit our latest RCA retirement villages
Wyndham Grange Village in Tarneit
Freecall 1800 123 131
Visit us online at wyndhamgrange.com.au
Main St Village Pakenham, South East Melbourne
Freecall 1800 770 222
Visit us online at mainstvillage.com.au