What to ask when visiting a retirement village

04 January 2016

There are some fundamental questions to ask, but nothing is more important than speaking to the people who already live there.



When you are ready to start visiting retirement villages, try to visit as many as you can so you get a good sense of what is on offer. 

You will want to get as much information as possible when you visit, so take along this checklist of key questions to ask – and make a note of the answers too. 

The best people to talk to are the residents, so make sure you get to chat with as many as you can to get an overall impression of the accommodation and amenities.

Important financial considerations

  • Are the village properties offered on a leasehold or rental basis?
  • What is included in the service or maintenance charges?
  • How often do any charges need to be paid?
  • How often are these charges likely to be increased?
  • What fees are payable on leaving the property?
  • Is the reservation fee refundable should I decide not to purchase or rent the property?

Confused by all the terms and fees? Read our retirement village jargon buster.

The way the village is run

  • How is the village managed?
  • Does the village have a residents’ committee? 
  • How are the communal areas, grounds and properties maintained?

The support residents receive

  • Does the village have a member of staff on site 24 hours a day?
  • Is there a nurse on duty?
  • Is there an emergency call button or personal alarm system in each property?
  • What levels of help and assistance are available to residents?
  • What security measures are in place?

Common retirement village questions answered.

The village’s way of life

  • Can family and friends come to stay?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is any transport provided?
  • Does the village arrange any social events and activities?
  • What does the local area have to offer in the way of services and leisure?
  • Are there any on-site catering services?
  • Can help within the home be arranged?
  • Is there sufficient car parking?

Retirement Living Guide

For further information about retirement living and how to find your perfect home, download and read our complete guide to Retirement Living and Villages.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.