Don’t Lose Your Life Savings In Retirement

Senior Victorians are being urged to avoid financial hardship by shopping around and doing their research before buying into a retirement village.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett, launched a new campaign today to help Victorians make informed decisions about retirement villages.

Two thirds of retirees surveyed last year by Newspoll, on behalf of Consumer Affairs Victoria, were unsure about what was involved in signing a retirement village contract.

Ms Garrett said buying into a retirement village was a significant decision.

People can face substantial costs when they leave a village, so it’s important people understand the financial implications of moving into one.

In 2013-14, Consumer Affairs Victoria was contacted more than 690 times for advice on retirement villages, including 71 complaints.

Retiree Helen Vallack lost more than $30,000 of her life savings after she made the decision to move into a retirement village without reading the contract.

Another retiree, Daisy Ellery, said she suffered financially and emotionally after moving into a retirement village without doing her research.

Ms Ellery and Ms Vallack have shared their stories with Consumer Affairs Victoria as part of a series of videos produced to help other retirees.

Consumer Affairs Victoria advises Victorians considering a retirement village to:

  • see as many as possible that fit their location and financial requirements
  • talk to residents about what they like and don’t like about living there
  • discuss options with friends and family.


Retirement villages must provide a standardised fact sheet to potential residents, to help them decide if the village is the right one for them.

Consumer Affairs Victoria also offers a free guide to help retirees find the right retirement village. To get the guide, and for more information, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Jane Garrett

“Victorians can avoid unnecessary financial and emotional hardship by doing some research, and seeking independent financial and legal advice before buying into a retirement village.”

“Not all retirement villages are the same. It’s important to compare what each can offer and clarify specific terms and conditions.”

“Victorian’s deserve a comfortable retirement and we’re doing all we can to ensure that.”

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