As people are living longer, their needs are changing, and with that the way they live their post-employment years. Retirement lifestyle estates, in particular, have seen an uptake. There are at least ten reasons why moving into such development trumps growing old in one’s family home.
According to Statistics South Africa, the number of South Africans over 60 years old will rise from 4.3 million today to 7 million by 2030. Whilst some will stay in their family homes, a growing number of retirees have their sights set on a unit in a retirement estate or village, says Garry Read, managing director at Evergreen Lifestyle Villages.
Here are 10 key advantages to living your golden years in such developments – particularly in a village based on the life rights model.
1. The convenience factor
The life rights ownership structure allows you to live in a unit and use the village’s facilities for the rest of your life in exchange for a capital investment to the complex’s owner, who is responsible for maintaining your home, the village and all amenities. This allows you to enjoy all the benefits of home-ownership with none of the hassles.
2. Independent living
Today’s pensioners are young at heart and are, therefore, looking for set-ups that offer them the same facilities as conventional residential gated estates. This allows them to live independently as long as they want, but with healthcare assistance nearby when needed.
3. Access to healthcare
Having quality healthcare facilities nearby is a key priority amongst older South Africans. Most of Evergreen’s retirement villages, including the one that is being built in Sitari in Somerset West, offer on-site emergency, primary and personalized home-based healthcare services as well as 24-hour nursing, frail and dementia care.
4. Safety and security
Safety is what is driving retirees out of their homes and into security retirement villages. Most estates have electric fences, perimeter walls and CCTV cameras that are monitored 24/7. At Evergreen’s villages, this is enforced with strict access control and around-the-clock foot and bicycle patrols.
5. Easy on the wallet
Living in a life rights retirement village makes financial sense. Besides that you are not responsible for any of the maintenance costs, units in the newer villages feature solar panels, solar geysers, LED lighting and even double glazing. Harvesting rainwater is also gaining momentum and these practices save residents considerably on their monthly levies.
6. Superior lifestyle
Today’s retirees want to enjoy life and be active in a safe environment. In Evergreen Noordhoek, for instance, tennis courts and a bowling green are in the pipeline, whilst the Val de Vie village has ample mountain trails, with fishing spots along a 7km stretch of the Berg River. Less outdoorsy residents can retreat in their village’s lifestyle centre, which features dining rooms, bars, bistros, and other facilities such as a library.
7. Sense of community
Most retirees who are selling their family home to move into a retirement village do so because they seek a sense of community. Residents of such estates tend to come together through book clubs, bridge evenings, excursions, wine tastings, dance lessons, film nights, social dinners, and other communal activities.
Most retirees who are selling their family home to move into a retirement village do so because they seek a sense of community.
8. Space for nature
Many retirement villages trump traditional old age homes and even one’s family home because of their beautiful surroundings. Take Evergreen Muizenberg, where the third phase is now on show. The village is enveloped by an indigenous garden with benches and walking areas, allowing residents to recharge in nature. Evergreen Lake Michelle in the Noordhoek Valley, in the meantime, has a wetland area at its heart, teeming with indigenous plants, wildlife and 120 bird species. The village planned for Hilton will have a neighbouring giraffe reserve on offer to residents.
Evergreen Lake Michelle in the Noordhoek Valley has a wetland area at its heart, teeming with indigenous plants, wildlife and 120 bird species.
9. Working from home
Just because you don’t have to work any more, doesn’t mean you have to stop. The 2019 Old Mutual Savings Monitor suggests that 36% of retirees started a business after turning 65 whilst 13% continued to be self-employed. Today’s retirement villages have a strong technology backbone, including high-speed internet. This allows residents to continue or kick-start their part-time consulting or freelance business from home.
Retirement villages offer a level of flexibility your family home doesn’t. This puts residents in a position to downsize from a standalone home to an apartment in the same village when the situation warrants it, or even to a smaller unit. Life is unpredictable, after all. What is heartening is that today’s quality retirement villages have all eventualities considered and life stages covered.