Many put their retirement planning off until later in life, but it’s never too soon to start considering your options, especially with retirement estates in mind
WORDS: MARANA BRAND
A retirement property is a major investment that requires significant consideration, says Phil Barker of Renishaw Property, developers of Renishaw Hills retirement estates in KwaZulu-Natal. He recommends investors to consider the following six factors before signing on the dotted line.
1. What does the levy include?
First ask about the cost of the levy and what this will include to avoid surprises once you’ve moved in. A levy should include security, healthcare, fibre optic Wi-Fi, building insurance, maintenance, use of communal facilities, as well as various services such as garden refuse, postal and transport. It’s also worth asking about the likelihood of a special levy, which could be required for upgrades and repairs – although in newly-built retirement estates this is unlikely.
2. Is there home-based care?
Healthcare is a major component of retirement estates but the trend has shifted from frail care centres to home-based healthcare. This allows residents to enjoy all the benefits of healthcare and support from the comfort of their home. And this isn’t just for when a resident is ill. Home-based care encourages a healthy lifestyle and regular check-ups to prevent the onset of more severe conditions. It also gives residents the ability to remain independent while enjoying more customised healthcare. For those requiring rehabilitation, specialist assistance is available to speed up recovery and improve quality of life.
3. What are the opportunities for fitness?
Continued exercise in retirement years is vital for healthy living, which is why there should be facilities available for regular activities. Swimming pools, nature trails and a nearby beach ensure ample opportunity to maintain a high level of fitness.
4. What are the security features?
The levy costs should cover 24-hour security, but it’s worth asking what security features are afforded property owners. A top-end retirement estates will include aspects such as electrified perimeter fencing, high-tech security cameras, 24-hour patrols and a quick reaction time. An established estate would have good working relations with local law enforcement including community policing forums, security organisations and police, as well as the option of panic buttons. However, security measures must be as unobtrusive as possible to provide safety without a feeling of restriction.
5. What is the fibre and Wi-Fi connectivity like?
Modern retirees are often working part-time – or even full-time – from home. It’s important to check that the retirement estates offers quality Wi-Fi connectivity to the home for a convenient work-from-home option. And in terms of entertainment, with streaming services becoming a dominant feature for music, movies and shows, having uninterrupted internet connectivity is a must in this current technological age.
6. Where is the property based?
The mantra ‘location, location, location’ is everything when it comes to a retirement property investment. Nature-based living is certainly on the rise, with investors looking at elements like nearby nature reserves and indigenous gardens that encourage a healthy ecosystem, as well as expansive views. Other considerations should be proximity to local retail, sports and healthcare facilities.
Consider the following retirement estates:
KWAZULU-NATAL SOUTH CAOST
Located just 45 minutes from Durban, the mature lifestyle village Renishaw Hills is situated within the 1,400ha Renishaw Coastal Precinct adjacent to Scottburgh on the KZN mid South Coast. The year-round sub-tropical climate, golden beaches and warmer waters are ideal for a balanced lifestyle that encourages outdoor activity and relaxation, says Barker.
Renishaw Hills is a secure and well-established mature lifestyle village incorporating all of the most in-demand aspects of modern retirement. “The lifestyle on offer, sense of community, and relaxed living are beneficial for overall health and wellbeing. The estate has been designed to prioritise residents, with new and exciting developments constantly being introduced,” he says.
KWAZULU-NATAL NORTH COAST
Coral Cove, Auria Senior Living’s new community within the Zululami Luxury Coastal Estate located on the shores of Sheffield Beach, is in the final stages of development and sales will commence early next year. It will consist of a wide range of beautifully designed residences, an engaging lifestyle and superlative wellness and care offering – all on par with leading international retirement communities, says Auria Senior Living’s CEO Barry Kaganson.
“Living options will include independent living (freestanding houses and apartments), tailored assisted living accommodation, and extensive dining, recreation and hospitality services, as well as specialised care facilities.” Stressing the importance of choice, Kaganson says, “An appreciation of personal preferences, interests and backgrounds means that our residents and their families choose how they want to live and we will support them.”
Additional facilities include a heated swimming pool, an air-conditioned cinema, entertainment facilities, a top tier restaurant, coffee shop, fully equipped wellness centre, care centre and more. Coupled with access to Zululami’s environment, the KZN climate, prized beaches, bush, sporting, cultural and tourism draw-cards, this may well be a good place to spend one’s finest years.
Melrose Manor, another senior living community by Auria situated in Melrose, has recently received recognition from the Pretoria Institute of Architects (PIA) for its ‘inspiring design’ with reference to an extensive revamp, transforming it into ‘a spacious and modern residence’, says Kaganson. Melrose Manor provides a mix of 90 independent and assisted living units, studios, and one- and two-bedroom apartments. There’s a wide variety of amenities available including a state-of-the-art wellness centre; a restaurant, a café and several private dining rooms. There’s also a cinema, a bridge club, an art studio, a hair salon, a library and a variety of lounges. The gardens are attractively landscaped and there is a heated outdoor pool. Services for residents include a concierge; 24-hour assistance and nursing care on site; and on-site access to an exercise studio, gymnasium, doctors, physiotherapy, biokinetics and a geriatrician. An inter-professional team are also available to perform routine screening.
Noble Resorts’ recently launched Allesverloren Village will soon be home to senior residents seeking the beauty of 15 acres in the scenic Riebeek Valley with views framed by the Haweqwa and Grootwinterhoek mountains. “Allesverloren Village is a lifestyle estate where luxury, serenity and resort-living come together. Our aim is to turn the way people retire in South Africa on its head. This period of your life should be about pursuing passions and living your best life,” says Harry Pretorius, developer and CEO of Noble Resorts.
When you buy a property at Allesverloren Village, you can also enjoy their unique home exchange programme where you can live for periods of time on their other estates in Simons Town or Plettenberg Bay. “Our estate’s amenities include a clubhouse with concierge, integrative wellness programmes and a 24-hour clinic with an on-site pharmacy,” says Pretorius. With bike and walking trails alongside the vineyards and a billiards room and bar, fully equipped gym and a holistic wellness spa, Allesverloren Village is all about active retirement living choices with like-minded neighbours.
“The next phase of the development opens to families looking for secure, multi-generational living. Families will be able to live in the same place as parents and grandparents, but in the privacy of their own homes in another part of the estate.”