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Lock-up-and-go living is no longer just for the young and trendy. There’s a growing demand for easy living among South Africa’s mature population as well.
By 2034, it is projected that older adults will outnumber those under the age of 18 for the first time in US history. Those retiring in their 60s can expect to live about 25 years more, at least, than their parents did, and there’s a good chance they’ll be healthier and more physically active than they were at the same age. This is why retirement villages that offer secure, apartment-style living for residents with an active and social lifestyle are becoming increasingly sought-after.
A leading retirement company, Evergreen Lifestyle Villages, is seeing significant interest in apartments in its lifestyle estates nationwide that promote well-being and social interaction, instead of merely providing a retirement solution.
“Bear in mind that many people of retirement age are choosing to continue to work, either to maintain their standard of living or to remain active and involved in their communities,” comments Phil Wilson, Sales Director of Evergreen Lifestyle, a division of the Amdec Group, who’s portfolio comprises 6 operating villages in the Western Cape – Muizenberg, Diep River, Noordhoek, Lake Michelle, Bergvliet, and Val de Vie – as well as one in Broadacres, Gauteng.
Change is always challenging, and the prospect of altering one’s lifestyle late in life can be particularly traumatic if it involves downsizing from a much-loved family home or relocating to a new area.
“For many, the prospect of packing up a lifetime of memories to move into a single room on a retirement estate exacerbates the uncertainty that retirement may hold,” says Wilson. “For those with children who have emigrated, the prospect of growing older without family support is an added burden.”
“Retirees also want to age in a place, knowing that their home will accommodate their changing needs over time,” says Wilson. “Even if one starts off in a freestanding home, the accommodation options available in a lifestyle village make it possible to transfer from one property type to another without having to relocate to a new neighborhood – a transition that would cause unnecessary anxiety.”
“Downscaling from a larger home also provides considerable financial relief and doesn’t mean compromising on the quality of life,” explains Wilson. “Most retirement estates offer a range of accommodation options and pricing models that are accessible to a wide range of retirees affording them new opportunities to live their best lives. So instead of buying a free-standing property, clients purchase the inalienable right to occupy their home for the rest of their lives.”
Unfettered by the maintenance that a larger home demands, residents are able to enjoy the expansive resort-style facilities and leisure activities on offer. They can even elect to have meals delivered to their apartments – like room service in a hotel.
“The Life Rights model makes sound financial sense at a time when security about money is most important. Unlike a sectional title development – where one might be liable for steep levy escalations and special levies to cover improvements and maintenance – levies within a Life Rights village tend to be more affordable, and are calculated and communicated in advance so that residents can plan ahead,” explains Wilson. “Ownership of the physical property remains with the developer, so there are no transfer duties or special levies either. There is also the assurance that the developer, with a vested interest in the upkeep of the property, will manage it effectively to make sure it is maintained to the highest standard.”
The safety and security provided within a retirement village that has state of the art security and controlled access, provides the peace of mind and flexibility of a ‘lock and go’ lifestyle’ retirees are looking for.
Designed to promote a strong sense of community, these villages also offer a range of recreational activities and resort-like amenities. Residents have full use of indoor heated pools, sports facilities, communal lounges and entertainment areas, all within walking distance of their front doors. They can also take part in organised activities and excursions.
There are also step-down facilities on offer when residents integrate back into the village after a hospital stay, and discreet health care options, including palliative, frail and dementia care. All of the properties have 24-hour medical emergency assistance and there are trained nurses on-site who also carry out regular health checks.
Smart technology is available throughout so that residents are able to connect with friends and family via video calls and social media. This also makes it possible for those who are still working to do so remotely, while enjoying the benefits of village living.
“Advances in medicine, accelerated by the pandemic, will likely see a greater reliance on technology. Evergreen Villages will be well placed to accommodate new tech trends, such as online consultations and telemedicine,” concludes Wilson.
Retirement should never be viewed as a lifestyle compromise. Instead, it is a golden opportunity to explore new hobbies, make new friends and experience the conviviality of apartment living in a lifestyle estate that’s well within reach of retirees who might only have a modest retirement nest egg.
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