Investing in a retirement home is a big decision that requires careful consideration of existing and future needs
South Africa’s blackout woes are set to continue for a while to come. Add in the climate crisis and resultant water supply concerns, and self-sustainability should be top-of-mind for retirement investors. Solar panels, LED lighting and water storage solutions should all be factored into the decision.
Safety and security are always key deciders for property investment in South Africa, which is why security estates are a popular choice for retirees. Considerations should include electric fencing, 24-hour access control, CCTV cameras and emergency response.
With retirees living longer nowadays, it’s important to think about the opportunities for active living when investing. Gyms, swimming pools, hiking and biking trails, tennis courts, bowling greens and volleyball courts are some of the facilities that are attractive to older residents.
The mental and physical benefits of the natural world are well documented, and connecting with nature in retirement is important. Nature reserves for hiking and birdwatching, dams and lakes for fishing, and the seaside for relaxing and swimming all make for happy, healthy living.
Quality of life
Quality of life becomes one of the biggest deciding factors in retirement. The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast offers natural beauty, accessibility, a year-round subtropical climate and a laidback lifestyle that have positioned it as a top retirement destination for good reason.
There are documented health benefits for senior citizens living with pets, including lowered blood pressure, decreased anxiety and depression, as well as improved cognitive function. Despite this, many retirement villages have regulations preventing pet ownership. Consider petfriendly estates even if there isn’t a pet in the house now, as it’s good to have the option in the future.
Value for money
Even those who’ve put away a significant amount of money for retirement will still need to spend carefully because of extended life expectancies and the rising cost of living. That’s why it’s important to consider locations where property prices and the cost of living are substantially lower than in other areas.
While it’s not something people want to dwell on, diminishing health in later years needs to be addressed. That’s why frail care, dementia care and step-down facilities are all important factors. Where these are accommodated on-site, there’s no need for relocation in the future.
An often-overlooked factor in retirement living are facilities for the younger generations. Even if grandchildren aren’t around yet, they could be in the future, and their needs need to be considered. Estates offering fishing dams, jungle gyms, swimming pools or close proximity to the ocean will encourage more family visits.
The importance of community engagement for mental wellbeing was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those residing in lifestyle estates benefit from ongoing community engagement through social clubs, sports classes and volunteer programmes, all of which enhance day-to-day life.