The lifestyles of retirees are changing and the market must adapt
The desires of today’s retirees to maintain their independence, work longer and manage their own health are the reasons behind the growing evolution of retirement property. And as their lifestyles continue to change, retirement offerings will have to adapt.
The major difference between the former traditional retirement properties and those being developed today boils down to these lifestyle changes. Craig Scott, chief executive of The Village at Langebaan Country Estate, says retirees want to be able to downscale their homes without sacrificing their lifestyles.
The rising popularity of retirement village living – as opposed to retiring in place (at home) or in an old age home – has been led by baby boomers seeking lifestyle solutions that provide stress-free, affordable and sustainable living, he explains.
“Progressive retirement village operators have a clear understanding of today’s retirees’ wants and needs and are setting new standards in their services and facilities. These include the provision of quality health and frail care, security and operations, world-class hospitality and technology, along with village and home maintenance and refurbishment.
“And because life becomes most enjoyable when one is freed from the stresses of sustaining their financial resources and maintaining their home, there is a major shift towards the Life Right purchase model.”
With this model, Scott says the onus is on the developer to stay involved in the long term, bringing greater all-round affordability, sustainability and, crucially, lifestyle qualities to retirement living.
In terms of the major trends and innovation in the retirement property market, he says some developers are fortunate to be able to position their retirement villages within established golf and country club enclaves.
Scott says residents not only benefit from sport and recreational facilities, including golf, bowls, tennis and gym but gain access to restaurants, salons, coffee shops and spas.
Furthermore, new digital trends in fitness and health care are driving a greater awareness for and ability to take personal responsibility for living healthily, while banks and insurance companies are “coming to realise” that their obligations to help customers retire without major economic constraints must include their support for the development of quality affordable retirement solutions.
“The recently-launched Buh-Rein Retirement Village is centred on the needs of its residents, from the fit and active to those in need of more care. It is open to residents from the age of 50. Set within the 87.62ha Buh-Rein Estate in the northern suburbs, it offers 461 one- and two-bedroom apartments in three-storey buildings that include lifts, says Riaan Roos, chief executive of developers Multi Spectrum Property.
This number is made up of 68 assisted-living apartments and 393 independent-living apartments.
“It has its own clubhouse with two restaurants, a heated swimming pool, wellness salon, hairdresser, beautician and massage therapy. There is also a gymnasium with shower facilities, deli, library with internet access, bar/refreshment area, courtyard with central water feature and ample seating, There is a lapa with indoor and outdoor braai facilities and a function hall which can accommodate 500 people,” Roos says.
A gatehouse with hobby areas, a workshop for woodwork and a room for handicrafts, such as pottery and knitting, are also available.
The one-bedroom, one-bathroom assisted-living apartments are priced from R819 900 while the independent-living apartments – also one-bedroom, one-bathroom, are priced from R719 900.
Life right retirement
When one looks at the major developments occuring overseas, The Village’s Craig Scott says it is clear that South African retirement offerings have evolved in line with these emerging trends – albeit some five years behind.
Therefore, looking ahead, he expects the “many advantages” of the Life Right retirement model will see sectional title and freehold village models “slowly die out” in South Africa.
“Locally, the exchange rate and popularity of our coastline will see retirement villages like The Village in Langebaan and Val de Vie in Paarl attracting increasing interest from swallows, who are the foreign buyers interested in escaping cold winters for the warm climate and many attractions that the Western Cape coastline offers,” he predicts.
Ageing actively at Buh-rein
The provision of holistic health care is ultimately the biggest and most important aspect of today’s retirement solutions, says David Britz, sales and marketing director for Multi Spectrum Property, developers of the Buh-Rein Retirement Village.
The emphasis here is on providing care services to individuals where and when they need it, including in their own homes.
“The focus should be on enabling the individual to age actively within their existing community with relevant support to enable independence as long as possible.”
In addition to home-based services, Britz says there is “huge emphasis” on deinstitutionalising care facilities by making them homely and welcoming. It is also essential to provide and design specialised dementia care facilities to cater for this growing need. Holistic health management also takes a preventative approach as it prevents incidents and plans pro-actively for the future. This is why such health care is an integral aspect of today’s retirement estates.
“There is a drive to reduce unnecessary hospitalisation and to manage chronic diseases of residents. We find that because of medical advances, people tend to live longer,” says Britz. He believes home-based care will become the norm and is now being funded by more medical aids than before.
The Village at Langebaan Country Estate
Construction of The Village, a retirement estate within the 450ha Langebaan Country Estate, is due to begin early next year, but Phase 1A of the development is already 50% sold.
The vision for The Village was to create a place where lifestyle meets secure, stylish and affordable living in a dynamic community which combines residential, recreational and health-care facilities, says chief executive Craig Scott. This helps ensure residents the best years of their lives.
The Village will offer spacious, north-facing home types from one- and two-bedroom courtyard suites to two- and three-bedroom free-standing Life Right cottages, all with optional care packages. A levy stabilisation fund will further secure residents’ lifestyle investments.
Facilities at The Village will include a private clubhouse with restaurant, bar and lounge, hairdresser, laundry, library, coffee shop and function room, frail care, home care, assisted living, security, exclusive-use gardens, cleaning services and a transport shuttle. Furthermore, residents will have access to the Langebaan Country Estate’s many sport and leisure facilities, which include an 18-hole Black Knight Design golf course, driving range, mashie course, two outdoor