The rise of the retirement village in KwaZulu-Natal

The rise of the retirement village in KwaZulu-Natal

We explore the growing interest in retirement villages in KwaZulu-Natal.

Elderly men sitting on bench
Wikimedia Commons

The province of KwaZulu-Natal is fast becoming home to a number of retirement villages.

Unlike an old age home, a retirement village is all about the lifestyle. It is the perfect way to downscale from your family home and move into a space that is comfortable, modern, and still keeps you active, with facilities such as gyms, walking trails, healthcare centres, clubhouses, and leisure centres readily available to let the older generation live their best life.

David Cameron, developer representative for Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village, says the biggest issue that developers have seen in the process of market research is the desperate need for retirement opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal - predominantly on the North Coast.

“Although the concept is not new, developers recently have taken it to the next level by making it a gated, secure estate which provides beautiful homes of all unit types to active over 50s, providing all the facilities that are offered at residential estates, as well as comprehensive medical care,” says Cameron.

Although the villages are designated for people who are above 55, they are also an investment for those who are less than the qualifying age to stay there, as they can buy and rent it out.

Developers are not just building any simple houses, but they have upped their standard by offering luxurious homes with quality architectural style to provide an immersive natural lifestyle in gated estates. This is so that the elderly can retire in style.

“At Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village, homes cater specifically to these needs - units are single-level, with no step into the shower, and no steps in the homes. Landscape is taken into consideration with no pavements and other advancements to the outside areas. Homes can be altered easily should you need wheelchair facilities. Retirement villages are well-researched in order to cater for every need,” he adds.

Sibaya Coastal Precinct's first ever retirement village and Renishaw Hills’ mature lifestyle development, outside Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, are just two of the new developments in KZN.

The Managing Director of the Renishaw Hills property development Phil Barker says older people love KZN because of its perfect weather conditions and beaches, with a number of people from outside of the province interested in making the move.

The needs and reasons for these lifestyle retirement villages are highlighted by Marilyn Hallett, the Director of You’ve Earned It – the brand synonymous with South African over-60s.

Hallett believes that 'Baby Boomers' are the reason for this shift away from old-age-home living, with the need for an active lifestyle making previous homes for the elderly far less attractive.

“There are several big questions around retirement when it comes to housing and accommodation when one starts thinking about a down-scaled, more manageable and more secure lifestyle. 65 is often the “magic age” when seniors start thinking about this transition," Hallett says.

"The generation known as Baby Boomers, those born in the post-war years, between 1946 and 1964, are very different to the generation before them. Baby Boomers are independent, confident, optimistic and self-reliant. They have a desire to remain vital and engaged and show no signs of slowing down. Baby Boomers are redefining the meaning of retirement in an ever-changing world.

"Developers of retirement villages know that the typical Baby Boomer is looking for an environment that will enable them to live a relaxed, social, but productive lifestyle – one that will allow them to fully enjoy their retirement years, while simultaneously taking care of possible future healthcare needs."

READ: Action, relaxation, and peace of mind on KZN's North Coast

Are you or a family member thinking of moving into a retirement village? Let us know why in the comments section below.

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