Rest assured because you deserve a well planned break

Ideas on how to pick your retirement home wisely

Danielle Garrett
According to data recently released by Stats SA, life expectancy for 2018 is estimated at 61.1 years for men and 67.3 years for women.

Their report states that: “The proportion of the elderly in South Africa is on the increase and this is indicative in the estimated growth rate over time rising from 1.21% for the period 2002 - 2003 to 3.21% for the period 2017 - 2018.”

“According to these statistics, people are living longer than ever before. This makes choosing a home in which to retire all the more challenging, as buyers will have to carefully consider their changing needs over longer periods of time when deciding on which property to purchase,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

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You are likely to purchase your retirement property before you retire. However, keep in mind that waiting lists on retirement villages can be extensive, if that’s the route you want to take. So you might not consider all of the features that could become cumbersome to you the older you get.

“Though we all hope for a healthy retirement, it is always better to provide for the worst so that you aren’t left in a compromising position if it should come to pass,” Goslett suggests

“Everyone’s body deteriorates with age, so you’ll want to avoid properties with multiple staircases or double-storey properties between levels in case your mobility is hindered in any way. For the same reason, you will also want to avoid properties that only have baths and no showers.”

He also recommends that you purchase a property that is close to a hospital covered by your medical aid.

“It’s no use being five minutes away from a hospital that you would never want to be admitted to,” he adds.

Location has a big role to play in a retirement property. You will need to be close to a grocery store (preferably within walking distance in case you’re ever unable to drive) and you might also want to be close to relatives or friends in case you need their help.

You will also want to find a neighborhood that offers safety and security for the next 20 or more years.

“You might want to avoid areas that are still developing unless you know what the proposed plans are for the vacant land nearby. The last thing you want is to purchase a property and have an undesirable development crop up across the road,” Goslett warns.

“Remember, moving comes with a host of its own costs that you would ideally like to avoid when living from a retirement fund. Not to mention the physical and mental strain that the move can have on a person. Retirement homeowners would do well to purchase and relocate to a property that can be suitable for their retirement before they actually retire,” Goslett concludes.

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