People are living and working for far longer than ever before. As a result, fewer people choose to grow old in the family home. They opt to reduce the burden on children or other relatives and remove the household-related admin and maintenance in favour of continuing to work while living in a retirement village.
The movement to officially retire later is, in part, owing to the Baby Boomer generation. Unlike their parents who survived two world wars, Baby Boomers lived well. Thanks to advances in medical science, they are also likely to way outlive them.
“The generation thinking of retirement are confident, optimistic, independent individuals who value innovation, self-reliance, accomplishment and change. It’s no surprise that they are still living active lives and showing no signs of slowing down,” says Arthur Case, chief executive officer of Evergreen Lifestyle retirement villages.
This generation is redefining the meaning of retirement, as many people are choosing to extend their working lives according to Case. For some, this is because of necessity due to poor retirement planning for a longer life. Many see retirement as something older people need to worry about or believe they will be able to “pull a rabbit out of a hat” when the time comes.
Either way, at some point past 65, there inevitably comes a transition point where seniors either choose full-blown retirement or decide to downsize for a more manageable lifestyle. From this point, the focus is on matching their lifestyle to their personal life stage.
So, while 65 may no longer be the average age for full retirement – it is a natural point for a change and the ideal time to plan for the future. Retirement villages offer a community environment, which is perfectly suited to a down-scaled, more manageable, and more secure lifestyle.
“We live in a rapidly changing world with many challenges, including shifting family structures, health and vitality, technology, work and security so it is absolutely essential that we plan for retirement,” Case shares. “It’s for these reasons that retirement lifestyle developers also focus more intensely on meeting the needs and constraints of today’s working retirees.
“At Evergreen Lifestyle villages, many of our residents are working well into their seventies – entering this phase with a need to connect with their world,” he says. “They want to be fully functional, fit and productive with the desire to meet major challenges that lie ahead – mainly health, wealth, significance and security. The Baby Boomer generation is looking for an environment that enables them to fully enjoy their years, to function effectively and to remain vital.”
It’s possible to downsize in stages within a retirement village that provides work-from-home solutions, technology in the home, access to gyms and heated swimming pools, and full maintenance and security teams.
“The options are very flexible for our residents, firstly being able to downsize from the family home to an Evergreen house and then the fact that you can easily shift between a house and an apartment in the same village,” explains Case. Whichever style of property, however, all residents have access to support such as personalised home-based and discrete primary healthcare, and fully equipped Care Centres with 24-hour nursing, frail and dementia care.
Such is the demand for apartment living in Evergreen’s retirement estates, in fact, that many of the villages are expanding. At Evergreen Broadacres, for example, 24 elegant new apartments have been launched for sale while a total of 108 new apartments are planned. In Muizenberg, demand is high with just 8 units remaining, but no further apartments will be built so it’s best to get in fast if that is your desired location. Evergreen Noordhoek, however is under construction and, on completion, will have 150 houses a state-of-the-art Lifestyle Centre and an apartment block.
When residents do decide to say goodbye to the world of work, they are encouraged to have active social lives along with sufficient hobbies, interests, and projects to ensure continued meaning and purpose in their lives.
Losing a family home can be a difficult experience, however, whether you continue to work or not. The retiree is losing their home that has been filled with memories over many years and the cutting back can be distressing.
Whether you choose a house or an apartment, wherever it may be, retirement villages can be the key to a smooth transition.