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Retirement planning …an important checklist

A well-planned retirement is key to the comfortable, secure and stress-free life you envisage. By giving it a great deal of thought ahead of time, fine-tuning your needs and wants, and exploring the numerous options out there, you’ll be perfectly placed to find the perfect solution.

For many, retirement is a somewhat daunting concept. The secret is in playing an active role in the planning – recognising this chapter of life as a reality, viewing it positively, and celebrating the opportunities it presents. It goes without saying that financial planning is the most important factor and talking to your financial planner is a crucial step when looking into the future. It’s not only about the rental or purchase of a retirement unit or home, living expenses, covering of levies, rates and utilities, but also factoring in the unknown – any potential health or care expenses. Once you have a clear picture of your financial situation, you’ll want to compile a personal checklist of non-negotiable and ‘nice-to-have’ elements. You might want to choose a retirement village close to where you live now – near friends and familiar places – you’ll certainly want to be near family.

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Geoff Perkins of Collins Residential, the developers of Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village, shares a quick checklist to assist with getting the planning process started:
• Consider your family: being near them or at least near to an airport is important to consider.
• Hobbies and like-minded communities: being surrounded by a community who share common interests and values greatly enhances quality of life. If the idea of neighbourly activities and events such as gardening, walking or group exercise has appeal, then planning to settle in a community-orientated estate should be factored in.
• If wanderlust is important: a secure, lock-up-and-go is the ideal solution.
• Pets: For many, finding a pet-friendly retirement solution is at the top of the list.
• Do you enjoy socialising? A retirement community can offer wonderful socialising opportunities, companionship and ways to meet new people.
• For the active: golf, tennis, a gym. For many, staying fit and active is non-negotiable, so ensure your estate shortlist gives you access to these facilities.
• Do you bird watch, hike or walk? Similarly, you’d want to live on an eco-estate or near safe ‘wild’ areas with trails or boardwalks. The North Coast offers a range of estates that are based on this principle.
• Health matters: whether or not you have existing health care concerns, the option of having access to a full-service health care facility should be a careful consideration.
• Security is a reality: most villages and estates have good security, but think about your latter years – panic buttons and response services should be jotted down.
• Facilities: If you don’t drive or have a car, plan to retire in an estate where regular trips to local shopping centres and outings could be important to you. Similarly, a clubhouse, hairdresser or a coffee shop on site could be beneficial.
• Family fundamentals: visitor’s parking, whether you can comfortably entertain and even planning to ensure your grandchildren/ friends are able to stay overnight is often overlooked, so be sure to add this important item to the list.

You will definitely have a host of questions and considerations that pertain specifically to your particular lifestyle, Geoff says. “Jot them down. All that information helps you build a picture of where you’d like to be, and what facilities you need when the time arrives. We have invested an enormous amount of research and thought into our design and facilities. Understanding what retirees are looking forward to, we’ve worked hard to establish an estate in which the community itself plays an active role in establishing activities, clubs and the like.

Retirement can really be a wonderful time of life, full of opportunities and fewer responsibilities.”

Details: Mount Edgecombe Retirement Estate: www.merv.co.za, Dave: 083 4561897

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