Retirement isn’t what it used to be


We’re all living longer, thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine. Average life expectancy has risen to 73 years in 2023, from 66 years in 2000, and it is predicted that the world’s population of elderly people will rise to over one billion in the next ten years.

The increased size of the aging population has led to an increased need for suitable retirement accommodation.  As a result, the retirement industry in South Africa is booming, with service providers and property developers across the country jumping on the bandwagon, ready to claim their piece of the retirement pie.

With so much on offer, today’s retirees should be spoilt for choice. But the needs of an ever-evolving and increasingly discerning retiree market, should not be taken lightly, because “one-size-fits-all simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

So, what exactly are modern retirees looking for?


World-class hospitality

The Baby Boomer generation are now entering the retirement village market – with the oldest of them in their early 70s. These physically and socially active seniors are looking for superb living conditions, state-of-the-art security, lock-up-and-convenience, and estate management and services of the highest standards.

That’s why modern retirement estates – like those within the Evergreen Lifestyle portfolio – offer modern, technologically enabled homes along with resort-style facilities that include onsite clubhouses, restaurants and coffee shops, libraries and cinemas, beauty salons and fitness centres, swimming pools, running tracks, and lots of wide-open outdoor space.

“We have also introduced fully-equipped healthcare centres and hotel-style hospitality at our villages across the country,” said Garry Reid, Managing Director of Evergreen Lifestyle Villages. “These include hotel-trained village managers; concierge, personal shopping, tour planning services; professional chefs; fitness instructors, dieticians, hairdressers; around-the-clock nursing care, physio and occupational therapists; social and welfare counsellors and the like.”


Financial peace of mind

Rising life expectancy means that today’s retiree could live anything up to 30 years past the point at which they stop working, which leads to concerns around whether they’ve saved enough to last them through their retirement years.

This is one of the reasons for the rise in popularity of the Life Right in South Africa. Pioneered by Evergreen Lifestyle in 2008, the Life Right remains the purchase model of choice in developed countries, because it frees seniors from the burdens of traditional home ownership, allowing them to enjoy their retirement free from stress, fear, and financial worry.


Risk-free retirement

Deciding to downsize, and selecting a retirement village or development to purchase into, can be a daunting process – particularly for those who don’t have the luxury of time or unlimited funds. That’s why today’s financially savvy seniors are doing extensive due diligence on the developer’s track record and financial standing. Before signing on the dotted line, they want to know that they wont be left in the lurch and living on a construction site for years while waiting for the developer to deliver on promises made.

Market leaders Evergreen Lifestyle enjoy the backing of 2 powerful shareholders – the Amdec Group and PSG Alpha Investments – and have built up a strong balance sheet over 15 years in the business, so clients can be confident that they will not be at financial risk. “We are financially strong enough to weather economic downturns, unlike many newcomers to the industry who have not yet built sufficient capital,” says Bedeker.


To find out more about Evergreen’s differentiated retirement offering, please click here or contact Sharon on 087 808 7000.