How is retirement changing in today’s world?



Our most recent webinar focused on how the nature of retirement is changing, what developers are doing to adapt to these changing needs, and why it is never too late to start making plans for your retirement. Having a panel of retirement experts to draw upon is greatly valuable, and we want to share some of their insights with you.


Geoff Perkins, Collins Residential

To create what we have today, here at the Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village, has been a journey of years. We started by travelling across the country to learn more about the best-in-class retirement opportunities and how we could take their best elements and build on them to offer something never before seen in KZN. Retirement has changed over the last few years; and we have to know what it is that people want and that means stepping out of the developer’s shoes to look through the lens of a retiree.

The decision to place MERV in a bigger estate- Kindlewood Estate- was to provide a multi-generational situation; a place where all generations can thrive. Kindlewood certainly offers a lot – 17 hectares of open space, walking paths and wetlands, and it is right next to Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate’s facilities where one can play golf or bowls or enjoy a game of Bridge.

The retiree of today expects a lot more than they did 20 years ago, and our market research has revealed what is top of the list for this sector of the market: security, a care centre on site and pet-friendly living. A retirement home is seen as a grudge purchase- and we are doing our best to change that- to help people feel comfort in knowing that they can have appropriate and proper care at this stage of life. We want to remove the fear that surrounds this, and we welcome everyone to come and see our beautiful airy show houses for themselves.

As a developer, it is standard practice for us to ensure our facilities are in place first- the Mount Edgecombe Care Centre was a R115 million investment and we have delivered, what I believe, is SA’s best care centre.


Murray Collins, Collins Residential

There is a real need for quality retirement offerings in KZN, and after our discussions with a US-based consultant, he told us that KZN was like the Florida of Africa, and therefore the ideal place for retirement. There is no doubt that the North of Durban is a perfect location for a development of this nature.

After doing further research we began to better understand the complexities of retirement, and how the idea is changing. We strive to be ahead of the curve, as it were, and that is why we decided to place MERV (Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village) within the greater Kindlewood Estate – so that MERV didn’t become a white elephant but rather, through its seamless integration into Kindlewood, would become an extension of Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate and the amazing lifestyle it offers with the Care Centre as its backbone.


Cornel Nieuwenhuizen, TotalCare

When Collins Residential approached us very early on about creating a care centre within Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village, we knew we could not turn it down. They certainly exceeded expectations to deliver a fully-fledged, state-of-the-art care centre before the first residents had even moved into the village at MERV. We are proud to say that the Mount Edgecombe Care Centre is our flagship facility, but we do not rest on our laurels; we are continuously striving to get better- and we have gone beyond the recommendations of the SA Nursing Council to ensure we have qualified, registered personnel on every shift, no matter the time of the day.

Here we have created a hybrid of a Hotel and a Medi Clinic, with 112 beds in-house and several living options through our care centre:

  • Full board stay with little or no assistance
  • Assisted Living or assistance with some daily activities
  • Full Frail Care

Our home-based model is also exceptionally important and is there to provide the residents living in the village, with help for daily things like wound care or taking medication; the residents are our biggest stakeholders that we have to do our utmost to look after them.

Our Care Centre is open to everyone; it is not an exclusive care centre available only to residents of MERV, in fact we even have a few folks who have relocated from abroad to come live here.


Dave Cameron, Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village

Currently only 8% of our population is over the age of 60, but by 2050 that number will have increased to 15%. Logically this means there will be much greater demand, so that is why we say that people should start planning retirement long before they actually retire. My advice is start now; the later you leave it, the more difficult it becomes as this is usually an emotional decision for families. Try to avoid a panic purchase, which unfortunately tends to happen, rather cover your bases now by having a fail-safe for when the need arises.  We have seen 3 types of buyers at MERV- the retiree or user-buyer, the children of retirees looking to secure a place for their retired parents and the investor-buyer who will rent out the property until they need to use it. 50% of our Phase 1 buyers have purchased to let out now and use later, thereby creating a safety net for themselves and the opportunity to see growth in value. We have had many buyers hailing from around Durban- as close as Mount Edgecombe and Durban North for the reason that they want to move onto the next phase of their life, but still remain close to family and friends.


We understand the need for, and importance of, physical and mental security for people and having a care centre is part of it. We had a gent who lives in the village opt to spend 4 weeks at the Care Centre recovering from back surgery – he had 24-hour care and didn’t burden his wife to feel with needing to take care of him, provide meals, administer medication and monitor his exercise. I think this is testament to the value of the Care Centre and its professionalism and also the trust our community has in TotalCare. We have seen how close-knit and caring the MERV community is, and especially so during lockdown- people have been finding all sorts of ways to extend their kindness and help others; and this is the thing that we as developers cannot provide- it comes from the community that has been created here.

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