Retirement planning through property investment

It has often been said that many South Africans have not planned properly for their retirement. This comment has mostly been focused on people’s lack of retirement policies and bad financial planning which leaves them ill-equipped to deal with living off whatever small investments they have once they are retired.

3D Rendering of the Glendower Manor exterior
Neil Fuller, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX One, points out that aside from looking after their financial wellbeing for retirement, consumers should also give serious thought to what their living arrangements will be. “Many retirement villages throughout the country have an exceptionally lengthy waiting list which means that many people spend years waiting around before they can actually move into their retirement home of choice. Supply of retirement units is not meeting the current demand.”
For this reason, Fuller has teamed up with a top developer to create a lifestyle apartment block for seniors. Ideally positioned in Johannesburg’s East Rand adjoining the 13th fairway of the Glendower Golf Course, the development, to be called The Glendowner Manor, will be marketed exclusively through RE/MAX One.
The Glendower Manor will include 43 purpose-designed, quality apartments which will be managed by the Rand Aid Association, a registered non-profit organisation that was founded in 1903.
This retirement development will offer around 1300m2 of facilities for its residents including a concierge desk, restaurant, modern TV lounge with a bar, hairdresser, beauty salon, library, indoor heated pool and change rooms, a gym, games room, a care centre and doctors room among others. All residents will enjoy free access to these facilities.
Apartments at The Glendower Manor will enjoy a green building design, upmarket finishes and will include green features such as gas geysers, heat pumps, double glazed glass for insulation and prepaid electricity metres in order to keep the levy and electricity costs as low as possible. Additional features will include a dumb valet for delivered meals, a laundry for added convenience as well as state-of-the-art video security. The development will have two basement parking levels with lift access to the apartments.
Fuller explains that in order to avoid huge levy costs for the owners, The Glendower Manor will not be equipped with a frail care offering, however a frail care agreement will be put in place for The Glendower Manor residents with Elphin Lodge, a well-established and professionally-run frail care facility that also falls under Rand Aid’s management.
But he points out that the main differentiating factor that this retirement development boasts is that it will be run on a unique financial model. “The model will work similarly to a life right purchase; however, the owner’s estate will receive 80% of the property’s market value upon their death. Usually with life right properties, the owner’s estate would only receive 80% of the amount originally paid for the unit upon their death, not a market-related value,” Fuller explains.
In addition to this, Fuller notes that when a unit becomes available, every person on the waiting list will be contacted and invited to make an offer on the property. “Usually, waiting lists at retirement developments do not afford every person on it the opportunity to jump the queue so to speak. With The Glendower Manor, everyone on the waiting list will be given equal opportunity to make on offer on the apartment instead of waiting their turn on the list.”
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says that due to the fact that there is no transfer duty or legal fees payable on a life-right purchase, there are no time delays because the transactions are not registered at the deeds office. “Essentially the purchaser is paying a lifetime rental, which is paid in advance and guarantees their occupation of the unit for the rest of their lives.”
Another advantage to investing in The Glendower Manor is that the Fullers will be retaining one of the five penthouses, which means they will have a vested interest in the long term success and sustainability of the project. Occupation is planned for December 2015 and prices start from R1,675 million and range up to R3,360 million for one of the deluxe penthouses.

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