Retirement hotspots in KZN

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Here's why KwaZulu-Natal is the ideal spot to buy a retirement property.

Let's face it, it's never going to be an easy decision to sell your family home and move into retirement accommodation. A move of this nature is often fraught with emotion. After all, you are selling something intensely personal that generally holds a lifetime of memories.

The move also usually involves downsizing, which may mean letting go of treasured possessions. However, those who plan ahead and invest in the right retirement development may well find that they end up living out their golden years to the full in an environment that caters for their every need.

It's no secret that there is a shortage of retirement properties available. In fact, although it may come as a surprise, it appears that this is a global problem and it's a situation that needs to be rectified urgently. People are living longer and, judging by what's available in this country, are becoming far more decisive when it comes to choosing retirement accommodation. Those who don't make early provision may well find that there is a long waiting list at the retirement village of their choice as it has become increasingly common for the younger set to invest in such developments long before they reach retirement age.

KwaZulu-Natal is the ideal spot to buy a retirement property, mainly because unlike other areas of the country, it boasts a moderate winter climate. It's also often more affordable with similar properties in upmarket parts of Gauteng or the Western Cape commanding higher prices. Although certain areas in the province are renowned as retirement hot spots, a growing number of developments catering for retirees and offering a wealth of facilities have sprung up throughout KZN.

The rudimentary shelters of yesteryear with few trimmings are a thing of the past for many investors, and these days retirement villages offer their residents an amazing array of lifestyles and choices. Add a healthy dose of socialising into the mix and you have a group of happy seniors who often live fuller lives than do most younger folk.

I love the community living aspect that living in a retirement village offers. The other aspect that appeals is the fact that fellow residents understand the challenges of growing older and tend to be far more patient with their peers than younger folk.

Elizabeth Du Rand, retiree

Best places to retire in KZN

Howick/Midlands: this area is incredibly popular with retirees from all over the country. Good shopping and a range of medical facilities make the area an ideal spot in which to enjoy your golden years.

Upper Highway: close enough to some of Durban’s top shopping centres to make shopping a breeze, the area also offers peaceful living for those looking for a more countrified environment.

Umhlanga: high-end living at its very best, this area literally has something for everyone – from top-class shopping to gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean.

Ballito: retirees enjoy the best of both worlds when they move to this gorgeous town on the North Coast namely upmarket living and relatively easy access to some of the best game parks in the country.

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Small coastal town with a big personality
Ballito, on the Kwazulu Natal North Coast, has grown quickly recently. Upmarket estates, restaurants and shopping centres now inhabit areas that were sugar cane fields not long ago. Many families are relocating to the area to take advantage of the relaxed coastal lifestyle that the area offers, even though it is just 30 minutes drive from Durban. Ballito has 3 excellent malls offering lots of retail therapy, great restaurants, private schools, private hospitals and ample sporting facilities. Beside the houses and flats in the main residential and beachfront areas, there are many newly built, secure estates that provide a choice of property types for those moving to the area.
Country cosmopolitan
Nestled in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Hillcrest has a slightly cooler and less humid climate than other parts of Durban. It’s a family-friendly suburb, with many private schools, parks and kid-friendly restaurants. Estate living is very common, with many estates boasting well-kept golf courses. Built amongst rolling hills, houses have magnificent views of the valley and lush, surrounding hills. Just 30 minutes from Durban city centre, Hillcrest is away from the hustle and bustle. The area has a great sense of community, and a mix of country and cosmopolitan lifestyles.
Upmarket Convenience
Upmarket Umhlanga has become the neighbourhood of choice for many who have moved North from more central areas. In Umhlanga you have the beach on your doorstep, along with malls and shopping centres just minutes away. With its top schools, great hospitals, business parks, gated estates, beachfront apartments and coffee shops, Umhlanga is convenience personified. Umhlanga offers a lifestyle for everyone, be it the happily retired, the on-the-go business person or the young and trendy student.