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family 4 - Family Community Living - Closing the Gap

Family Community Living – Closing the Gap

By Di Brown

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Family Community Living – Closing the Gap

By Di Brown

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These days your age is not as relevant as your lifestyle, and the concept of retirement estates is changing to accommodate changing needs.

Moving to a multi-generational lifestyle estate at 50-something is a smart move as you have the benefits of the security an estate offers, and the freedom to enjoy life as there is no need for time-consuming maintenance. More importantly, you have the peace of mind of knowing that your future healthcare and daily living needs will be taken care of should you need them. So while many might baulk at the idea of moving to a retirement village at 50, a multi-generational estate offers the same benefits but with neighbours of all ages.

A huge advantage of multi-generational estates is, of course, the fact that you can stay close to parents and grandparents, which is beneficial for all concerned. Depending on the age of your parents, it makes looking after them easier, or – even better – guarantees a super-trusted (and often free) baby-sitting service just down the road. And, of course, the emphasis will change as the family grows and evolves.

In the United States, developers, Lennar, have taken multigenerational living to the next level and are having huge success with their NextGen concept. Launched in Phoenix five years ago, the floor plans comprise a traditional home and an adjacent private apartment. A door connects the units, but each has its own entrance and parking. Living with your in-laws is easier, the idea goes, if they can live in your house, yet also next door.


For those who hanker after the warm climate of KwaZulu-Natal, the fabulous Palm Lakes Family Estate offers retirement units to anyone from 48 years old. The retirement units are in a block within the estate, with full access to all the facilities, creating opportunities to mix with residents of all ages. Affordably priced from R1,895,000, this estate at Salt Rock on the KZN North Coast offers a luxury lifestyle in a landscape of tropical vegetation, luscious green hills and tranquil lakes, all rich in indigenous bird and plant life.

The estate has been designed around family living and community life with a school, clubhouse, pools, dams, play parks, walking trails and wildlife to create a vibrant community for people of all ages. The 315-hectare estate will accommodate over 2,200 housing units. Enjoy the fresh air and share your space with blue duiker, bushbuck, impala and fish eagles. The estate is 10 minutes from King Shaka International airport, 15 minutes from Ballito and close to world-class golf courses at Zimbali and Prince’s Grant.

Brettenwood Coastal Estate at Sheffield Beach on the North Coast of KZN offers families with children, nature lovers, individuals who enjoy an active lifestyle, mature residents and those searching for peace and calm a luxury village lifestyle overlooking a palm forest.

The retirement section, which is called Forest Village, is small with only 35 cottages.

It’s pet-friendly, and offers all the expected amenities of a retirement village like a community centre, and access to healthcare.

Western Cape

Lake Michele in Noordhoek, an eco village built around a 22-hectare lake, is unique in that it was not designed as a retirement community, but rather as a standard residential estate focusing on the wetlands and the environment. So, when Evergreen bought 30 units to be sold on life right, they created a truly multi-generational estate.

In addition to these initial 30, which are scattered among the other houses, and are no different to them, Evergreen is building a further 108 units with a lifestyle and care centre. While these, unlike the original 30, are clustered together, they are in no way separate from the main body of Lake Michelle.

When you drive into Schonenberg Village in Somerset West, the retirement village, which is made up of 142 spacious houses, 48 apartments and 15 frail care rooms, is on the left and the 650 homes in the lifestyle estate are on the right – all with glorious views over False Bay.

The retirement village has a clubhouse and an indoor heated pool for their exclusive use, while the lifestyle estate has five kilometres of natural pathways and a children’s play park, creating a pleasing residential environment. Location is everything, and Schonenberg has walking access to the delightful Waterstone Village Shopping Centre. It is conveniently located just off the N2, 30 minutes from the city and Cape Town International airport, and only 10 minutes away from more than five outstanding golf courses, excellent wineries, Waterford Estate’s restaurant, and the Blue Flag beach in Gordon’s Bay. Prices start at about R3.5 million.


In Gauteng, Waterfall Hills Retirement Village Midrand is adjacent to the Waterfall Estate midway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

It offers 198 luxury freestanding houses, 55 one- and two-bedroom exclusive apartments, and penthouse suites situated in the Waterfall Manor.

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