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Carenet Retirement Village Swakopmund

As much as the prospect of retirement is an exhilarating feeling, it also harbours many daunting considerations. Top of my list is where to settle down one day while still maintaining an active and independent lifestyle, yet having the peace of mind that care is on hand when needed. Another consideration is of course cost. Will I be able to afford it?

Most people simply ignore the reality of retirement and fail to plan ahead until it is too late. My parents always jokingly remarked that in return for all their favours in life they’ll come knocking on my door one day when the time has come for them to be looked after. And they’ve always made it very clear that sentencing them to an old age home is not an option!

Ironically, I recall them having this same argument with their parents not so long ago when they simply could no longer live by themselves and had to move unwillingly into an old age home for their own good. I can easily anticipate the same argument with my children one day.

Fortunately it seems that there will be no family feuds in our house thanks to Carenet affiliated retirement villages, the first of which will be developed in Swakopmund. This revolutionary new concept in retirement property development, where the delivery of care services are contracted to Carenet Services, is a business model that has proven to be highly successful and sustainable in South Africa for the past 8 years. What’s more, it is an affordable retirement solution that offers an investment opportunity at the same time.

Speaking to Nellie van Staden of Nellie van Staden Properties South Africa, who spearheaded this affiliated retirement development concept originally, it becomes clear to me that the retirement village has replaced the old-age home. Nellie has 32 years’ experience in retirement property development, and as a result of the proven success of the Carenet affiliated developments, she decided to introduce the same model to Namibia. With her guidance Carenet Namibia was recently established as a wholly owned Namibian company.

The Swakopmund Carenet Retirement Village is an exclusive retirement development situated in Extension 16 in the Mile 4 region and will be the first Carenet affiliated retirement village in Namibia. Apart from its ideal location close to the ocean, other important factors that were taken into consideration to make this an ideal retirement investment were its location, which is in a quiet area of Swakopmund, and also its proximity to everyday conveniences such as the nearby shopping centre. Safety is also a top priority and the village offers state-of-the-art security within a walled perimeter with 24/7 access control.

Although there is no specific legislation in Namibia with regards to the care of elderly, all Carenet retirement villages developed in South Africa comply with applicable legislative standards and requirements, which naturally is also the case for the Namibian development.

Investing in the future “Property developers are targeting younger retirees who wish to enjoy their later years in secure environments that offer a variety of amenities. These developments also provide an investment opportunity for young people wishing to accommodate their parents, while at the same time also guaranteeing a place for themselves in the future. Unfortunately, however, not all developers adopt a model that will provide a full spectrum of frail care, which is the most important factor,” explains Nellie van Staden.

Carenet affiliated retirement estates is a safe investment with the choice of full or sectional title ownership for the growth of your investment. Sectional and full title means you have full ownership of a unit and when the time comes to move into frail care you have a capital investment you can sell or rent out your unit to fund your frail-care levies. The investment will retain its value as a retirement village and also meets all the legal requirements pertaining to the elderly.

The Swakopmund Retirement Village will have two options for investment: an estate offering full title, two and three bedroom free standing houses as well as the Haven, an apartment block, offering a choice of studio, one and two bedroom units.

Says Nellie: “The fact that the estate complex is owned under full title ownership and the Haven under sectional title ownership is important as it means that the unit can be sold or left to their children. Alternatively units can be rented out provided the occupants of the unit is 48 years and older”.

Apart from my interview with Nellie, I did some additional research and asked other property development experts. It became apparent that retirement villages are among the best property investments around. Firstly, there is a chronic shortage as a result of increasing demand as people live longer and move into these villages at earlier ages. Furthermore, a retirement development that provides a care model with a full spectrum of frail care services is considered an excellent investment.

Moreover, it provides peace of mind should care services be required in the future.

An important fact which Nellie points out though is that not all retirement villages offer round the clock nursing or frail care, and aim more at the able-bodied.

Sustainability and continuity of a model that provides a full spectrum of care to the elderly within the retirement village is vital. So many developers today will make promises and once they complete the project they then leave the responsibility of care services to the residents which then turns the development into an ordinary townhouse development.

“The buyers become the losers because, after paying a premium on the purchase price due to the frail-care facilities, their properties are now worth considerably less,” Nellie cautions.

Carenet Namibia care and support services According to experts, during the last decade it has become more apparent that frail care centres at retirement villages are simply not viable. More and more retirement villages have found themselves in situations, having to seek alternative accommodation for their patients, due to diminishing numbers, as well as the inability to provide continuous frail care at the onsite facilities due to a lack of funds and adequate patient numbers.

However, the sustainable business model followed by Carenet Services ensures comprehensive and cost-effective service delivery. The company is guided by its vision to develop care facilities nationally. Its core business is the guaranteed delivery of care services to the members in affiliated retirement villages and exclusive Carenet Havens, offering day care, home care, emergency care, assisted living and frail care to members. This means that the burden of managing care service delivery is not placed on the residents.

Once a member becomes terminally frail, the member has the opportunity to request for admission to any available Carenet facility. This implies that Carenet affiliated retirement village gives the resident the opportunity to be closer to their loved ones when needed most. Nellies does however point out this this is only on request and depends on availability of units.

The development The Swakopmund Retirement Village will be developed in phases. The development consists of 188 full title, two and three bedroom free standing houses for which there is a choice of six different architectural plans. According to Alida Nel, Sales Coordinator for this development, construction of the internal services on the project will commence in August 2011 and the erven will be ready for transfer early in 2012.

The development will also include an apartment block (Haven) which offers a choice of studio, one and two bedroom apartments. This is ideally suited to the person wanting a more carefree lock up and go lifestyle, where services such as cleaning, washing and meals will be available. The apartment block will also include the Carenet frail care facility.

The clubhouse will form part of the construction of the Haven and will make provision for a lounge, dining room, hair salon and Carenet facility. A courtesy vehicle will be available from the developer on completion of the retirement development.

rently busy with the delivery of all external services to the development area and anticipate completion by the end of the year. De Leeuw Namibia is the appointed project managers and quantity surveyors on this project.

Other Namibian companies involved with this project include Cobus Lötter Architects, Consulting Engineers being WML Coastal, Coastal Consultants and Corona Consulting Engineers, while Premier Construction (Wim van der Plas) is the building contractor for the project.

So, it seems that I’ve not only found a retirement solution for my parents, but will also be investing in my own retirement much sooner than anticipated.

I can conveniently secure my stand with building package now with a 10% deposit and start developing as soon as I have made provision for the finances. I might even use it as a holiday home in the meantime.

According to De Leeuw Namibia representative, Celeste Martins, the Municipality of Swakopmund is cur


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