Rising cost of living: Five things retirement investors should consider to save on costs

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The year started off on a positive note, with more of the economy opening up and a semblance of ‘normal life’ on the horizon. Unfortunately, 2022 has also brought with it a rise in the cost of living for South Africans, which means retirees will need to carefully consider where to invest to make their money go further. 

In late January, the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee hiked the repo rate up by 25 basis points to 4%, bringing the prime rate up to 7.5%. The following week, the Mineral Resources and Energy Department announced that both grades of petrol will cost 53 cents more from Wednesday, with diesel increasing by 79 to 80 cents. Then there is the triple threat of Eskom’s proposed tariff increase of around 20% which, if it passes, will take effect from 1 April.

“To counter these rising costs, we really encourage retirement investors to consider certain cost-saving factors when looking at property options,” explained Phil Barker of Renishaw Property Developments. “This is obviously a long-term investment at a time when work is either slowing down or stopping, and retirees should not be spending their golden years stressing about finances. Where you invest can honestly make all the difference to your lifestyle.”

1.       Location of the investment

The South African coastline remains incredibly popular for retirement investors, with the warmer KZN coastline proving particularly appealing. The mid-South Coast, with its incredible value for money and ‘live the holiday’ lifestyle, is garnering a lot of attention as a top retirement destination. The area is a comparatively quieter than the northern coastline while boasting fantastic swimming beaches, warm weather and captivating natural scenery. This is fast becoming a top retirement destination for those wanting real value for money.

2.       The climate

Connected to location is climate – a big consideration for retirement years. This is the time to be relaxing in a warmer climate that encourages activity, not bundled up indoors to avoid the freezing temperatures! A subtropical climate, as found on the KZN coastline, also means cost-savings in terms of electricity use. For those warm summer days there is the refreshing sea breeze, and because it’s warm year-round, there’s no need for artificial heating in winter.

3.       Inclusive levy

A really important consideration for retirees is the levy – not simply the price, but what this price actually covers. Too many estates don’t outline hidden costs that might arise once the deal is signed. A good investment will cover costs related to security, healthcare, fibre optic WiFi, maintenance, building insurance, garden maintenance and refuse removal, the use of communal facilities and even postal and transport costs. An all-in-one levy ensures that finances can be adequately budgeted for, and special levies are uncommon.

4.       Affordable health care

Health in retirement years has to be factored into living costs, and this should include health-enhancing activities as well as healthcare. A retirement estate that provides options like on-site swimming pools, hiking and biking trails, and exercise classes ensures retirees enjoy optimum health at little or no extra cost. Additionally, offerings such as home-based healthcare allow for ongoing health checks and customised healthcare without having to dip into savings.

5.       Value for money

One of the huge benefits of retirement investments is that bonds are not always a necessity, particularly in instances of downsizing. This means the hike in interest rates won’t directly affect investees. However, the knock-on effect is a higher cost of living down the line, which is why it’s still wise to invest somewhere that offers real value for money. The mid-South Coast has comparatively lower property prices so there are additional savings to be enjoyed and a more secure retirement living.

Renishaw Hills, located in Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast, is a quality coastal estate that offers retirees value for money without sacrificing on lifestyle. Renishaw Hills has just launched Phase 6, a series of high-end maisonettes boasting spectacular sea views and houses surrounded by coastal greenery. Start a new adventure by booking an in-person or virtual tour of phase 6 and other Renishaw Hills offerings. Email info@renishawhills.co.za or visit www.renishawhills.co.za