“Around 25 000 skilled people are leaving South Africa a year.”This statement by Sable International’s Andrew Rissik during an interview on eNCA in August had quite a few business journals investigating the reasons for the exodus and its financial implications. A question often overlooked, however, is what impact emigration has on elderly family members left behind. According to Bev Bloch, Pam Golding Properties’ retirement specialist, the company works with many expats living overseas who are concerned about their parents’ health and safety.“We have had quite a few cases where all of the negotiations were done with family on Skype or WhatsApp. People in their 60s are reluctant to relocate to a new home, let alone a new country. So they end up with no family living in the country.”Bloch says the children who are overseas want to know that their parents are safe and well-looked after when they can’t be here. She says this has led to the introduction of the concept of luxury retirement in the property industry.Quadrant Gardens located close to Claremont’s medical precinct is an example of such a retirement development. Sporting upmarket finishes and spacious designs, the apartments and amenities (full-service concierge desk, coffee bar and restaurant, rooftop garden, a cinema room and a library) at Quadrant Gardens turn notions of traditional retirement living on its head.The retirement development, managed by the Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged (CPOA), consists of 74 life right apartments. Health and safety is a priority with each unit fitted with an emergency call button and there is also an onsite 18-bed care centre, with two sick bays which offers 24-hour care if required. Residents receive a tailor-made care plan which is monitored regularly and walkways and lift lobbies are equipped with 24-hour CCTV cameras.Prices start at R1.85 million for a studio apartment (44m²) and go up to R6.65 million for a three-bedroom penthouse apartment (120 to 140m²). There is also a monthly levy of R7 500 for single occupancy and approximately R9 500 for double occupancy, depending on the size of the apartment. The levy includes 16 meals a month, basic health care and five days per year at the sickbay. Daily rates are available.Bloch says sales are going well. Already almost a third of the units have been sold. She says this underpins the need for lifestyle retirement options in the southern suburbs.“We also find that people are downscaling sooner. Even some people in their early 50s are buying a particular apartment now and letting it so that it is waiting for them when they are ready to move.”She says they encourage clients not to wait too long before they decide to relocate to a retirement development. “It is a difficult decision to make, but the reality is we will all get to that phase – we don’t get younger. It is best to move while you are still healthy and able to enjoy all of the benefits of retirement developments like these have to offer.” Among these, she lists stress-free living and the ability to lock-up-and-go among the top advantages. “The levy is market-related and if you start adding up all of the money you would spend monthly at a home – rates and taxes, maintenance costs, security – it is cost-effective. And you have none of the worries that come with maintaining a home and a large property. Also, people in their 60s and 70s are travelling much more than they used to, which makes the lock-up-and-go option very attractive,” Bloch says. V For more information, call Bev Bloch on 083 252 2594 or Lee-Ann Trout on 072 135 2051.