Retirement Villages – Spotlight on Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate
We will be interviewing clients who have chosen to live in various retirement estates around the country to learn more about their experiences. Please note that Chartered Wealth Solutions is not affiliated with, or sponsored by, any of the featured retirement villages, and the opinions expressed are that of the clients who live in these retirement villages.
About Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate
Waterfall Valley has 241 free-standing houses within the gated estate. Waterfall Valley enjoys full reciprocity with Waterfall Hills, so residents have access to their frail care centre and a wide variety of lifestyle facilities just around the corner, including scenic walking trails along the Jukskei River, which link Waterfall Valley with over 35km of hiking and biking trails on the rest of the Waterfall City estates.
Click here to read more about the estate.
Meet Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate residents Ronelle and Brian Baker
In around 2012, Ronelle wrote an article for Inflight explaining her and her husband Brian’s view on why they did not want to live in a retirement village. At that time, they believed they were young and strong enough to check into any facility they wanted when they felt the need. However, they soon realised that it was not as simple as it seemed.
Their decision to move from their home in Lonehill to a retirement village in Waterfall was triggered by Brian’s only sibling requiring immediate and life-threatening surgery in 2014, which resulted in her needing significant care. As a result, they realised they would be in trouble if either of them experienced something similar. They decided to live in an area close to where they had lived for the last 34 years, close to friends and their church, which brought them to the Waterfall/Kyalami area.
They have been living at Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate since August 2015, and it has been a rewarding and life-changing decision. It is important to note that their Estate is not officially considered a retirement village, as they do not have the required services, such as frail care and assisted living, available to residents. Instead, their estate encourages residents to live in their homes and recommends making use of carers in case of incapacity or illness. However, Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate does enjoy full reciprocity with Waterfall Hills, so residents can access their frail care centre if need be.
Purchasing property in their estate is on a lease basis, with the land owned by a landowner, and they have a “99-year lease” on the property. They do not have life rights or other retirement purchase mechanisms in place. The estate has levies, City of Joburg rates and taxes, and Eskom bills, but living on this estate is still cheaper than living in a suburban home. Many homes have installed solar panels to ward off the never-ending load shedding.
Homes in their estate have the same architectural look and feel, but each home and garden has its individual characteristics. The estate has a committed and enthusiastic Residents Association with volunteers covering areas of finance, security, leisure, healthcare, infrastructure, and maintenance, among others. The estate management team is closely monitored and assisted by the association and a board of directors, who ensure everything is managed correctly and financially appropriately. The gardens are managed and maintained by a gardening service, the security systems are exemplary (soon to be facial recognition), and residents have access to a fully equipped gym with a steam room, sauna, Zumba, ballroom, line dancing and aerobic classes, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, ballroom, auditorium, a well-equipped library, and a partially subsidised restaurant on the premises.
Numerous activities are available to residents who wish to participate, such as social bridge, pool, table tennis, Kaluki, wine club, bird club, U3A, Mah Jong, French conversational sessions, cycling, hiking, craft and sewing/knitting mornings, and many more.