Retirement and investment; locally and abroad

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What is your plan for retirement? How much will you need and where will you choose to live? These are big questions many South Africans are pondering. When buying an investment property, it is a good idea to consider one’s retirement plans. International property specialist and owner of Hurst & Wills, Lisa Bathurst, gives some insight into options locally and abroad.

“South Africa has a fantastic lifestyle element, especially around golf and wine, that makes it a good option for retirees,” says Bathurst. People who prefer to stay local have the option of moving into a retirement complex with frail care, or onto a golf estate in Western Cape, or heading for the wine-estate lifestyle in Paarl.

Hurst & Wills screenshot“My advice if you’re planning to retire in SA, is to get some offshore assets to hedge your ZAR retirement,” says Bathurst. “Some entry-level investments in the UK could build a nice nest egg in British pounds, that can be transferred back to SA anytime, handed to the next generation or divested as required for larger-sum payouts,” says Bathurst. “For example, you could purchase a couple of student accommodations for just R1,5 million. This will yield 7.5% guaranteed for five years and is completely hands-off. They can be sold anytime, but you have the security of a strong currency asset just in case,” she says.

“Portugal is my number one spot for South African’s wanting to retire aboard,” says Bathurst. “This is due to the relatively low cost of living, its Golden Visa programme and the non-habitual tax regime with its tax incentives. Portugal also has a world-class lifestyle, with excellent golf, superb food, wine culture and good summer weather,” she says.

The Algarve in Portugal has been named as the best city to retire to for the fourth year in a row. “The Algarve is a great place to retire as it is safe, has terrific year-round weather – they claim 3,000 hours of sunshine annually,” says Bathurst. “Portugal’s cost of living is the lowest in Western Europe, meaning a retired couple could live on the Algarve coast on as little as $1,700 a month. Property prices in this area went up by 9% last year,” she says.

Other good areas to consider in Portugal are the Silver Coast, known for its beaches, good food and friendly people, or the beautiful walled city of Evora. Evora, situated in the vineyards in the Alentejo wine region, has some excellent property opportunities from about R4m. It also falls within the low-density rehabilitation criteria for Golden Visa, meaning that there are Golden Visa opportunities from only €280,000, says Bathurst.

“Ireland is another good option. This is a country of many virtues – great scenery, friendly locals and it is very safe. The property rental rates compared to property prices are currently compelling, especially in more rural areas,” she says. “There is also great public transport, which is free for senior citizens, and residents aged over the age of 70 qualify for national healthcare benefits.”

“Panama is also a good option thanks to its dollar economy and GDP of over 6%. It is also a very safe country with a low cost of living and good retirement and tax incentives,” says Bathurst. “Then there is Mauritius, as it is so close to SA it is a favourite for South Africans. Mauritius offers a laid-back lifestyle and good tax benefits,” she says.

Golf estates in SA vs Portugal

Golf estates offer scenic settings, lifestyle, social aspect and communal amenities, making them an easy lifestyle choice. South Africa and Portugal have some good golf estate options for retirees.

In South Africa, Fancourt in George, with its spa, restaurants and proximity to the ocean, is priced from R5m. While Zimbali in KZN, with its famed Tom Wieskopf golf course and abundant flora and fauna near the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, starts at R13.5m. Pearl Valley offers a Jack Nicklaus golf course, amidst the wine estates in the Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains. Properties are priced from R8,2 million.

In Portugal, the exclusive Praia Del Rey Golf & Beach Resort is home to miles of golden beaches, a world-class golf course and long days of plentiful sunshine. Set along the pristine shores of Portugal’s Silver Coast, the resort offers a host of spectacular villas, holiday residences and the luxury accommodation of the 5-star Marriott Hotel, priced from R4m.

Quinta Do Lago’s excellent course, with some long par 4s, has hosted the Portuguese Open several times and boasts a stunning location on Portugal’s Algarve coast. The properties vary from apartments and townhouses to multi-million-dollar mansions. There are shops, restaurants, hotels and a world class beach. Prices start from R8m.

The Monte Rei exclusive golf and country club, with award-winning 1,000 acres of unspoilt countryside overlooking the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, is consistently ranked as the best course in Portugal. The resort features restaurants, proximity to the warm Mediterranean and first-class hospitality. Priced from R12.5m.

For more information on how to make a sound international real estate investment, contact Lisa Bathurst on 087 012 5281 or email hello@hurstandwills.com.