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Ray's story

Like old boots you know…

I’ve lived here for fifty-four years now. It’s where my roots are, my stomping ground, so I wanted to stay here. It’s like your comfy old boots, it’s what I know – as are the people and things I do here that form a large part of my life – particularly since I lost my wife.

At this age you’ve got to face facts and the fact is I’ve a four-bedroom house I rattle around in. It should be on the market for a family who could make better use of it. I knew I’d have to downsize at some stage, but there aren’t many options out there – and I don't want a nursing home thank you. I’m 86 and not getting any younger – I mean bits are gonna start to fall off aren't they and you can't do what you used to do. You may think you can, but you can't. So it’s important to plan ahead and adjust for this eventuality.

One option is to buy a Churchill or McCarthy Stone - but then you’re locked into their system – caught in other words. Not to mention they are overpriced, and you can't get rid of them at the end. And I don’t want to leave a massive burden for my family to have to sort when I’m gone. I also thought about moving out to a retirement village but it’s not here, so then I’ve torn out my roots completely. So, you've got to try and find a compromise. 

Renting is a different option, it’s not cheap but neither are nursing homes. And what nursing homes have a concierge, restaurant, club room, bar, wellness suite and are just a short distance from the high street? Value is most definitely in the eye of the beholder.

What I’m most looking forward to, despite a bit of natural apprehension, is being part of a community. I’m quite a social person so I’m looking forward to a bit more company and things to do. I’ve reserved early off-plan so I could choose the apartment that felt right for my needs. I've gone for a larger two-bed because I've got the dog – and also a brother who's up in Scotland which means I can accommodate him when he visits.

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