Studley retiree shares how rightsizing can offer other local retirees in a fresh start in later life

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Downsizing Into an apartment can bring many benefits in later life, from forging new friendships to helping you remain independent for longer to achieve that all important peace of mind. Therefore, it’s little wonder that almost half (48 per cent) of the estimated 5.7 million pensioners in the UK are interested in downsizing – a figure which is expected to rise to more than 11 million by 2036.

What’s more, in Warwickshire, the population of those aged 65 plus is expected to grow to 145,599 by 2030[2] presenting a growing need for older people to think about their future plans when it comes to finding the right accommodation to meet their needs.

For some people, downsizing is also an opportunity to create a new life in a new space and for others it provides an opportunity to right-size and in turn free up all-important housing stock in Warwickshire. This was the case for Rosalind Powell, 81, who swapped her larger period property for a one-bedroom apartment at Priory Place, a Retirement Living development by McCarthy Stonein Studley.

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“I absolutely love it here,” she says. “I was previously living in an old cottage which required a lot of upkeep. There was always something that needed mending and, eventually, I just lost my patience with it. So, I thought the best thing for me was to move into a brand-new apartment where I needn’t worry about house maintenance and I could focus on doing the things I enjoy most, like spending time with friends and family.”

Rosalind Powell making the most of retirement at Priory PlaceRosalind Powell making the most of retirement at Priory Place
Rosalind Powell making the most of retirement at Priory Place

Helping to reduce the upfront cost of a new retirement living property, the 81-year-old took advantage of McCarthy Stone’s Older Person’s Shared Ownership (OPSO) scheme in partnership with Homes England. The initiative is designed to make ‘rightsizing’ an affordable option, through providing a choice of home ownerships up to 75 per cent. For example, at Priory Place, you could purchase a one-bedroom retirement apartment at a 50 per cent share from £112,500 with a monthly rent of £258, or a two-bedroom property at a 50 per cent share from £150,000 with a monthly rent of £344*. If you purchase the maximum percentage of 75 per cent, there is no rent payable on the remaining share.

“My son told me about the Shared Ownership scheme, which one of the Sales Consultants kindlymentioned I might benefit from. Not only did it make moving even easier, but it also now means I have can keep my monthly outgoings manageable,” tells Rosalind.

But it wasn’t just ‘fewer responsibilities and more freedom’ that tipped Rosalind to take the plunge, she was also impressed by the vibrant community.

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“I visited Priory Place for an afternoon tea event with a friend who was looking to move to a retirement development. The moment I stepped foot inside, I could picture myself living happily here. The atmosphere was so warm and welcoming – I knew I’d feel at home from day one.”

A sense of belonging pervades every corner of the development, with homeowners encouraged to participate in a range of activities tailored to their interests and preferences.

Rosalind comments: “One of the things I love most about Priory Place is that there’s always something exciting to do, be it a coffee morning or an exercise class – both of which I’m a regular part of. Knowing that I have everything I need under one roof gives me and my family great peace of mind.”

Along with access to social activities and events, having the option of personal and domestic support has become a key decision factor for retirees and their families when considering downsizing. The responsibility of supporting ageing parents is increasingly falling on adult children. Interestingly, research by Age UK has revealed 6.6 million people are worried they wouldn’t know how to support their older parents[3]. As a result, retirement living has become a desirable option, with a range of personalised care services available, allowing individuals to opt-in to the level of assistance they desire.

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What’s more, with quality relationships deemed one of the top predictors of overall health and happiness[4], Rosalind was also keen to welcome new friendships to help stave off feelings of loneliness.

“I lost my husband 15 years ago and I’ve been on my own ever since,” she shares. “When he died, I moved from our large family home to the small cottage. I was convinced that’d be where I stayed, and I quickly became content. Then Priory Place came along, and I immediately knew that’s where I belonged. Having lost my husband, good company is important to me, and there’s plenty of it here which is fantastic.”

And while the option of company is always a blessing, she also values the privacy of her own apartment, where she enjoys listening to classical music.

“I’m very happy to be by myself. I love my apartment and have done from the moment I laid eyes on it. Moving here was always an easy decision for me and now that I have, I couldn’t be happier. I just wish I could get a zip-wire from my room to the local Co-Operative and then it would be even more perfect,” she laughs.

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A reflection of Studley’s beauty and charm, Priory Place consists of 45 contemporary one and two-bedroom retirement apartments exclusive to the over 60s. Offering a stylish and contemporary feel, each property is designed to make life easier with high spec fittings and ergonomic features throughout. State-of-the-art facilities, including a spacious lounge and well-maintained gardens, offer many opportunities to relax and unwind or spend quality time with friends. For peace of mind, 24/7 emergency call systems, intruder alarms, and door camera entry are fitted as standard, while a House Manager is on-site during office hours to oversee the day-to-day running of the development.

More than nine out of 10 customers would recommend McCarthy Stone to a friend, ensuring it has received the full Five Star award for customer satisfaction from the Home Builders Federation. McCarthy Stone is the only UK housebuilder of any size or type to achieve this rating every year it has taken part in the survey.

To find out more about Retirement Living at Priory Place, please call 0800 201 4384 or visit www.mccarthystone.co.uk/priory-place.

*Shared ownership prices are subject to availability. For terms and conditions, click here: www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk/what-we-offer/occupancy-options/shared-ownership

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