Facing spiralling rent and the ever-growing burden and cost of maintaining their spacious Victorian house and managing the large garden, Paul Jones, a 68-year-old retired landscape gardener and his wife Lindsey, a 63-year-old part-time nurse realised something had to change.
“The cost-of-living crisis was pushing our rent up,” Paul explains, “and the house upkeep was getting too much, especially after I had Covid-19 which has left me with weaker lungs. We decided it was time to downsize and find a home that was cheaper and easier to manage.”
Discovering a solution:
Unfamiliar with retirement rentals, Paul and Lindsey found My Future Living online, the UK’s leading retirement rental specialist. After exploring various options with the company, their search led them to a one-bedroom apartment in a retirement development called Hometor House in Exmouth – a town Lindsey had always dreamed of calling home.
Beyond the beautiful scenery, their new apartment has offered unexpected financial advantages. “It’s much cheaper to run,” Paul says. “The apartment is highly insulated which means it scores high on energy efficiency. We have really noticed this in our bills, and keeping these as low as possible is important when you have retired. An unexpected benefit was the saving on the car insurance too. Because the car is now parked in a gated, private car park instead of a busy road the insurance company reduced our premiums!”
Paul and Lindsey rent on an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy through My Future Living, which gives them the reassurance they do not have to move again (providing they keep up with the terms of their tenancy agreement). Also, they do not have to worry about major rent increases as the annual rent increases are also low and are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI).
Paul says, “Before we moved Lindsey had started to worry about how much our rent kept going up. Now, not only do we benefit from a lower rent due to downsizing, but we know what to expect in terms of increases. The assured tenancy gives us extra peace of mind too. As we get older, we don’t want the stress of knowing we might have to move again.”
Downsizing was not just about finances; it has also unlocked a vibrant community. As Lindsey still works, Paul has embraced their new social life. “Being part of this community is great,” he shares. “We have tea parties and bingo nights and even enjoyed a Christmas dinner dance in Dawlish, just across the water from us in December. Also, we often go on the coach trips when Lindsey is off work. These activities helped us to settle into the community well.
“We have less cleaning and gardening to worry about too, so we have more time now for socialising and going out exploring. The development is in a fantastic location close to the centre of town and the Quay, as well as nearby Phear Park. The development and grounds are kept clean and tidy, and the development manager Carol has been wonderful in helping us settle in.”
With less house to manage, Paul and Lindsey have more time for themselves. “We have more time for walks, fishing, and my electric bike,” Paul says. “And having people around for a cup of tea when Lindsey’s at work is perfect.”
Looking back, their decision to downsize and embrace retirement rentals is one they wholeheartedly recommend. “It’s worked brilliantly for us,” Paul concludes. “We love our new life, the community, and the freedom it brings. Do not be afraid to downsize – the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Plan your move, let go of what you don’t need, and enjoy a worry-free life in a welcoming community.”