Wherever I lay my hat

Wherever I lay my hat

In your May 2014 edition your contributor, Aidan Sawley, invites comments on Retirement Living from interested parties; for some time my wife and I (76 & 81 respectively) have been looking for a suitable property to which to downsize. In 18 months or so we’ve found only one such complex that offers acceptable housing and that’s (1) in the wrong location and (2) too expensive for our pockets.

I worked – mainly away from home all week – until past my 80th birthday so, for the first time, we are now limited to our pensions incomes. We have recently released some of our property equity so available capital from house sale is not unlimited.

In our researches we have viewed many providers of retirement homes but estimate that somewhere around 95% offer only “Apartments”. We’d call these Flats and, because we have never lived in such close proximity to other people, we simply can’t face that prospect.

We have also almost always had sight of open country from our windows. Despite that, we have also always been within a few minutes’ walk of essential local shops. Are we really looking for the impossible?

Unfortunately – or maybe fortunately – we have a family and moving closer to the majority of them is a priority; without them we’d have considered moving to New Zealand a few years ago!

What we’d really like is a chalet bungalow within a sheltered estate with a typical focal point with administration and communal facilities. From your same edition I have noted Bennett Homes appear to come close to satisfying our objectives, – apart from being in the wrong part of the country!

I have contacted an advisory service for people like ourselves and have been told that they know of nothing like our wishes so have advised looking on the private property market. Are we really so unusual or are there many other couples like us who totally reject the idea of apartment living? If there are, why are we being neglected?

Karl W Smith, Heckington