Mrs Foster

Image: Mrs Foster

Downsizing... A 'right-sized' story

Image: Mrs Foster

Property & Design

06 January 2020

Buying a new home can be a daunting prospect at any stage in life, but particularly so in later life once you have accumulated a lifetime of ‘stuff’. Couple the concern of having to ‘downsize’ your treasured possessions with the thought of moving to a retirement village and you’ll find it can be quite an overwhelming prospect.

Moving to an over 55s retirement village can in fact be quite the opposite of stressful. New homeowners living in Audley villages (our sister company) tell us how moving to a more appropriately sized retirement property felt like a weight had been lifted. How they looked upon the move as a chance for a fresh start and a new take on independent living in their later years.

And, of course, the opportunity to start with a blank canvas when it comes to decorating their new apartment or house can be undeniably appealing, especially with all this new-found ‘free time’ in retirement.

Mrs Foster’s story: Mrs Anne Foster moved to Audley Chalfont Dene 4 years ago and recently shared her story of how she went from tackling the huge privet hedge in her large garden, to the resolution that she needed to move and what then appeared to be the immediately limited options in front of her. She carefully considered the opinions of friends and family, the stigma around retirement homes, the fact that she may one day need to consider care... Mrs Foster did her research into retirement living, like so many others, and arrived at the welcome conclusion that choices were in fact available to her. 

“Choice does exist, but the options must be carefully researched; above all else, any decision must be made by the person involved, and definitely not at the suggestion (or worse... pushing) by friends and relatives, however well-intentioned they may be..”

Mrs Foster tells us how she “was seeking the freedom to lead an independent life for as long as possible” and how she has found exactly what she was looking for… “Somewhere to live, someone to love and something to do”.

Mayfield Villages operates over 55s retirement villages, with the first Watford village due to open in 2021. One of the key challenges facing us all when it comes to ‘downsizing’ is “What about all my stuff? Can I bear to part with such beautiful possessions, carefully and proudly collected over decades?” The prospect can be heart-breaking. The realisation though is that although some items will always be treasured, others are “just stuff”.

Mrs Foster in particular says “All it was was stuff, and nothing could ever erase the memories I had accumulated with its use: they will remain forever.”

Read our Mayfield Guide To Downsizing for some guidance on the steps toward a beautiful new retirement home.

Mrs Foster is a very active and popular member of the community at Audley’s Buckinghamshire retirement village, where she has lived happily for 4 years with “no regrets”. And she is not alone. Downsizing, “right-sizing”, or just plain moving house… whatever you call it, moving to a beautiful and more appropriately sized property, where your gardens and property are maintained for you, with a health club, a restaurant, a library and a round-the-clock care team on hand, can be the best decision for many people approaching retirement.