Deciding when is the right time to downsize can always be a difficult decision, but for one couple, making the move whilst they are still young enough to enjoy it was extremely important to them. David (72) and Diane (69) Grace have downsized to an apartment at Churchill Retirement Living’s Charlotte Lodge in Eastleigh, Hampshire and they couldn’t be happier.
David comments, “Both originally from Southampton, we moved back to the area in the 70s. After ten years travelling with the Navy we bought our four bedroom detached family home in 1985. After 30 years living there and our children having now left home, we started talking about the possibility of downsizing and having more time to enjoy ourselves and travel more. Diane was a little hesitant at first but I continued to explore the idea.
“Then last year Diane suddenly announced that she was ready to downsize and would like to move to a retirement apartment. We had seen a Churchill Retirement development down the road from our house and had really loved the whole feel of it so knew this was the only company we wanted to buy from. We wanted to stay in the area to be near family and friends and also Diane still occasionally works as a dresser at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton where I had also worked for many years as stage crew and latterly as a stage doorman. We looked around and discovered Charlotte Lodge in Eastleigh.”
Charlotte Lodge features 31 one and two bedroom retirement apartments situated opposite Eastleigh Park and bandstand. The development is set in landscaped grounds and is ideally placed for the town centre shops and amenities. The town is also well served by public transport with regular train services to London Waterloo, Portsmouth, Salisbury and Poole and buses catering for a variety of local journeys.
Diane continues, “We discussed our decision to move with our daughters and initially they were apprehensive about us moving to a retirement development as they felt we were too young. However once we had talked it through with them and told them that we were keen to move whilst we were young enough to make the decision ourselves and enjoy the freedom we would get, they were in full support of us.
“We moved in at the end of May and it is just perfect for us, we absolutely love it here and couldn’t be happier. It is so nice not to have so much housework to do and we are close to everything. There are lovely bars and restaurants locally and the train, coach and bus station is minutes away. We have also joined the Curling Club locally and will be joining in some of the events held at the Lodge.
“David and I also both love to travel and go on a cruise at least once a year as well as holidays in the UK and we love the fact that we are able to lock up and leave and know our home is being looked after. Moving here is everything we could have wished for and more.”
Charlotte Lodge has been specially designed with the over 60s in mind, with features such as a video-entry system, lift to all floors, a 24 hour care and support system and a Lodge Manager for complete peace of mind. Communal facilities include an Owners’ Lounge which residents use for socialising and events, and there is also a Guest Suite.
Prices start from £208,950 for a one bedroom apartment and from £306,950 for a two bedroom property. To find out more, visit the show complex, which is open daily from 10am to 5pm, call 02380 080611.