The Retirement of Joy
Retirement for many means downsizing and moving to a smaller, more manageable property. But for one retiree, it wasn’t just a case of moving down the road. We spoke to Joy de Weerd who moved over to the Isle of Man three years ago...
Retired social worker Joy not only made the life-changing decision to sell her family home recently, but also to move to a totally new location. She had lived in the same rural area of North Buckinghamshire her entire life but decided to move to the island to be closer to family.
Joy explained why she chose to buy a 2-bed apartment at St Ninian’s Court, a development in the heart of Douglas designed specifically for people over the age of 50: “My son and I fell in love with it when we came to view it – the sun was coming through the window and it’s just so lovely in the morning. It’s very quiet and peaceful which I like.”
Her previous home of 41 years sat in the garden of an old vicarage, bordered by the village recreation ground and a beautiful Norman church. She said “To come here with the same set-up with an arts and crafts church and lovely park on the other side was just perfect for me - it really was ‘Location, Location, Location!’
“It’s near to the shops and just down the road we’ve got the theatre, the concert hall and what I think is the nicest part of the promenade – it’s just very special.”
Safe and secure
Joy explained that feeling safe in her own home was of upmost importance when choosing a property: “When my husband died I was left alone in a large four-bedroom house. It was very difficult at night being in the building alone. I’d looked for a bungalow in the locality and hadn’t found anything that was right for me.”
She added “I’ve always felt very secure from the very moment I first moved in to the flats at St Ninian’s and very comfortable and at home. It does get quite difficult to maintain a big house and garden but I’ve just got the rooms I really need here: I don’t need a second bedroom so I’m able to have a separate dining and work room, as well as a sitting room.”
Feeling at home
Although downsizing to a smaller property, Joy was able to hold on to her most important belongings: “I wanted to keep as much as I could because it was things I’d acquired over the years including my pictures which were part of keeping things familiar for me in a new place; arranging what I’ve got as best I could was important to me.”
She explained that local developers Hartford Homes had been helpful in the whole process, letting her a vacant apartment while they made hers ready and helping her to move in.
To help her settle in to a new area and meet new people, Joy became a member of the local University of the Third Age, along with other community associations. The U3A is an international organisation for retired people and has main monthly meetings along with smaller groups. Joy hosts weekly Rummikub groups and Mahjong groups in her apartment, helping her to retain an active social life and to make the most of retirement.
There are now only 2 apartments remaining at St Ninian’s Court. Prices start from just under £250,000 and a show home is open to the public every Friday from 1pm to 4pm.
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