It wasn’t exactly what they’d planned, but shifting from their Wellington home to The Avenues in Tauranga has improved their lifestyle markedly.
For many, the process of moving out of the family home and into a retirement village is one that takes time. However, that certainly wasn’t the case for Neil Henderson and his wife Carol. In the space of just seven weeks, the retired couple had taken a tour of The Avenues retirement village in Tauranga, signed all the paperwork, sold their family home in Wellington and moved north into their new home – one of The Avenues’ luxurious three bedroom independent apartments.
So why the sudden move after 35 years of good living in the capital? Well, the initial motivation came from Neil and Carol’s son who decided to move his own family from Wellington to Tauranga. “We were quite happy where we were,” says Neil. But on their son’s insistence they came up to the Bay of Plenty to ‘have a look around’, with no real intention of making a permanent move. By chance Neil and Carol happened to be driving along Devonport Road when they noticed The Avenues retirement village and decided to pop in.
The couple were immediately impressed. “We were so delighted with the possibility of moving into The Avenues, we could have signed on the spot,” says Neil. The rest they say is history! For Neil the rigours of looking after the family home was starting to get a bit too much, so one of the biggest attractions of The Avenues was the maintenance-free living. “The staff look after all the external maintenance for us which is marvellous. So straight away I had a big load wiped away and it’s freed me up in time and worry,” says Neil. “Now we spend each day enjoying our hobbies. Carol loves mahjong and I have even started playing the flute again after a 35 year break!”
It’s also meant the couple are a lot more relaxed. “Neil was beginning to get a little stressed about the work he needed to do around the house. Now he’s more relaxed, happier and plenty of people are saying how great he looks,” says Carol. “Moving into the village really has given us both a new sense of freedom.”
The Avenues’ downtown location has also been a real bonus for the couple. Back in Wellington they were both regular drivers, but now they hardly have to get in their car. “We’ve got a Pak ‘n Save, Countdown and Mad Butcher, various fruit and vege shops, three banks and loads of other shops all within one block of the village. There are cafés and restaurants close by too, and because the area around the village is flat we can just stroll down whenever we feel like it,” says Neil. Add in the numerous social activities, the comfort and space of their three bedroom apartment and the great bunch of residents they’ve made friends with, life could not be much better for the two of them. “We really do feel that moving into The Avenues was the best thing we could have done at this stage of our life,” says Carol.