New residents David and Kim Kincaid are no strangers to big moves, having lived in Singapore and India, but they insist moving into a Retirement Village is not the end of the adventure.
They are both in their mid-eighties and moved to the new Elmbridge Manor apartments in August 2017 after a series of stops around the world.
Before David retired, he was finance director of a consultancy group in the oil and gas industry, which meant a lot of travelling overseas, sometimes accompanied by Kim.
They originally met when they were both in the Royal Navy in the early 1950s. They were married in 1955 and soon after David was posted to Singapore. David added: “In fact, had we not been in Singapore we may never have considered an appointment in India when I left the Navy. We lived in Assam, (north east India) for 7 years working in the tea industry.”
David and Kim’s time in India was certainly not devoid of events, as they lived there during two conflicts in the region:
“There were two wars, which certainly made life interesting and sometimes quite difficult. Communication was also fairly limited and often the phones didn’t work – if you wanted to phone London you might have to wait three or four days for a connection, if you were lucky.
“It could be particularly challenging being an accountant, as most of the expatriates in Assam were tea planters. The nearest accountant I could make contact with was 40 miles away on unpaved roads. It meant you really had to think for yourself!”
The obvious choice
David and Kim were thinking for the whole family, though, when they made the decision to move from their large home in Worcestershire to be closer to family.
“The house we had was beginning to become a problem. Even though it had a small garden, it was all shrubs, so the whole property required a fair amount of maintenance. So it just made sense to move somewhere where this was taken care of and where we’d also be close to our family.”
“One of our daughters had suggested we started looking at a retirement village, such as Elmbridge, and there were a few in the Surrey area where much of the family live.”
At which point, it became a case of choosing the right property for David and Kim. They had visited other villages in the area, but it wasn’t until they visited Retirement Villages’ new Elmbridge Manor properties that they had found the right place for them.
“We knew we really wanted space and, in comparison to other villages around the country, the apartment in Elmbridge Manor was more spacious with a better layout. Once we had factored in the location and the spacious properties we were after, Elmbridge was the obvious choice.
“We think we’ve got one of the best kitchens a retirement village can offer, which is really important to us. We enjoy having the open plan design in the kitchen/living area, which is wonderful when family and friends visit.”
David said it was also really important they could put their own stamp on the property and tailor it to their needs:
“We’ve added some extra storage space in the kitchen area, as well as remodelling the utility area because we wanted to put an American-style fridge freezer in there. So we’ve been able to change things and get the apartment the way we wanted it.”
Reassurance and flexibility
Having been on so many adventures, especially in some isolated parts of the world, David and Kim knew independence would be key. But they appreciate the services Retirement Villages offer should they need them.
“It is reassuring that Retirement Villages offers many other services on site, in addition to the maintenance and cleaning, such as having a nurse on call and a doctor’s surgery.
“We are very independent, but it is nice to know it’s there if we want or need it.”
David explained that the services Retirement Villages offers go beyond just convenience for residents, with guest apartments available for family and friends.
“We don’t need a second bedroom for guests – we’ve turned this into a study – and we are also right opposite the guest apartments, which are great for when friends or family come to stay and we’ve used them several times. In fact one of our three daughters, who did not live locally, stayed in one over Christmas – they are lovely apartments and extremely convenient.”