Julie and Roy Arnold have no regrets about their retirement seachange.
The 71 and 73-year-old married couple are the first residents to move into Stockland’s new development at its Somerton Park Seniors’ Living Community.
Roy was initially hesitant about selling the large family home in Adelaide’s foothills, despite his wife’s itchy feet. However, less than three months after moving into their new home, Roy’s certain it was the right decision.
“We both had knee or back operations which made it difficult to do the cleaning and gardening,” said Roy. “We needed to downsize to a home that was low-maintenance but allowed us to remain independent and have an enjoyable lifestyle.
“Julie had been showing me brochure after brochure for years. But, when we saw our Somerton Park home in the Stockland pamphlet, we instantly knew it was the one.
“Our home has the security and convenience of being in a village but is well-connected with the wider community.”
The $11 million expansion of Stockland’s retirement village, in highly-sought-after Somerton Park, includes 35 new homes. This adds to the serviced apartments, independent living apartments and villas already home to a community of more than 200 like-minded retirees.
The Arnolds’ home is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa with garage space for two vehicles. While the new home is a downsize, it’s an upgrade on features. Ducted air-conditioning, a gourmet kitchen, high ceilings, stainless steel appliances and a private courtyard – the home has everything they need.
Julie has claimed the home’s study as her new art studio where she lives out her passion for painting. She has also started taking tai chi and exercise classes, which are among the many activities on offer at the retirement village.
Roy has an allotment in the village community garden where he plans to grow his own vegetables. His small backyard is just enough for him to enjoy without becoming a hassle.
“Every day is like being on a holiday,” says Julie, of living in a community just a stone’s throw from the beach. “My childhood home was in neighbouring suburb Glenelg. I’ve always loved the beach and have wanted to move back. For us, buying a villa in the Somerton Park retirement village was a way to realise that dream.”
Julie’s advice for other retirees is “don’t wait until it’s too late.” “We knew the time was right to downsize,” she said. “Moving into a village took the stress out of retirement and has given us more time to do the things we love. Strolling back to the village with the sand between our toes after a long walk on the beach is a feeling like no other.”