Peter and Sandra Watkins

Peter and Sandra Watkins moved into Wivenhoe Village just over 12 months ago, and at odds with the usual perception of “village residents”, are both still working. Peter works full time as a Blended Learning Designer at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and Sandra works part time in the university sector. When Sandra first moved into the village, she had fully retired but when an offer came up to work part time, she felt she couldn’t refuse.

Sandra says getting back into work life has actually been ‘complementary’ to life at Wivenhoe.

“I don’t feel like working negatively impacts my involvement in the Wivenhoe Community – in fact I would say that working actually complements the lifestyle here,” she says. “I am happy knowing that neither of us have to race home to do the lawns after a long day at work – we can just enjoy coming home to relax with a glass of wine whilst watching spectacular sunsets from the privacy of our back courtyard.”

Peter was at first a sceptic about living in a retirement village but he now says: “It is without a doubt the best thing we have ever done.” He says these days he often finds himself trying to change the perceptions of family and friends who think of over 55s communities like the Aged Care or Nursing Home of the 90’s.

“Whether it is a quick wave as you pass in the street, a chat over the fence whilst tending to your gardens, or a beer and a bite at Happy Hour, it is a great feeling to know there are always others around if you ever need anything. The community here really is second to none,” adds Peter.

“We are indeed fortunate to have such a wonderful building – the Lodge is elegant, contemporary, has been thoughtfully designed, and is already becoming the social hub at Wivenhoe.”
The Lodge provides the focal point, giving fellow residents the opportunity to ‘get to know’ each other. This is pivotal to building a vibrant community.

In the short time they’ve lived in the village, Peter and Sandra have already planned two holidays – one being a cruising holiday around New Zealand with neighbours and the other they will join the Graham Ross garden tour in Japan next April.

It seems, life in a retirement village can be excellent for achieving that elusive work/life balance.