Like many couples, the pandemic made Howard and Sylvia Glass from Manchester reassess their priorities.
With two grown children living in London, both with great careers and their own families, and a son expected to return to the capital after a stint in Bermuda, the lockdowns only served to emphasise how much they were missed and missing out on.
A move to an overheated property market down South, at a time when many of their friends were downsizing, seemed a challenging plan.
Our business development director John Winstanley not only demonstrated how it could be possible to reunite the family but achieve this new life with the confidence that they would still be well provided for, for many decades to come.
Sylvia, a former national sales director, and witness support volunteer, said: “We had been deliberating about this move for many years, but Covid was the trigger. We felt very isolated and missed the children and grandchildren terribly.
“Our son’s daughter has just turned two and between the ages of one and two we hardly saw her, so it has taken a while for her to get used to us. We are so happy, as we are now just 15 minutes from them.”
Howard, a retired pharmacist, and magistrate said: “We had lived in the same house in Prestwich for 42 years. We moved in on our wedding day, it was where our children grew up.
“It was a huge wrench to leave, and not easy to make the decision financially either. Property in London is not like in Manchester – it is double the price and then some for the same property.
“We went against the grain really because people at our time of life will downsize their property and release equity to spend. We had to do the opposite. We had to sell our property and take money out of our investments to fund the move. But we are very family-oriented, and our children are delighted we did.”
Sylvia continued: “We have been clients of Clarion Wealth Planning for a decade. It was John Winstanley, through his expertise in the financial world, who was able to facilitate our move and help us understand how we could finance it.”
Howard added: “We thought it would be very difficult, but John found a way of releasing funds from our investments without penalty or tax implications. And quickly too so we didn’t lose the property we wanted.
“The whole process of selling the family home, buying the new apartment, and selling a small bolthole flat we had previously purchased with the help of Clarion, was completed within 11 months.
“Our life has changed incredibly; we can’t believe we have actually achieved it. We have seen an awful lot of our grandchildren, which is so important. I can now go and watch my grandson play football on a Sunday morning.
“Our younger son is flying back from Bermuda in a couple of weeks and will be staying with us in our new apartment for a month. John’s skills have given us a whole second life and brought our family together again.
“Security is important for us because I retired so young at 53, and we had to be sure we could manage financially. Clarion clearly showed us how we should be fine. We wanted to travel the world which we didn’t have a chance to do while we were working.”
Sylvia said: “When Covid started to hit we were on holiday in Vietnam. The stock markets were going down and down but even though we were thousands of miles away, we had a call from John. He said this is what we have to do, this is what we have to conserve, and this is how we are going forward. It made us feel so reassured. We were so far away, and the world was crashing but John was there to send out a lifeboat, so to speak.”
Howard added: “And so, even though we are now 200 miles away in London, our relationship will never sever. Nothing has changed but the distance between us. If John can work with us in Vietnam, he can work with us in London!”
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