Doing the work for a dream retirement

Not many can say they are living the dream, but Sandy Ward is doing just that!

No nonsense, Sandy Ward, was top country Century 21 Sales Person of the Year in 2016, she knows village life equates to dream retirement living, and she will tell you every day of the week. In fact, that’s exactly what she used to do when she worked as a sales consultant at RetireAustralia’s Forresters Beach Retirement Village.

In August 2018, after 15 highly successful years working as a real estate agent on the Central Coast, NSW, Sandy commenced as a sales consultant at RA.

“I truly enjoyed working at RA, the managers at the helm are genuine and I worked with a wonderful bunch of people. You can certainly sell something if you believe in it and I did. While you’re selling the dream every day, you start to take note and catching up with grateful new residents certainly reinforced it,” she says.

In early 2021, after hearing how delighted residents were and seeing the level of care and community in the lifestyle she was selling, Sandy and her husband Mal moved into the tranquil surrounds of Tarragal Glen.

“Just because I worked at RA doesn’t mean I didn’t do my research further afield, we reviewed all options suitable for us, but nothing came close to Tarragal Glen,” she says.

Finding the dream

Location was one factor — a few minutes to the beach, right next to Erina Fair shopping centre and minutes to the freeway, suiting them even more perfectly now as they’ve recently bought a caravan.

Sandy and her husband Mal enjoying village life.

“As we return from our caravan trips, we’ll pass through the village gates and know that everything has been taking care of. The gardeners know exactly how I like the trees trimmed, and our villa is safe and secure in our peaceful neighbourhood,” she says.

While doing their research, Sandy says, that Home Care and Care Apartments weren’t a part of the planning for them — no one likes to admit they’ll need care, however, they found there was comfort in knowing it’s available when the time comes.

One thing Sandy recalls from working at RA is how many people were unsure of the practical way of village life.

“Many of my clients were unsure and asked if they could have visitors stay or bring their pet to live with them. I’d reassure them, ‘Of course, it’s your home!’,” says Sandy.

In truth, as Sandy and Mal discovered first hand, it’s that great big extended family, visitors, community and beloved pets that bring a village to life.

Living the dream

When Sandy and Mal moved into their villa, Hudson, their six-year-old British Bulldog, came too. Happily lapping up all the attention from their new neighbours.

“He was a great assistant in building friendships,says Sandy.

Sandy, Mal and Hudson.

Hudson has since moved to live with Sandy and Mal’s son and family, but delights in his regular ‘day care’ visits back to the village.

“In the 13 months we’ve been here, we’ve met lots of great people in our community and made some wonderful friends, so many more than we did living 32 years in our previous suburb,” says Sandy.

Sandy and Mal established the now famous fortnightly ‘drinks on the hill’, where residents gather and BYO everything — a tradition, rain or shine. Sandy’s also on the committee to build a community vegetable garden, which she believes is another great opportunity to bring people together.

“Sitting in the spa on a Sunday morning looking out over the palm trees, and saying to my husband, ‘we live here’!” brought Sandy joy.

Yet, dreamily swaying palms and bubbles aside, when a high-achieving, top sales person buys into village life, there’s certainly something there worth investigating.


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