Homeowners stories - football fan Cliff Wilson

As Cliff Wilson prepares to celebrate his 68th birthday, he’s vowed to spend every day in the future enjoying himself!

Cliff is one of the first customers to move into the Brio Retirement Living development at Landale Court in Chapelton; now officially retired, Cliff is determined to live life to the full on the beautiful stretch of Aberdeen coastline he now calls home.

A keen Manchester United supporter, he is finally embracing the joys of relaxation, and here he talks about why he fell in love with Landale Court, making new friends after living alone, and the amazing team he has around him…

Cliff Wilson has enjoyed a long and successful career in finance – but it’s not one that’s afforded him much down time in life: “I’ve spent most of my life working in the finance industry,” he tells us. “I joined a bank straight from school and worked there for well over 30 years until the industry changed and I was offered early retirement when I was 50. Not being able to relax into retirement at such a young age, I jumped at a role I was offered as a principal finance manager and thrived using the skills I’d learnt from the banking industry. I was working 20 – 30 hours a week and it suited me down to the ground.”

Cliff’s role changed when the pandemic hit in 2020 and his hours increased to around 60 – 70 hours per week. “It just became far too much,” he continues. “I’d originally retired early and then found myself a niche role I really enjoyed – but eventually I was working 70 hours over seven days a week and it was just crazy! The business had grown due to the demand in its services, but I decided enough was enough and it was time to officially retire.”

Following his retirement in August 2021, Cliff took some time out to reassess his life and decide where to put down his retirement roots.

“I’m originally from Aberdeen, and I have two daughters and a son – one daughter lives in Aberdeen, my son in Fife and my other daughter lives further south in Wolverhampton. I’ve lived and worked in Edinburgh for the last 25 years – and spent most of this time living in my four-bedroom detached house with a large garden that had become too much to look after. I’m single too, so felt I didn’t need all that space, plus I live with arthritis and the upkeep of the house and garden was taking its toll on me. I really didn’t need a property of that size, so I decided to look for something smaller.

“My sister lives in a town just north of Chapelton, and one day whilst we were chatting about my options – which included the possibility of renting a flat in Edinburgh for a while – she suggested Landale Court. To be honest I’d never heard of it, but my sister even accompanied me on my first visit, and I’ve never looked back!”

On his first trip to Landale Court, Cliff and his sister were met by Brio Retirement Living’s sales manager, Jess Nicoll, who was on-hand to show them around the properties on offer and the wide range of facilities at the development. “Jess was fantastic,” adds Cliff. He praised the whole team and said: “I wouldn’t have a bad word said about them, they are truly wonderful people!

“From the moment Jess took us on our tour of the properties, I just knew Landale Court would be my new home. Jess spent the afternoon showing us around the one and two bed properties in both the bungalows and apartments, explaining the options to us without any sales pressure.

“She made everything perfectly clear, and I soon understood the rent and buying options available.”

With his head turned by the development’s show apartment Cliff opted for a one-bedroom apartment – something he says is “perfect!”  

“It’s very spacious, has plenty of room for everything I need, and the finish is just first class! I’ve got Neff appliances, and everything is fabulous quality, including my beautiful bathroom. The area, the amenities and gardens are all brilliant - it really is the ideal home for me and I’m extremely happy here.”

The move to Landale Court happened swiftly, with Cliff marketing and selling his original four-bedroom house in a single day. “I packed up and gave lots of items away to charity as I knew I was going to a different lifestyle at Landale and wouldn’t need all of the clutter!”

Now happily settled, Cliff is fulfilling his promise to himself and breathing in that Aberdeen coastline: “I don’t regret anything – this has been the best move and I haven’t looked back. I am still battling my conscience when I find myself relaxing by reading or doing crosswords – it’s hard to after working 70-hour weeks – but I think I’ve earned the right to now!”

Cliff also frequents Landale Court’s vast amenities and is indulging in the area’s social life: “I’m enjoying the Slate & Grain restaurant here and my sister has been over for meals with me and to attend some delicious, themed nights, but I do still love hopping in my car and enjoying the area or heading back to Edinburgh for the day.

“But when I’m at home I’m slowly getting to know more new neighbours and they’re all a great bunch. I’ve lived alone for many years in Edinburgh, so I’ve been used to keeping myself to myself, but it’s nice to chat to the other homeowners here. I want to get to know more people and join the activities.

“I genuinely cannot think of any negatives about moving here to Landale Court – except one… in that I’m a little bit further away from my beloved Old Trafford! I’ve always loved sport – playing a lot of football, golf and badminton in my younger years – but Manchester United will always be my passion and both my daughter and I are members of the club. I love going to watch the games with my daughter, but the journey is just a bit too far to do in one day now, but I won’t be beaten! So, we will be heading to Manchester in the new year to watch the reds … hopefully win!

“Until then, I’m happy watching them on the TV – I have years of happy memories from the many games I’ve been to and watched them win, and hopefully those successes will return very soon as nothing beats being part of the crowd and lapping up the atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams!

“Football aside, it truly is perfect here, I have no complaints whatsoever, and team Landale are certainly top of the league!”