Amber by Living Gems

Sailing into retirement

Couple taking all the hard work out of downsizing

Indulging in fun, physical activities to keep fit and healthy instead of spending time undertaking endless maintenance around a large house, garden, and acreage was the inspiration behind Ross and Rhonda Lillistone’s recent move to Amber by Living Gems over50s lifestyle resort.

Previously, the couple lived for 19 years on a property at Esk and with Ross, 69, enduring some health concerns, they decided they would downsize while they were still young enough to enjoy all the first-class facilities available within the Living Gems community.

“We also wanted to be closer to family, especially our daughter who has undergone some brutal cancer treatment over the past 15 months, and ensure whatever happens in the future, we would be there if she needs us while also being safe, secure and totally independent ourselves. Living here allows us to do that without being a burden on our family,” said Rhonda, 72.

The decision to move to Amber was only reached after much research.

“We looked at lots of over-50s lifestyle resorts but the moment we walked into Amber we both got the feeling immediately that it was the one for us. This was backed up after we met the sales manager Tameeka Manson who was a sheer joy to talk to. She knew her work very well and answered all our questions and we felt no sales pressure at all. Her attitude was a major component to us putting down our deposit,” said Ross.

It has been over a month since Ross and Rhonda moved into their brand-new home, of which they are very proud.

“The quality of the build, the way it is presented and the layout that just seems to flow is absolutely amazing. It’s perfect.”

There is also no talk of slowing down in retirement with challenging walks and paddling kayaks among their favourite pastimes.

“Once the Country Club is open, we will also be actively involved in gym workouts and swimming as well as a game of snooker or billiards. We also plan to use the theatre and play pickleball,” said Ross.

The couple originally met through a common interest in classic wooden boats.

“Rhonda came to one of my workshops. It was a meeting that blossomed into romance and 21 years later we are still happily together.”

Ross has been sailing wooden dinghies for 65 years, a passion that saw him become a professional boat designer and builder and, even in retirement, he still dabbles in boat design.

“I’ve still got about eight boats, all home built, which now live under one of our son’s homes.”

Looking ahead, Ross says he would love to make accurate models of boats in Amber’s workshop and could even help other residents build a kayak if they would like to.

“It’s a big passion of mine and I dare say, it always will be!”