Resident Stories | Terry & Rhonda’s Story – Catalina Village

Dancing duo finds the secret mix to an ideal retirement: serenity, travel and love

As soon as their eyes locked from across the room, this line dancing couple could feel the chemistry. Little did they know they’d be the first residents to move into Catalina retirement village just a year later!

Knowing when the time was right to retire

Life as a fireman for 38 years brought Terry out of Sydney via a work transfer in the 1980’s. Living on stunning acreage in Cooranbong he was stationed in Newcastle, Belmont and Charlestown over the following years and it was the fresh air and rural aspect of west Lake Macquarie and the accessibility to Newcastle that made life a joy.

When his wife unfortunately passed though, he found himself facing some life changing decisions. The property had become too much to manage so he decided the time was right to retire and downsize. With a sociable personality, he decided moving to a retirement community was a great fit for him.

Meanwhile, in Sydney, Rhonda was enjoying living close to her elderly father and three sons. However, with impending changes to her work role, her sons grown and moving out, and her father requiring care in a nursing home, Rhonda had to rethink her future plans.

“I was working all hours just to pay the mortgage and afford a Sydney lifestyle,” said Rhonda. “When my job was then remodelled to suit the younger generation, I realised it was time to make some big changes.”

So with the universe edging her towards a new life change and her sons’ blessings, she left her life in Sydney to retire up the coast, moving into a retirement village with easy access to her father and sister.

The heart knows what the heart wants

With similar interests, it wasn’t long before Terry and Rhonda met through line dancing in 2017, a hobby they had both loved for 10 years each independently. It seemed they both had the moves and, being later in life, they knew what they wanted. It wasn’t long before Rhonda had sold her home in her retirement village to move in with Terry in his. Soon after that they decided they wanted a more rural country aspect and a place to own together. Cooranbong seemed the perfect choice.

“We were familiar with living in a retirement village and all the advantages that come with it. We knew we wanted a northerly facing backyard, an open kitchen with an island bench and we didn’t want bedrooms at the front of the home.” Terry said.

Terry and Rhonda fell in love with the Catalina’s Bowen design with its media room at the front, bedrooms in the middle and rear of the home, and a lovely long hallway connecting them all together.

“We also love that the backyard is long and deep and the alfresco is actually built into the home so we don’t have a pergola taking up backyard space.“ Terry said. “We were lucky that both our places sold pretty quickly which meant we were able to move into Catalina soon after the first homes were built in December 2018,” Rhonda recalled.

Being the first residents in the village, they’ve loved welcoming newcomers and seeing the community facilities progress. For them, the idea of the community centre with its upcoming, professional rooms, bar, café, swimming pool and gym right at their doorstep was ideal. And best of all it’s all nice and new.

Terry and Rhonda love retirement. They adore their home and the serenity. “We can get up in the morning and go for a walk in the countryside then relax in the backyard with a great outlook and listen to the Bellbirds all day.”

“We wanted the flexibility to be able to travel and go overseas whenever we wanted. The great thing with a retirement village is that everything is looked after when we travel and our house remains safe.”

Terry & Rhonda Catalina Village

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