I met Victoria to talk about care fees and homeownership.
She was born on the day Hitler invaded Poland. Her father had seen service at The Somme.
Many of those I’ve met in my three decades in this vocation are the first in their family to own their own home.
For most people, their home is the most valuable thing they would ever own. It is the product and manifestation of their hard work – often sacrifice. Home ownership, like most worthwhile concepts is never plain sailing. People of Victoria’s generation lived through the evil of Black Wednesday.
Where the Hurt is
The news bulletins on that infamous day and several after that told us interest rates had irrupted to 15 per cent. This occurrence caused several hundred heart attacks. Health statisticians attributed many hundred excess deaths to Black Wednesday. There was a new style of misery in the air in the months and years after that Wednesday – innocent folk in incredible distress posted their keys to their mortgage lenders. Decent persons like you and I lived in dread of the post because it could have been an eviction notice from the building society. Normal folk lived in fear of the knock on the door because it could have been the bailiff coming to evict them. Their dream of owning their own property thus turned to ashes.
Victoria, the youngest of four children was of that pioneer home-owning cohort. Like every generation before and since, there was the implicit promise that her children would be healthier and wealthier than she was.
Alas, there’s a massacre unfolding all around us. Our ability, to make good this pledge is being garrotted before our eyes.
Be you the first or fifth generation of your family to own your own home. I’m no gambler, nonetheless, I’m prepared to stake my right arm. You don’t wish it wasted. And, I’m prepared to stake my right arm you don’t want to waste your life’s work.
Pete the Mayor
You might never have heard of Pete Buttigieg – never mind. Pete, who was born in the year of the Falklands war, was the mayor of a small town somewhere in the middle of nowhere is not known for much. However, he articulated a sentiment held by many: ‘We’ll be the first generation to earn less than our parents’.
Mr Buttigieg was right. We have passed the torch has passed to a new generation for whom home ownership is a dream at an insurmountable distance. For many of the coming generations, home ownership has become unattainable. For them the dream of owning one’s home has only the charm of vagueness, therefore it’d never be anything but a dream. Of such dreams nightmares come to life.
Victoria, a widow of half a dozen summers, had moved to a care home shortly before we met. She had sold the family home to pay the fees for her place in the care home. She had sold the house, the fruit of her life’s work. Sometime in the last year, she ran out of money. Homeownership and care fees shouldn’t be an ‘either or’ proposition.
What was the point of all that concomitant sacrifice to home ownership when at the end of it all, she’s nowt to show for it? What was the point when her home, the tangible representation of her life’s work, was stolen from her? Her home, the seeds of home ownership for further generations of her kin had been thieved from her?
The wickedness of all this is that if she’d never made the effort to own her own home, the state would have paid her care fees. As she’d made her contribution to the state, the state would have picked up the tab from day one.
To talk about homeownership and care fees, make an appointment for a free, no obligation appointment.