I have ten years to live, so I’ve sold my £1m home to spend all my money before I die
Carole Railton plans to spend around £1 million over the next ten years. That’s everything she has, and she wants it all gone before she dies.
Diagnosed with heart failure, she has been told she likely has a decade of life, and owning a home is not part of her plan to see out what time she has left.
And so she has sold her north London terraced house, which she bought 28 years ago for £180,000 and owns outright. After fees and taxes, she has £1m left to spend.
“I had already planned to sell my house as it was causing me problems – it’s three storeys and I was struggling to climb the stairs, so I was basically living on the middle floor,” said Railton, who is 71.
“I was going to buy a flat, but when I was given a shorter life expectancy because of the problems with my heart I realised there was no need. I’ve nearly always owned a property, but I want to spend all my money before I die.”
Instead, Railton plans to spend the money she has made from the house sale on “living her best life” for her final decade. She wants to rent a “super flat” on the river Thames, right in central London so she has easy access to the city as well as a nice view.
She has budgeted around £5,500 a month on rent over the first few years, but will continually reassess her financial and health situation. This is another reason she wants to rent: it gives her the flexibility to move into places that suit her better as her health potentially deteriorates.
“I want to be able to see Tower Bridge or The Shard – or maybe even both,” she said. “At the moment I have pictures of them hanging in my lounge, but now I want the real thing. I can keep changing what suits me but for the moment, I just want to live out my best life for as long as I can.”
The money tied up in her property is Railton’s main form of savings. She has a small pension, as well as the income she earns as a body language coach, but has no children or close family to pass her funds onto.
Alongside renting her “super flat”, Railton hopes that she will be able to fly to Thailand to continue some work she was conducting with a university there.
“I’ve travelled to 100 countries and worked in 47, and I would love to make it 48. I’ve had quite an erratic but good life, so I’m grateful for that,” she said. “At the end of the day, owning this house has worked out for me and is helping me in this last part of my life, so if you can own your own house, I think it’s great.
“But it’s not without problems and now, with mortgage rates so high as well, it’s the right decision – there is simply no need for me to own a house.”