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Just over a year ago, I wrote here about my family’s effort to sort out our 87-year-old mother’s financial affairs by refurbishing her pretty west country cottage and turning it into a holiday let. We had embarked on this project after realising that a move into residential care meant that her (public sector, final salary) pension income would fall well short of her monthly care home fees.

Fourteen months after the first paying guests visited, it’s so far so good. For the moment, it looks as though our mother’s cottage can comfortably cover its own running costs as well as the present shortfall on her care home fees. Naturally, we’re pleased and very relieved—in a time when “safe” investment options pay such paltry, below-inflation returns, the ability of well-maintained property to generate a steady stream of income has once again proved indispensable.

Around the same time our first guests were

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Andy Davis
Andy Davis is an Associate Editor of Prospect 

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