0 Happy Valentines: Ten gestures they’ll love By The Bower Team / In Family With Valentine’s Day approaching, now is a great time to spend time with loved ones and show them how much they mean to us. In case you hadn’t noticed the plethora of red cards, flowers and balloons adorning every shop window across the UK, it’s Valentine’s Day next week. But don’t worry, you don’t need to have a ‘special someone’ in your life to celebrate the occasion. Despite traditionally being a day for couples to express their feelings for each other, Valentine’s Day has grown and evolved into something everyone can partake in. Today, Valentine’s cards and gifts are given from children to parents, grandchildren to grandparents, and believe it or not, we’ve even spotted cards on sale from the dog. Rover ‘woofs you’, apparently. Commercialism and pet affection aside, Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful opportunity for all of us to acknowledge those who bring love and happiness to our lives. And let’s face it, with everything that has been happening at home and across the pond in recent months, we could all do with spreading a bit more happiness around! So, have a read through these suggestions and let’s start celebrating the season of love! Treat a loved one to a trip away Retirement is a fantastic opportunity to see more of the world. So what better way to say thank you to someone who means the world to you, than by whisking them away for some quality time together? A romantic Caribbean cruise for your spouse, a New York shopping trip for mother and daughter, a luxury Scottish fishing trip for father and son, the world is your oyster – and now’s a great time to see it with someone special. Print a favourite photograph In today’s world of digital photography, so many of us have fantastic photographs on our cameras and phones that nobody ever sees. Get a good picture of them with you or other loved ones printed and put it in a frame as a gift. It’s a simple gesture that is sure to be appreciated – and enjoyed every single day. Babysit for Valentines For those of us with grandkids, a perfect way to show we care is to offer our grown-up children a night off on Valentines. While they get to enjoy a romantic dinner out with their other half, you can have a perfect Valentines night in with your grandchildren. And let’s face it, when we’re thinking about the people we love most, is there anyone who has us wrapped around their little fingers more?! If you’re a grandparent, then don’t miss our blog ‘The difference between parenting and grandparenting’ Arrange a date night It isn’t just our younger generation who need quality time together these days, those of us in retirement can be just as busy as we were before! Try putting some time in your diary for your other half and rekindle the romance. A theatre date night is a good choice, or perhaps a booking at your favourite restaurant, or how about surprising them with a romantic overnight stay in a hotel you once stayed at in your early years together? Go for a walk Sometimes just getting outside in the fresh air and walking around a scenic park or through country fields is all you need to relax and talk, away from the distractions of life and mobile phones! Give something thoughtful Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be about grand gestures and expensive jewellery, you can really touch a person’s heart by thinking of something special that will mean a lot to them. Book your wife in for a well-deserved massage or facial to say ‘thank you’ for everything she does for you, or get a loved one that book, CD, or film they mentioned they’d like to buy all those months ago. If your mum or daughter is going through a hard time, buy her a bunch of flowers to brighten her day. Write a love-note Traditional gestures are still the best. You don’t need to be Yeats or Wordsworth to write down how you feel. Sometimes just a carefully placed post-it note on the kitchen counter to say ‘Thank you, and I love you’ will tell them everything. Make that overdue visit Taking the time to visit someone you love is all you really do to show them you care. If you have relatives or friends who are on their own, or you haven’t visited in a while, then pop round for an hour and talk to them. They’ll appreciate the company and you’ll feel great for doing it. Bring everyone together Bringing all your loved ones together on Valentine’s Day or at any other time of the year, is a perfect way to show them you care and spend some extra time with your nearest and dearest. Arrange a Sunday lunch, or if weekends are out then book in dinner at yours after they’ve finished work one evening soon. Say ‘I love you’ A phrase that is so easy to say, but not said often enough. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your husband, wife, son, daughter, grandchild or friend, tell them you love them and it might just make their day. Finances holding you back? If your finances are holding you back from spoiling the people you love most, then perhaps you might benefit from a cash boost? Equity release has enabled thousands of people to enjoy the retirement they planned to have. If a cash lump sum would make a difference to your life, why not speak to us today. Speak to an equity release specialist now on free phone 0800 411 8668 Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and the amount of inheritance you leave. This is an equity release plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.