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Planning Retirement Online

Music is a gift!

Question one…..With friends and relations downsizing, or already so well established with everything they could ever want, what do you give as a gift on those special occasions?

Question two…You have worked hard all your life but are now retired. But you are not ready to retire completely; what can you do that you will really enjoy but also might bring in a little useful extra money?

Somerset man Max Hooley has found the perfect answer to both, creating a successful business in an area that he loves with products that are increasingly in demand for the over 50s gift market.

Max’s speciality is original vinyl records, both singles and LPs. He has been a keen collector of quality vinyl records for more than 45 years with a love of music that covered a wide spectrum. Over the years his collection just grew and grew; so it wasn’t a big effort to change his hobby into a business.

Now he has an amazing collection of over 24,000 vinyl records; generally original releases in their sleeves which he carefully packs up and sends to a growing list of customers from all over the world.

And the demand is not only from customers who like the quality of music vinyl brings. Increasingly Max is being contacted by people looking for that very special gift – a copy of a record that was top of the pops on the actual date of a special birthday or anniversary; or an original LP from a show someone saw in their youth.

“These old records make such great presents for everyone who lived through the fabulous music of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s,” he explains. “We put each record in an additional special clear plastic protection case which makes them even more special, and on many occasions we hear that the records have been framed and put up on the wall.”

Of course conditions of old records vary and Max is clear on whether records are in mint or good condition.

“This is important; and of course we can discuss with customers what they need,” he said. “For instance, if the record is more likely to end up just as a talking piece at a special anniversary or birthday, or might go up on the wall, then the fact that there is a very small scratch in the backing track probably doesn’t matter. But if the record is going to an avid music listener, then quality if totally paramount.”

Max examines, plays, cleans and checks every record and sleeve before it goes out.

“Sadly, we find so many of the lovely old sleeves are damaged beyond repair,” Max says. “When we lugged the records around to parties in the 50s and 60s, we never thought that half a century later people might still be interested in them.”

Along with a friendly and efficient service, Max has one more bonus which has helped make his retirement such a success – an outstanding knowledge of 1950s, 60s and 70s music. Just looking quickly at a record, he can probably tell you the artist, the label and the year it was released.

So if you are looking for that special gift and want a record from a specific era or date, Max can confirm the track you need.

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