A California Couple Choose Ann's Choice for the Value
Bernie and Betty Roseman spent 35 happy years in California, he as an engineer and attorney, she as a hospital nutritionist and consultant to medical practices in Los Angeles.
They loved their careers, their ranch house, their friends. Moving east wasn't in their long-range plan. Neither was living in a retirement community like Ann's Choice.
But when Bernie retired, Betty decided it was the right time to be full-time grandparents. They relocated to a four-story townhouse in Philadelphia, close to their youngest daughter and her children. Bernie, an active volunteer with several organizations, set up his office on the top floor. "It seemed like a good idea when I was in my 60s," he says with a chuckle. "Those steps were taking a toll. We knew we'd have to think about another option at some point."
That "other option" came up in conversation with friends, who introduced Bernie and Betty to the idea of living in an active, maintenance-free retirement community. Says Bernie, "It was new to us, so when they said they were looking, we went along to see what it was all about."
A Smart Financial Proposition
They compared the financials, floor plans, and facilities of five communities. They knew immediately that Ann's Choice, the Erickson Living developed and managed community in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, was right for them. "We liked the size, the activities, the friendliness, but above all, the value at Ann's Choice," says Bernie. "There was nothing else like it."
Bernie and Betty cite Erickson Living's 90-percent refundable entrance deposit as key to their decision. This deposit secures the residents' home for as long as they live in the community. If they move, they receive 90 percent; if they live out their lives at Ann's Choice, the 90 percent goes to their beneficiaries.
Recalls Bernie, "At some places the entry fees were a one-shot deal with no refund. At others you could get 50 percent back, but you had to pay an extra $40,000 to enter. It made no sense." But at Ann's Choice, he reasoned, "We were really paying only 10 percent of the entry fee, since we or our kids get 90 percent back. It was by far the smartest option."
The couple also liked the convenience and predictability of a single monthly service package. "When we lived in our home, we had maintenance costs. We were alone, we had to drive ourselves everywhere, and we didn't have the activities or dining options," says Bernie. Adds Betty, "Now, everything we need is in one place, steps from our front door. It doesn't get better than this."
Figuring out their monthly fee was simple, thanks to the detailed information provided by the Sales team. Says Betty, "They give you a full accounting of every dollar you're billed. Your expenses are totally clear and transparent from the beginning. There are no surprises, and we like that."
Ann's Choice Sales Director Deborah Olcese appreciates the positive feedback. "Our job is to help prospective residents make an informed decision based on the actual costs here versus what they are paying in their homes. Most times, they find that Ann's Choice offers great financial value and they will spend less at our community and receive much more in services and amenities," she says. Those services include virtually everything: utilities, shuttle service, cable TV, flexible dining plans, fitness center, art studio, more than 100 clubs, and all maintenance.
Betty and Bernie also felt good about Erickson Living's Benevolent Care Fund, which ensures that no resident will ever be asked to leave the community due to a genuine inability to pay. "That showed us what kind of company Erickson Living is," says Betty. "It feels good to be part of that commitment."
Says Olcese, "Ann's Choice is part of an enterprise with a 36-year track record of serving seniors. We take great pride in having strong financials and being good stewards of our residents' money. We know how hard people work to save for retirement, and we do everything possible to make our community affordable for the average middle-income person."
True Peace of Mind
The Rosemans discovered one more important benefit to living in a continuing care retirement community like Ann's Choice: peace of mind, for them and their children. Betty notes, "We have ready access to medical facilities and care here, and they respond beautifully. We feel good that we won't be a burden to our kids, and they're comfortable knowing that they won't get a midnight call to take us to the hospital. It's impossible to put a monetary value on what that means to all of us."
An Easy Transition to Their Best Lives
A 2018 TD Ameritrade survey of 2,002 adults revealed that 81 percent of retirees see their retirement as a time to pursue new goals; 76 percent see themselves doing things they didn't have time for previously, like spending more time with family and friends, traveling, or trying a new hobby.
Bernie and Betty agree with those findings 100 percent. Since moving to Ann's Choice, they have immersed themselves fully in all that the community and surrounding area have to offer. Says Bernie, "We've met some really wonderful people here. We've had birthday and anniversary parties in the private dining room with good friends. We take the shuttle to Philadelphia Orchestra performances, and we're active in many clubs." Adds Betty, "There's a warm feeling here, from everyone. The residents are vital and interesting, and the staff couldn't be nicer. We absolutely love it."
Ann's Choice is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.
About Ann's Choice: Ann's Choice, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 103-acre campus in Warminster, Pennsylvania. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,900 residents and 1,000 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Ann's Choice can be found at AnnsChoiceCommunity.com.
Photo: Ann's Choice residents Betty and Bernie Roseman outside the Chapel on campus. They choose Ann's Choice for its value and many the activities at the community and surrounding area. (Photo credit: Harry Beam)
Story written by Dorrie Anshel