Dallas, Texas--When Bill Beatty and his wife Joy began looking at the financial implications of moving to a retirement community, the couple had two considerations in mind.
"We wanted to live a lifestyle comparable to the one we had when we were working, and we wanted to be self-sufficient," says Mr. Beatty, a retired geologist and petroleum engineer. "We didn't want to be a burden to our children."
The couple selected Highland Springs, a continuing care retirement community in North Dallas developed and managed by Erickson Living. The couple did their due diligence and took ownership of their investments.
Personalized Financial Planning
With pensions in the rearview mirror for many working Americans, the responsibility for smart financial planning is increasingly a personal one.
"Joy and I didn't retire with pensions," says Mr. Beatty. "We had to be actively involved in planning for our future."
It's a charge the couple took seriously. Mr. Beatty completed professional coursework in financial planning. He joined the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors and currently manages the couple's assets.
"When we first considered a move to a retirement community, we looked at a variety of options," recalls Mr. Beatty. "We considered rental apartments, as well as communities that required a larger upfront investment."
In North Texas, there are 55-plus communities with detached homes and neighborhood amenities, senior apartments that operate on a rental basis, life care communities and fee-for-service continuing care retirement communities.
Highland Springs operates on a fee-for-service basis. Residents pay for advanced levels of care only if and when they need it. It's a financial model that is both affordable and secure for many retirees.
Clear and Sensible Financial Structure
There are two basic components to this financial structure, a 90 percent refundable entrance deposit and a monthly service package that covers most utilities, 24-hour security and emergency first response, flexible dining plans, scheduled shuttle service, trash collection and recycling at your door, along with all maintenance and repairs.
"When you look at what's out there, we're a value player in the market," according to Opal Sullen, Director of Finance at Highland Springs. "What you get for what you pay is substantially more than you'll find at other communities. We take great pride in being good stewards of our residents' money."
Highland Springs is part of the national Erickson Living network of continuing care retirement communities, an enterprise with 36 years of expertise in senior living, health and wellness serving residents in 20 communities spanning 11 states.
As part of its Home for Life commitment, Highland Springs maintains a Resident Care Fund, designed specifically to assist eligible residents who outlive their resources. No one has ever been asked to leave the community because of a genuine inability to pay. Funds are raised through a combination of annual and legacy-giving campaigns.
"Highland Springs provides financial value and security to residents through a transparent sales process, predictable expenses and the long-term benefits of our 90 percent refundable entrance deposit and Resident Care Fund," says Director of Sales Christina Christie.
A TD AmericaTrade survey of 2,002 adults taken in 2018 noted that 81 percent see their retirement years as a time to pursue new goals. And 76 percent see themselves using those years to pursue passions they previously neglected like spending time with friends and family, traveling abroad or taking up a new hobby.
Now that the Beattys have lived at Highland Springs for four years, they say they couldn't be more pleased with the community's amenities, social opportunities and maintenance-free lifestyle.
"We love it here," says Mr. Beatty. "We're so glad we moved. There's a real sense of community, and we've made lots of new friends."
As for the financial considerations of the move, the couple says they've simplified their expenses significantly.
"It's nice having one monthly bill instead of separate bills for each utility," notes Mr. Beatty. "And when you consider what's included in the monthly service package, particularly our outstanding dining options, it's a good deal and value."
Highland Springs 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 Highland Springs: Highland Springs, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 89-acre campus in North Dallas, Texas. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,000 residents and 520 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Highland Springs. Additional information can be found at http://highlandspringscommunity.com.