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Ask the retirement expert

You’ve got questions; Ruth Phillips has answers

Created date

January 25th, 2011

The best way to get answers to questions about Erickson Living s New Jersey communities, Seabrook and Cedar Crest, is to schedule a chat with their retirement counselors. I can provide one-on-one attention tailored to your specific interests and preferences, says Cedar Crest Retirement Counselor Ruth Phillips. Here, Phillips shares answers to frequently asked questions about Erickson Living s priority list, monthly service package, and refundable entrance fee.

Q. Why should I join the ' priority list?

A. The priority list puts you in control of your future, says Phillips. Joining the list allows you to get your first choice in apartment styles. If you have a preference for residence buildings, floors, or views, the earlier you join the greater chance we ll have what you want when you re ready to move. Whether you plan to move in three months or three years, your place in line for an apartment home is saved as of the day you join. No one who joins later can jump ahead of you. And because the list never expires, Your apartment selection and timing isn t left to chance, Phillips says. The $1,000 deposit to join is completely refundable if your plans change, she continues. Or if you decide to move to a different Erickson Living community, the date you joined and your priority status transfers with you.

Q. What s included in the monthly service package?

A. Seabrook s and Cedar Crest s service package is profiled on the day-to-day expenses most of us pay as homeowners, says Phillips, but it s bundled into one fixed monthly amount that stays the same for a year s time. That streamlines the whole bill-paying process and keeps expenses stable and predictable. The cost is prorated by apartment size, but what it includes Erickson Living s unparalleled services and amenities plus a staff committed to excellence is the same regardless. Listing those services and amenities takes longer than writing that monthly check. They include electric, water, and sewer utilities; basic cable TV; property taxes; trash removal; general apartment home maintenance; appliance maintenance; heating and air conditioning; landscaping, lawn care, and snow removal; scheduled local planned transportation; major building repairs such as a new roof; 24-hour security and emergency services; one meal a day at any of Seabrook s or Cedar Crest s several on-site dining venues; access to clubhouse conveniences such as a bank, hair salon, and convenience store; and access to the campus medical center, computer lab, and fitness and aquatics center. Only phone and expanded cable and computer service aren t included. When you add it all up and include the current property taxes and house repairs you re paying now, Seabrook and Cedar Crest are great values.

Q: Can I customize my apartment home?

A:Your home is a reflection of you. Just because you re moving out of a house and into an apartment doesn t mean you have to sacrifice your personal style. Whether it s custom carpentry work such as built-in bookcases, shelving, crown molding, and custom closets, or designer lighting, window treatments, upgraded carpet, tile, hardwood flooring, or granite countertops, our custom interiors department can help you design a beautiful space that s uniquely you.

Q. How does the refundable entrance fee* work?

A.Your entrance fee is basically the cost of your apartment home. It s based on your apartment home s individual features and style. The fee secures your apartment home, protects your savings, and acts like a safety net should you need it for future health care, says Phillips. It remains with Seabrook or Cedar Crest for as long as you reside in the community. Should you move, Phillips says, it will be returned to you when your apartment home is re-sold, as per the residence and care agreement. Should you spend your life with us, it will be returned to your heirs in whatever way you designate. And the safety net? Should you move in and down the road need another level of care, Seabrook and Cedar Crest have on-site assisted living and skilled nursing care, Phillips says. You d pay a different monthly service package based on your specific care requirements. If your care needs outlast your outside assets, you can use your entrance deposit for that care. If you exhaust your outside assets and your entrance fee, through no fault of your own, you ll still have a home at Seabrook or Cedar Crest through our Benevolent Care Fund, says Phillips. Joining the priority list is the first step to enjoying the best value for retirement living in New Jersey. And winter is an excellent time to plan for a spring move. Our resources and team of experts can help you prepare your house for sale, substantially reduce the time it s on the market, and make your move both simple and efficient, she says. When you join the list, from that point it becomes a personal commitment both for you and for us to make the goal of living here come to fruition. *As per the Residence and Care Agreement.