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Weighing your options

Retirement expert discusses the choices

Created date

August 23rd, 2011

Sally Sager has been with Erickson Living since 1992, and at Riderwood since it opened in 2000. Sager has held the position of sales counselor because she loves working with the residents as they decide to make the move to the community. She knows how difficult the decision can be, but she s also witnessed how happy people are once they make the move. And that, she says, makes her job worthwhile. Here she answers some of the questions she receives from people researching their retirement options. Q: What are some of the benefits of living at a community like Riderwood versus staying in a house? A: Staying in a house can be extremely isolating and lonely, especially depending on where the person lives. There are also many security risks, such as falling down the steps or break-ins. Not to mention unexpected expenses a new roof, plumbing, new appliances. There are many what-ifs when a person lives in a house: What if I can no longer drive? What if I become ill? What if I become overwhelmed and financially burdened by home maintenance? Retirement is supposed to be the golden age, the time to really enjoy life, and at Riderwood everything is taken care of for you; it truly is about carefree living. Q: What are some of the amenities of campus living? A: I hear people say all the time that they wished they moved to the community sooner so they could enjoy it for longer. On campus, we have 24-hour security; if there ever is an emergency, the emergency response team is there within minutes. You never have to worry about a break-in; people leave for vacation and can truly enjoy it. And there s something to be said for peace of mind. Though many people continue to enjoy outside activities, there are over 200 clubs on campus for people to choose from. Residents often say that they re busier now than before they retired, but it s the things they choose to engage in. People can be as active or as inactive as they choose to be. There s ease of medical care with doctors and the pharmacy on-site and Renaissance Gardens for extended care. If you don t drive, we even have a shuttle service. Most importantly, our community is where people maintain their independence and the lifestyle of their choosing, and that s priceless as well. Q: What exactly does the money go toward? A: Let s face it, living in a house isn t free. Even if there s no mortgage, there are unpredictable costs like water, sewer, gas and electric, maintenance, and property taxes. All of these expenses are on the rise, but at Riderwood, the monthly service package is fixed for the year. It covers most of everyday living expenses, with the main meal of the day included, and there are no surprises. Q: What if a resident runs out of money? A: Riderwood is a not-for-profit community dedicated to supporting residents who experience an unforeseen change in their financial situation. Should your finances change for reasons beyond your control, our Home for Life Commitment provides several options so you can protect your future. Just ask to see our Residence and Care Agreement for the complete details. For me, the favorite part of my job is seeing residents on campus, active and engaged in a number of activities, with a smile on their face. There s a lightness in them. I know it s a difficult decision to move, but to see such a remarkable transformation once residents settle into life on campus is greatly rewarding for me. The sales office can only take so much credit, of course, but just the same, I am certain we played a significant role in helping someone make the transition that s fun and rewarding for all of us!