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Carefree Living & Friends

Brooksby couple embraces community, retirement

Created date

February 17th, 2012

Rusty Farina expected to continue working as the manager of a boat storage yard, even after moving to Brooksby with his wife, Claire. I was always reluctant to stop working, he says. But less than a year after the couple s move to Brooksby, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass., Rusty surprised himself. After 21 years of dedication to his work and a lifetime achievement award, he says, I realized there was more than enough here I knew Brooksby would more than keep me busy.

Planning ahead

The Farinas began considering a move to Brooksby to plan for the future. They had moved to a smaller, three-bedroom house in Melrose, Mass., but they still had the full responsibilities of home ownership. Though the Farinas were active and healthy, Rusty says: We wanted to plan ahead for a time when we might need some help. The more we looked into it, this place offered us the most for what we were looking for. What really makes us the happiest is that we came here at this age and together, Claire adds. The Farinas were especially pleased with their Hastings-style apartment home and its two bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. For years in their previous house, Claire had her mind set on renovations. She was delighted to find she could customize her Brooksby home to her liking. By working with Dot Harding of Brooksby s Custom Interiors, Claire chose paint colors and molding that she had had in mind for her house in Melrose. I got everything I was looking for, Claire says. We have the perfect apartment there s something for everyone at Brooksby.

Community involvement

Claire and Rusty engage in numerous activities at Brooksby, both inside and outside of their apartment. Even before making their move, the couple attended one of the community s dances. The event presented an opportunity to practice their ballroom moves and get a better sense of the community. Now the couple continues to attend the monthly dances as well as ballroom dancing classes. They belong to Theatre on the Pond, Brooksby s theater organization, and volunteer as ushers during the shows. Rusty plays Ping Pong and volunteers at the Treasure Chest, Brooksby s second-hand store that benefits charity funds and activities within the community. Claire enjoys crossword puzzles, and both take advantage of Brooksby s large indoor swimming pool. Claire walks in the pool every other day. Despite her asthma, she has found she can exercise in the pool without losing her breath, and has lost almost 20 lbs. as a result. Claire says of her fellow community members, They all exercise and they re vibrant and they just taught me it s never too late to begin. Rusty adds, I ve made more friends here in eight months than in 50 years in Melrose. While he was often busy working, now, he says, You have time for friends. The Farinas chose to give back to their community by becoming Brooksby ambassadors. As ambassadors, the couple attends events geared toward people interested in learning more about the community. Visitors have the opportunity to ask the Farinas questions about life at the community. We really feel that we re part of the community, Rusty says. Carefree living is what we have here.