Tribune Print Share Text

‘A wonderful life’

Maris Grove the perfect retirement destination for Wilmington couple

Created date

September 24th, 2013

Anne and Fred Miller moved to Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Delaware County, Pa., from a three-story townhouse in an over-55 community in Wilmington, Del. We had no children, we were starting to experience little medical problems, and I was so tired of cleaning our house, says Anne. Their DuPont-retiree friends also influenced their decision. The DuPont engineers told me they d gone to all the communities in the area, and Maris Grove had the best financial setup, amenities, and activities, says Fred. Moving just 11 miles from their old neighborhood has let the Millers maintain their friendships and volunteer commitments in Wilmington. We ve not changed one bit, Anne says. We do everything we used to do. But now they enjoy one-level, maintenance-free living, not to mention no real estate taxes or taxes on retirement income now that they live in Pennsylvania. Their Kingston apartment home features a balcony, a second bedroom that s become a sewing room/office, and a spacious great room that easily accommodates their large sectional sofa and Anne s baby grand piano. Should they encounter plumbing problems, as often happened at their house, repairs are a no-hassle proposition. One phone call brings Maris Grove maintenance personnel quickly and at no charge. We had no idea the service here was this great, says Anne. Maris Grove s maintenance team does everything.

Following their bliss

Anne has taken up bridge and mah-jongg at Maris Grove. A professional makeup artist who had owned her own shop, she gives campus workshops about makeup techniques. Fred s passion is tennis. He plays with Maris Grove s group and also in Wilmington. And he walks at least three miles outside every day and then does stationary cycling at the campus fitness center. In inclement weather, he s on the treadmill. The couple jokes that Anne stays fit through daily walks to Concordville Town Centre just beyond Maris Grove s entrance gate. Shoppes at Brinton Lake, another popular mall less than a mile away, offers additional stores and restaurants. This is the best place I ve ever lived for shopping, says Anne. Maris Grove s shuttle also makes routine trips to local shopping venues. Convenience and flexibility are campus watchwords. The Millers have opted for Maris Grove s 20-meal monthly dining plan. The plan gives them flexibility to sample local restaurants or to cook for themselves. Residents can also pick up their meals to go from one of the community s three restaurants. Maris Grove s medical care is convenient, too. The Millers doctors have their offices on campus in the full-service medical center, a special boon in winter. And some of their specialists, whose offices are in the nearby mall, make monthly visits to campus. Shortly after their move, Fred got seriously ill and had to spend a month in short-term rehabilitation. Because Maris Grove provides a full continuum of care right on campus, Fred did his rehab there. I could walk over, sit with Fred, and have dinner with him every day, Anne says. And each night, she slept soundly knowing Maris Grove s security team was on duty 24/7. It was a different story when Fred was hospitalized some years ago. The Millers backyard, which faced a golf course, was pitch black at night. Staying there alone made Anne so nervous she locked the bedroom door and put a chair against it every night until Fred came home. Whenever I travel now, she says, the moment I return to Maris Grove this peace comes over me. It s a sense of security and safety. I love that feeling.

Top priority

Because Maris Grove is 98% sold out, ' joining its priority list is important. Based on the date they join, priority list members save their place in line for an available apartment home of their choice. Their date never changes, and they also receive the complimentary services of the community s personal moving consultant, Suzanne McAllister. Anne and Fred Miller joined the list early on, reserved a Kingston-style apartment home, and expected to move from their over-55 community in Wilmington during 2007. But their house didn t sell. Two years later, McAllister called with good news: another Kingston was available, and she promised their house would sell. Suzy handled everything, says Anne. And the real estate agent she recommended sold our house during Christmas week! Because the agent was an Erickson Realty and Moving Services preferred vendor, Maris Grove reimbursed some of the Millers moving expenses. Two months later, they settled into their new home. There s so much to do here, and you participate in what you like, Anne says. I do my thing and Fred does his, and we have a wonderful life.