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‘Personal emancipation’

Riderwood’s maintenance-free lifestyle suits this couple just fine

Created date

March 21st, 2014
couple sitting on couch

A little more than 20 years ago, John and Clare Murtha retired from their careers and built a single-story house in La Plata, Md., where they planned to relax in their golden years. That house suited them for a couple of decades, but in recent years, maintaining the property became a burden.

“I was tired of taking care of the lawn and cleaning out the gutters,” says John, who had worked in personnel management for a federal agency.

Clare had stopped working outside the home as a town administrator when she and John moved to La Plata. Although she was technically retired, she found that cooking and housework still kept her plenty busy. After Clare broke her foot when she fell from a stepstool while hanging curtains, the Murthas decided that they were ready for a maintenance-free retirement lifestyle.

The start of a new chapter

In 2011, John and Clare moved to



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