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Financial balancing act

Mega volunteer finds cost-effective living at Fox Run

Created date

June 23rd, 2014
woman standing on a cruise ship deck

Doris Fell spent her career working in community service. She is a member of the American Baptist Church and worked in her church’s community centers in Boston, Mass., and Dayton, Ohio. She then went on to serve as the director of Friendship House in Detroit, Mich.

“The centers developed when people were immigrating to this country, and the American Baptist churches would help people get involved in their new communities and find jobs,” Doris says. “Then we felt there was a need for childcare when women were just beginning to go to work, so we developed a large childcare program and launched many other activities.”

Doris retired from her career about 18 years ago, but she remains actively involved with the church, serves on several boards, and volunteers in the Detroit area. 

In 2011, Doris moved to Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich. She had been living for 12 years in a condo in Plymouth, Mich. Doris says a friend from one of the boards she serves on introduced her to Fox Run. The more she learned about the community, the more Doris realized Fox Run could provide cost-effective living for her retirement.

A good value in retirement living

“I began to think it was getting kind of expensive paying for my condo,” Doris says. “I started adding up everything I pay for gas bills and light bills, and I realized that it would balance out to live at Fox Run.”

Residents at Fox Run have the peace of mind of knowing exactly how much their living expenses will be each month. The monthly service package includes all utilities except telephone, maintenance on their homes, and a meal plan that fits their individual lifestyle.

Doris decided to make the move to Run in 2011. She chose a two-bedroom Franklin-style apartment home, which she says provides a convenient home base for her active lifestyle. She uses her second bedroom as a home office, which is a convenient place to work on her volunteer and board duties. 

Doris volunteers as a home missionary for the American Baptist Church, and she has been a member of the Detroit Baptist Union for about 15 years. She also serves on the board of the MetroHealth Foundation, an organization that provides grants to small inner-city clinics. She’s been involved with the foundation for 30 years.

“It’s been a joy to see that develop and to see all the people we’ve been able to help over the years,” Doris says. “Serving on boards is my full-time work now.”

Coastal cruising

In her downtime, Doris enjoys taking American coastal cruises. And she knows she can be away and not worry about her home since Fox Run has 24/7, on-site security. 

Doris says the coastal cruises typically have more casual atmospheres and are smaller than Caribbean cruises. Some American cruises carry as few as 100 passengers, which Doris says makes it easy to get to know fellow travelers. 

Doris has taken several cruises on the Atlantic, from Maine down to Florida. Along the way, she says, the ship makes stops at places like Savannah, Ga., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. She says she is planning to take a West Coast cruise on the Puget Sound.

“I enjoy being on the ship. You can get off the ship and do tours, or you can just sit on the deck and read a book,” Doris says. “And you meet some nice people along the way.”

Doris has taken a total of 12 cruises along the American coastlines. When she’s not travelling, Fox Run provides a convenient and comfortable home base for Doris’s active retirement lifestyle.