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Globe trotter hangs his hat at Ann’s Choice

Making and sharing memories with new neighbors

Created date

June 26th, 2014
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When Charlie Reckner grew tired of rattling around in a 3,000-square-foot carriage home in the Blue Bell, Pa., Country Club, he researched retirement communities.

Choice, Erickson Living’s community in Bucks County, rose to the top. Located three miles from Charlie’s son in Ivyland, it offered myriad activities and lots of social interaction.

Its financial structure was equally advantageous: the entrance deposit is 90% refundable should Charlie leave for any reason. The Ann’s Choice Residence and Care Agreement has all the details.

When he told his children his decision, they were thrilled. They didn’t want their dad living alone.

Charlie’s house sold nine days after he listed it. And because he used an Ann’s Choice preferred real estate agent, he was reimbursed $2,000 of his moving expenses. 

This January, he moved to one-level living in a Franklin-style floor plan, a smaller home but with spacious rooms. The great room readily accommodates versatile cabinets that display mementoes of his journeys around the globe and hold his large TV.

Charlie spends much of his time at the computer in the generous-sized second bedroom that’s now his den (and less time cleaning unused rooms!). He’s currently sorting photo files of his trips to more than 14 countries. 

Forging friendships

Charlie knew no one when he moved, but he quickly made friends by sharing his passion for world travel. 

He added more friends when he joined the German and French clubs, the veterans club, and the ROMEO group (Retired Outstanding Men Enjoying Ourselves). 

His friendship circle continues to grow because, at his request, the campus restaurants always seat him with other neighbors.  

Charlie packs a host of activities into his day. Starting before sunrise, he spends 90 minutes at the campus fitness center swimming laps, walking the treadmill, and using free weights. 

Making memories

He also volunteers: “I want to give something back,” he says. He shares his travel photos and stories with people who now travel vicariously—residents at Rose Garden, the rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood at Ann’s Choice. 

As word spread about Charlie’s spirited recollections, he was asked to give formal presentations. So with guidance from another neighbor, he’s creating DVD travelogues complete with music and narration. He’s doing his U.S.S. Nimitz trip for the veterans club, his Seine River cruise for the French club, and his Africa trip for a campus-wide presentation in the performing arts center. 

He’s also making memories right at home. 

Shortly after his move, Charlie hosted a party in Fireside Restaurant for his namesake grandson’s third birthday. The birthday boy’s chair anchored a colorful balloon, the servers sang “Happy Birthday,” and Charlie’s new neighbors delivered well wishes. 

And this Easter after his kids and grandkids came for the Ann’s Choice egg hunt, the family enjoyed a picnic at Warminster Community Park next door.

Personal home tour

When friends visit Charlie Reckner, they experience hospitality, Ann’s Choice-style.

Charlie takes them on a grand campus tour, introduces them to his neighbors, and shows them that evening’s menu at four campus restaurants. “Choose where we’ll eat tonight,” he says.

The visit ends on a convivial note with drinks in a clubhouse lounge and a delicious chef-prepared meal.

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