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Retirement communities: Separating fact from fiction

Are you missing out on the best years of your life?

Created date

July 7th, 2015
Cedar Crest resident with dog
Cedar Crest resident with dog

With hundreds of choices, selecting the retirement community that best fits your needs and lifestyle can be overwhelming. But often, common myths about retirement communities can cloud your judgment.

So before you make up your mind whether a community like , the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J., is right for you, it’s important to make sure you have all the facts. Below, we clear up some common misconceptions about Cedar Crest and help shed light on what is fact and what is fiction. 

Fiction: “Staying in my house is what keeps me independent.”

Fact: Perhaps the biggest misconception ascribed to communities like Cedar Crest is they are places people move to when they can no longer live on their own. In other words, it’s for “old people.”  

On the contrary, most people who live at Cedar Crest wish they had moved sooner. That’s because Cedar Crest frees you from the year-round responsibilities of a house that hold you back from living your best life. 

“My wife and I don’t have maintenance problems anymore,” says Robert Slater, who moved to Cedar Crest from Nutley, N.J., last June with his wife Diane. “She enjoys not having to cook supper every night, and I’m happy I don’t have to do yard work.”

It’s true. At Cedar Crest, there are no lawns to mow, leaves to rake, or decks to maintain. It’s this maintenance-free aspect that relieves you of your everyday worries and instead lets you spend your free time doing what you want. 

With 180 resident-run activity groups and amenities like a fitness center, indoor swimming pool, physician-staffed medical center, chapel, and even college courses, it’s easy to nurture your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.  

Fiction: “Cedar Crest is for rich people.”

Fact: Compare your current cost of living with Cedar Crest’s inclusive monthly fee, and you might be surprised with what you find. Even if your mortgage is paid off, it’s not free to live in a house. Unpredictable maintenance, repairs, and upkeep are crucial in protecting the value of your property. Taxes, utilities, and insurance also add up. 

“We felt the costs were comparable and slightly more attractive than living in our condo,” says Leo Thomas, who moved to Cedar Crest with his wife Elaine in 2012. “Because of that and the upkeep costs we’d be saving, we felt it was a positive move.”

Cedar Crest requires a refundable entrance deposit that protects your nest egg and one convenient monthly fee. By bundling all expenses—all utilities and maintenance, property taxes, a flexible meal plan for the community’s five restaurants, use of all community amenities, full-time maintenance staff, and round-the-clock security—into one monthly service package, community members avoid unexpected costs and can trust their budget. 

The predictable monthly service package gives you greater control over your expenses. The refundable entrance deposit allows you to secure your nest egg and promote a financial legacy for your family. 

Leo and Elaine enjoy traveling in their retirement. “Expenses are more predictable,” says Leo. “It gives us an opportunity to plan for potential trips we’d like to take.”

Should your finances change for reasons beyond your control, Cedar Crest’s Home for Life Commitment provides several options so you can protect your future. The details are in the Residence and Care Agreement.

Fiction: “If I move, I would have to give up my pets.”

Fact: Cedar Crest is a pet-friendly community featuring a dog park, pet club, and pet-friendly activities. 

In fact, several pet owners take their dogs to the onsite continuing care neighborhood for pet therapy with the residents there. “They really enjoy petting the dogs,” says co-president Paula Longo, who has a Chihuahua. 

Pet club co-president Adele Goodrich says she truly enjoys being part of a community with pets. 

For the comfort of all neighbors, animals must remain on a leash whenever they are out of their homes. With the exception of assistance animals, pets are not allowed in indoor public spaces and are to remain in their residences. 

Fiction: “I’ve lived in my house for 40 years. It would be impossible to downsize to an apartment.” 

Fact: Concerns about downsizing are common. But don’t let those doubts keep you from discovering what could easily be some of the best years of your life. 

“For many people, the thought of moving from the house they raised their family in and parting with the possessions they’ve lived with for so many years can be intimidating. But those who have been through the experience will tell you, ‘It’s worth it,’” says Cedar Crest Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor.

Connor provides complimentary in-home consultations for members of the community’s priority list to assess their downsizing needs. She also works closely with accredited downsizing and staging professionals, senior move managers, real estate agents, and moving companies to facilitate a stress-free move. 

Connor helped Robert and Diane through their move from Nutley by assisting with furniture placement and downsizing. She also recommended an excellent real estate agent who helped them get a fair price for their house. 

“Overall,” says Robert, “we’re very pleased with Cedar Crest.”