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Retirement communities: Separating fact from fiction

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

Created date

July 29th, 2015
Wind Crest resident
Wind Crest resident

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 Wind Crest, the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo., is right for you, it’s important to make sure you have all the facts. Below, we clear up some common misconceptions about Wind 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 Wind 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 Wind Crest wish they had moved sooner. That’s because Wind Crest frees you from the year-round responsibilities of a house that hold you back from living your best life. 

“You should move in when you’re younger so you can participate in all the activities,” says Ken Pinkham, who moved to a new apartment home in Wind Crest’s McHenry’s Crossing last November with his wife Karen. The active couple now chooses to participate in yoga, music, bridge, and volunteering rather than shoveling snow or mowing the lawn.

It’s true. At Wind 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 myriad resident-run activity groups and amenities like three fitness centers, an indoor swimming pool, a physician-staffed medical center, and lifelong learning courses, it’s easy to nurture your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.  

Fiction: “Wind Crest is for rich people.”

Fact: Compare your current cost of living with Wind 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. 

Wind Crest requires one convenient monthly fee and a 90% refundable entrance deposit that protects your nest egg. 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 90% refundable entrance deposit allows you to secure your nest egg and promote a financial legacy for your family. 

Should your finances change for reasons beyond your control, Wind Crest’s home for life commitment provides several options so you can protect your future. The Residence and Care Agreement has all the details.

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

Fact: Wind Crest is a pet-friendly community featuring a pet club and pet-friendly activities. 

In fact, several pet owners take their dogs for walks around the community grounds and on the High Line Trail which runs parallel to and through the Wind Crest campus. 

“Micky loves going out. He’s made lots of dog friends, and their owners have become our friends,” says Martha Nelson of her West Highland white terrier. “[Owning a dog] is a great way to meet people.”

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 20 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,” says Wind Crest Personal Moving Consultant Beth Brandenburg. “But those who have been through the experience will tell you, ‘It’s worth it.’” 

Brandenburg 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, real estate agents, and moving companies to facilitate a stress-free move. 

Brandenburg helped Karen Pinkham overcome her downsizing fears. “Downsizing was part of the reason I was dragging my feet,” Karen says of moving. “I didn’t know where to start. We had so much stuff. I was paralyzed.”

But, she says, “Beth came in and told us to start in the linen closet—something easy. So we had a starting point, and once I accomplished that, I said, ‘I can do this. I’ve got a plan now.’”