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‘Time to coast and have fun’

Enjoying real retirement after retirement

Created date

July 20th, 2016
Russell and Nancy Smith will move into their Hathaway-style apartment home at Lantern Hill later this month. It features two bedrooms, a den, and a balcony.

Russell and Nancy Smith will move into their Hathaway-style apartment home at Lantern Hill later this month. It features two bedrooms, a den, and a balcony.

Although Nancy and Russell Smith retired from their careers as a teacher and a portfolio manager, respectively, years ago, they won’t truly embrace retirement until later this month. That’s when they’ll move to Lantern Hill, the Erickson Living community now open in New Providence, N.J.

“After you retire you still have daily chores. Now I can feel I am truly retiring,” says Nancy. “It’s time to coast and have fun with friends.”

Nancy looks forward to foregoing cooking, while Russell anticipates lower real estate taxes and fewer home repairs—none, to be exact. All home maintenance, landscaping, and a handful of other expenses are included in each apartment home’s monthly service package. 

All utilities, Lantern Hill’s Choice Dining Plan, and weekly housekeeping are included in the affordable fixed monthly fee, which also includes secure Wi-Fi, and each apartment home has ready access to the Internet. 

Same life, new lifestyle

With no need to spend time on daily chores, they’ll have more time to enjoy activities and friends. 

Having lived in nearby Summit for 46 years before moving to a condo in Chatham Township in 2012, they’ll continue to participate in the organizations they know and love, like Nancy’s book club and bridge group. For Russell, it’s the Old Guard and Dartmouth College alumni group. 

They both belong to Bible study groups and attend Central Presbyterian Church and New Providence Presbyterian Church. 

When they first learned of Lantern Hill, they jumped at the opportunity to join its priority list. In fact, they were one of the first people to join. 

Priority list members are prospective residents who have expressed an interest in moving to Lantern Hill and put down a fully refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve their place in line for the apartment home of their choice. 

“Joining the priority list is the best way to ensure you get the apartment that’s right for you,” says Sales Counselor Kathy Banks. “Priority list members tell us the features they want, and we contact them, based on the date they joined the priority list, when an apartment that meets their criteria becomes available or as we add new residence buildings.”

Since Nancy and Russell joined early on, they were able to move sooner than they had initially expected. 

At first, they indicated they wanted to move when the second phase of apartments would be available, but because of their priority list status, “We were given a choice in phase one of two then-available apartments. We said, ‘We’ll take it’ on the spot. We’ll be moving two to three years sooner had we waited for phase two,” says Russell.

“I’m happy we’ve done that,” says Nancy. “It seemed to come at the right time.”

Comprehensive retirement option

While Russell and Nancy discovered that they liked condo living in Chatham, they saw the benefits of having additional care on-site and a maintenance-free lifestyle. “We are realistic, pragmatic people, so we plan ahead,” says Russell.

“We wanted the safety net of medical help when we needed it, and we also liked the idea of not leaving friends and organizations,” adds Nancy. 

As a continuing care retirement community, Lantern Hill will soon offer the full continuum of health care—including short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, memory care, and assisted living.

A close-knit community of just 275 apartment homes, from one-bedroom homes to two-bedroom, two-bath luxury accommodations, Lantern Hill offers the convenience of everything under one roof. With amenity-rich clubhouse spaces, residents have all-season access to amenities such as restaurants, a fitness center, pool, and more.

Lantern Hill’s first phase of 161 apartment homes sold out in just 9 weeks, and community members began moving in last month.  

“There has been a growing need nationwide for a more comprehensive option for people our age,” says Russell. “There is a tremendous need for Lantern Hill in this area.”