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One less step to an ideal retirement

Skip 55-plus and choose Erickson Living

Created date

October 14th, 2016
Maureen and Gil Guim’s home at Ann’s Choice displays a number of mementoes from their trips to Africa, one of their favorite destinations.

Maureen and Gil Guim’s home at Ann’s Choice displays a number of mementoes from their trips to Africa, one of their favorite destinations.

Maureen and Gil Guim moved to Ann’s Choice, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., before they retired and at an age when their contemporaries were moving to 55-plus communities. 

Their aim was to downsize from the seven-bedroom house in Abington, Pa., where they’d raised three children and housed scores of international students from Arcadia University where Maureen was associate dean of graduate studies.

After their kids left home, the house and the chores that went with it became more than Gil and Maureen wanted to tackle. They began looking at 55-plus communities but couldn’t find one they agreed on. 

Then they heard about Ann’s Choice. 

On their first visit they toured apartment styles, including a Lancaster. The two-bedroom, two-bath corner apartment home with a sunroom and bay window appealed to them because its size would let them continue to host large family gatherings. 

“And when I saw all the activities—the clubs, the on-site facilities, the all-season swimming pool—I was really happy,” says Maureen. “We’re spontaneous, we like people, and we like to be active.” 

A financial person, Gil was impressed by the community’s 90% refundable entrance deposit.

The Guims returned for another visit where they learned that construction was under way on the first residence building in Ann’s Choice’s second neighborhood. They also learned that two Lancaster floor plans were available. 

They joined the priority list by placing a refundable $1,000 deposit and $150-per-person nonrefundable application fee. They immediately reserved the Lancaster on the fifth floor. 

An easy transition

The Guims moved to Ann’s Choice in mid-2007. 

They went off to work each day, socialized at card games in the evenings, and attended floor parties with their hallway neighbors. “There was something going on nearly every night,” says Maureen.

Through the years, they’ve maintained off-campus friendships like their decades-long bridge group and Maureen’s book club. They get together in Abington or entertain at their home.

“It has as much space as we’d actually used at the house,” says Gil. It easily accommodates extended family and friends, as many as 18 people, who gather for Maureen’s home-cooked holiday meals. 

If they chose, the Guims could host holiday gatherings in an Ann’s Choice private dining room to avoid the hassle of cooking and cleaning up.

Maureen limits her cooking to a few special occasions a year. She’s only too happy to dine on chef-prepared meals at Ann’s Choice the rest of the year. 

Before she retired two years ago, she often put in long hours. When she worked late, Gil ate with friends in one of the campus restaurants and got Maureen’s meal to go.

No-hassle travel

Travel has long been a priority for the Guims. Ann’s Choice offers an extensive trips and travel program, and the Guims joined the group last fall for a trip to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Most often, however, they travel on their own.

This year they attended the Rose Parade on a Road Scholar trip. Then Gil spent three weeks in South Africa. Next they went to California. Then they traveled to Portland, Oreg., for their son’s birthday. 

This summer they combined a trip to presidential libraries in the Midwest with a visit to Minneapolis for Gil’s uncle’s ninety-seventh birthday. In September they spent a month in Africa and England.

The Guims appreciate that Ann’s Choice offers a credit of $36 a day for a couple after they are away ten days.

“It’s so nice to walk away and know everything is secure at home,” says Maureen. “That’s a big change.” 

That sense of security in the form of Ann’s Choice’s gated community and 24/7 security team of emergency medical technicians is one of the reasons she and Gil chose Ann’s Choice. 

Maureen and Gil live carefree. Even putting out their trash is effortless. They simply set it outside their door and never cope with rain, snow, or an icy driveway.

Giving back

Maureen says that with all the conveniences, it’s equally important that they can give back to the community and continue to use their career skills.  

Since retiring, she has missed her professional life. However, she employs newly acquired skills as a page administrator for the Ann’s Choice resident activity website.

She’s also active in the Ann’s Choice Lifelong Learning Academy (ACLLA), an extensive lecture program organized and run by community members. Maureen chairs its speakers committee and uses her previous contacts in higher education to locate expert presenters.

Gil, who just retired two years ago, is ACLLA’s treasurer and serves on the finance committee for the Resident Advisory Council. 

He also volunteers his time to neighbors who need help for shopping trips or errands.

“I keep looking back at what we’d be doing if we were still in our house,” says Maureen. “It could be pretty depressing. But here, we’re always on the go. That made this move ideal for us.”