Retirement myth busters

Clearing up misconceptions about retirement living options

Created date

October 13th, 2016
Personal Moving Consultant June Parish meets with people interested in moving to Windsor Run.

Personal Moving Consultant June Parish meets with people interested in moving to Windsor Run.

Not all retirement living options are the same. But that doesn’t mean people always see a clear picture when comparing them. 

One of the most commonly misunderstood retirement living options is the continuing care retirement community (CCRC). A CCRC offers independent living options for active older adults, skilled nursing care, and assisted living—care for all levels of health needs. Some even offer on-site preventive and medical care for when independent living residents need it, bringing all services under one roof.

But people often categorize CCRCs with nursing homes and assisted living facilities and associate them with a loss of freedom or personal identity. 

“I did not know much about CCRCs prior to my move to Greenspring [an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va.],” says Clint Lambert. “I’m happy that I did not let that stop me. My wife and I did our research and scheduled a visit. I’m so glad we did. We now enjoy a very happy and full life among such wonderful people.”

To shed some light on retirement living options, we turned to Windsor Run, the Erickson Living community scheduled to open in Matthews, N.C., in early 2018.

Myth #1: “I can’t afford it.”

Erickson Living’s approach to retirement living has proven to be a healthy financial decision for most of its community members when compared to staying in their houses. 

By bundling all monthly expenses—all utilities, a flexible meal plan for the community’s restaurants, use of all community amenities, full-time maintenance staff, free reserved parking, round-the-clock security, hospitality services—into one monthly service package, community members avoid unexpected costs and can predict their budget. 

“I find that my husband Donald and I are better able to plan for monthly expenses at Greenspring than we were in our house,” says Kathleen Henry. “There is no roof to leak, no water heater to leak, no plumbing to leak, which means that no unplanned money is leaking from our checkbook.” 

The monthly service package also includes several amenities not available when living in a house. Services like home maintenance and professional housekeeping keep the burdens light. 

Myth #2: “I’ll be surrounded by old people, and I don’t feel old.”

Welcome to the club! Most Erickson Living community members don’t “feel old” either. Just ask anyone living there what’s on his or her schedule for the week. Most likely, you’ll get a long list of activities, from volunteering on or off campus to working out in the on-site fitness center to attending a meeting for any of the many clubs and groups. 

“Erickson Living prides itself in helping its community members stay active both physically and mentally,” says Elisabeth Longworth, community resources coordinator at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va. Longworth helps coordinate resident-run activities as well as outside groups that offer programs to community members. 

In addition, all Erickson Living communities employ local high school students to work at campus restaurants, often becoming “adopted grandchildren” to community members. 

“Ashby Ponds residents love their student dining staff,” says community member Mary Terry. “We all derive great pleasure being served by them and learning about their future plans, and I believe they also learn so much from us as well.”

Myth #3: “My heirs won’t get any money back from my home.”

Windsor Run’s innovative financial structure offers community members peace of mind when it comes to their entrance deposit, similar to a down payment on a house. They can rest easy knowing that 90% of their entrance deposit is returned to them or their family should they ever decide to leave. 

“This allows residents or their families to receive most of the initial deposit back,” says Windsor Run Director of Sales Tom Senger. 

Community members may also access the deposit to cover extended care expenses if their health needs ever change. And if they decide to spend the rest of their life at Windsor Run, 90% of their deposit will be returned to their heirs. (Full details are in the Residence and Care Agreement.) 

Myth #4: “An apartment is too small for me.”

Envisioning packing all your worldly belongings into Tupperware containers stashed under your bed? You’re not alone. Most people can’t imagine moving from a house filled with 30 to 40 years’ worth of stuff to an apartment home.

“When I ask [people] what they really personally need, it normally comes down to living space—a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen,” says Windsor Run Personal Moving Consultant June Parish.

Windsor Run offers apartment home sizes and styles to fit every preference and lifestyle. “We have more than 30 different floor plans to choose from,” says Parish, who helps priority list members choose the perfect apartment home. 

Windsor Run floor plans feature one- and two-bedroom homes in bright, open-concept layouts. 

“Finding the right size and style is a process,” says Parish. “I listen carefully to the needs of each person I meet with to learn what is important for them, for example, a larger kitchen or larger bedroom. What do they currently enjoy about their present housing? Some enjoy watching activity—the comings and goings of neighbors. Others are into serenity—a peaceful, quiet view. All this is learned as we spend time together talking about their future life at Windsor Run.”

Outside their apartment home, “They will be dining with friends, exercising in our fitness center, and socializing with friends and neighbors,” says Parish. “The whole community will be an extension of their home.”