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The standout choice

Retirement got a whole lot better for Don and Rhoda Simon

Created date

February 20th, 2017
Don and Rhoda Simon park their bikes on the patio of their home at Ann’s Choice, making it simple to ride when the mood strikes them.

Don and Rhoda Simon park their bikes on the patio of their home at Ann’s Choice, making it simple to ride when the mood strikes them.

Originally from Massachusetts, Ann’s Choice residents Don and Rhoda Simon lived in the Columbus, Ohio, area for 50 years and raised their family there.

After Don retired, their children, who’d moved to the East Coast by then, wanted their parents to move closer. One son lives in Upper Dublin, Pa., their daughter is in Cherry Hill, N.J., and their other son is in Upper Montclair, N.J.

Two years ago, the couple decided to shed their homeowner responsibilities and stop climbing four flights of stairs in their split-level home. They also wanted to see their children and grandchildren more. 

The Simons opted for a retirement community, which delighted their children. Their kids immediately began researching communities near them. 

Winner, winner

Ann’s Choice, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., stood out. 

Its proximity to Center City Philadelphia provided the urban setting the Simons preferred. Its location adjacent to Warminster Community Park appealed to their love of nature.

“We’re outdoors people,” says Rhoda. At Ann’s Choice they could walk and bike whenever they wanted. 

They also liked that the 103-acre community is beautiful and secluded but is also close to shopping venues. And Ann’s Choice offers a socially and economically diverse population of more than 2,000 residents.

“We could continue to live the life we wanted,” Rhoda says.

A retired agricultural economist, Don has a head for numbers. After his son emailed floor plans for all of Ann’s Choice’s two-bedroom apartment styles, Don diagrammed furniture placements. 

The Simons selected four of their favorite plans.

In spite of the large number of apartment styles at Ann’s Choice, not every style is immediately available. Only one of the Simons’ four preferred plans was available, but it had a patio.

When Rhoda saw the patio’s courtyard view, “This is it,” she said.

Before their move, the couple arranged for a final customizing touch to make the apartment truly their home: At their expense, they replaced its carpeting with gleaming wood floors.

Living the life they love

The Simons park their bikes on their patio ready for companionable spur-of-the-moment rides. Don also rides with their son and with the Ann’s Choice cycling group. 

Should snow curtail those rides or put the kibosh on outdoor walks, the Simons can walk the indoor circuit of hallways and glass-enclosed bridges that connect all the buildings at Ann’s Choice. 

They even walk to medical appointments because they’ve switched their doctors to Ann’s Choice physicians who practice in the on-site medical center. 

With apologies to the postal service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” stay Ann’s Choice community members from their appointed activities. 

For the Simons, those activities include on-campus lectures from experts in their fields, after-dinner bridge games, and special interest groups.

Rhoda also swims in the campus aquatics center pool, takes classes at the fitness center, and volunteers with Ann’s Club, a program that provides a respite for community members who care for spouses with memory problems. 

Don volunteers with Tax-Aide, something he’s done for nearly 20 years.

“We wanted to move together while we were in good health and could enjoy all the amenities Ann’s Choice offers,” Don says.  

“Life is better in a lot of ways now,” adds Rhoda. “Our days are really full. We’re attending, moving, doing, going, and exploring.” 

They use their brains, exercise their bodies, and explore destinations that range from Center City to local museums and state parks.  

And one more thing: They’re seeing a lot more of their grandkids.