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Downsize home. Upsize travel.

Pat Jacoby dedicates retirement to exploring the globe

Created date

March 14th, 2017
Pat Jacoby with her collection of U.S. Presidents memorabilia, such as books and paintings, in Cedar Crest’s Belmont Clubhouse.

Pat Jacoby with her collection of U.S. Presidents memorabilia, such as books and paintings, in Cedar Crest’s Belmont Clubhouse.

For Pat Jacoby, smaller and simpler were “it” words when it came to choosing her next home. When daily maintenance and 16 stairs up to her bedroom got to be too much work, she explored other options—12 to be exact—and settled on Cedar Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J. 

“I came here four or five times, and after speaking with Sales Counselor Kate Tanis, we went over my finances, and she helped me see it would be much easier for me to live here. I like the grounds, the gated community. I felt I would be much safer here than in my home,” Pat says.

In September 2016, she moved from her four-bedroom colonial of 43 years in Livingston to Cedar Crest.

Trading bedrooms for travel

An avid traveler, Pat decided to downsize not only materially but financially as well, so she could use the money to explore the world. She chose a one-bedroom, one-bath Brighton floor plan, which fit her lifestyle and her budget to a T. 

“I chose the Brighton because I didn’t want a lot to take care of, and I was happy with it. I didn’t want a two-bedroom because I wanted to use the money to travel. I wanted to keep my expenses lower,” she explains.

With the money she saves from her home and living costs, she travels to Florida and global destinations like Paris, London, and Italy. This year, she and her whole family will take a trip to Alaska and Hawaii.

Closer to home, Pat now enjoys Broadway shows in New York City, local restaurants, and performances right on campus in Cedar Crest’s performing arts center. 

“I really have embraced the lifestyle. I go to dinner with a few people every night. I like the activities they have; they have movies every couple days and lectures. They have a lot of nice things,” Pat says.

When she’s not traveling or enjoying time with friends and neighbors, Pat works two days a week at Chicago Title, so keeping her living space simple has truly allowed her to enjoy life more—a life she likes to keep full of action.

Space for collections

Although Pat downsized significantly, she found a way to keep her many collectibles, which include jewelry, art, fine china, Tiffany items, Waterford and Austrian crystal, art books, and her late husband’s baseball memorabilia. She simply keeps them in an off-site storage unit and rotates displays in Cedar Crest’s display areas.

Through the winter, she displayed her collection of U.S. Presidents’ memorabilia, such as books and paintings. Next, just in time for Opening Day, she’ll swap Presidents for “play ball” and display her husband’s baseball collectibles. 

“I’m old-fashioned,” she admits. As one of eight children, she says, “I didn’t have a lot. Once I got married and could afford things, I started collecting antiques.”

Her collections don’t just include memorabilia; her home is filled with beloved antiques, which she was happy to find she could bring from her former home. 

With help from Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor, who measured her existing furniture and created a floor plan of her new apartment, she knew where everything would go before she even moved in.

Each Erickson Living community has its own local personal moving consultant who provides complimentary coordination of all realty and moving needs, including downsizing, home staging, packing, and selection of a real estate professional.

Connor meets with prospective residents in their home, armed with a magnetic floor plan of their new apartment. She tours the home and sees which existing furniture pieces they want to bring with them to their new home. Then she measures them out and places the to-scale pieces on the magnetic floor plan.

The open floor plan of Pat’s Brighton apartment home is an ideal display space for her furniture collection of her husband’s grandmother’s Empire antiques.

“It’s like a museum in here. I love looking at everything every day,” Pat says happily. “I was able to bring everything that I wanted to bring.”

Weatherproof living

Surrounding herself with beloved family heirlooms helps Pat preserve her happy memories, while surrounding herself with new friends helps her make new ones. 

“Marie Fisher welcomed me here and took me to dinner. When I moved in everyone on my floor knocked on my door and welcomed me,” she says, adding that her cousin lives at Cedar Crest and her daughter and grandchildren live nearby. They see each other often.

“Living here has changed my mental health as well as my physical health,” Pat says.

Even in nasty weather she can keep her engagements, whether it’s a lecture, an exercise class, or dinner with friends. Climate-controlled walkways connect every building, protecting her from snow, rain, and heat. 

“I have indoor parking so I don’t have to worry about the snow, and they maintain the facilities very well,” she says. “People are wonderful. Staff, management, maintenance—they came to help me hang my photos and things like that. Today they are coming to change a lightbulb. Everybody is helpful, considerate, nice. They do their job very well. It’s a lovely place to be.”