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Great place to live

Retirees choosing fun over fuss

Created date

October 16th, 2017
Resident ambassador Carol Bicket gives tours and provides a firsthand look at what life is like at Seabrook. You might very well meet her when you visit the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls.

Resident ambassador Carol Bicket gives tours and provides a firsthand look at what life is like at Seabrook. You might very well meet her when you visit the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls. 


For Carol Bicket, the only downside to joining Seabrook’s priority list at age 61 was that she wasn’t old enough to move into the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J.

With a minimum age requirement of 62, Seabrook’s average age has been decreasing in the past few years, with more and more people in their 60s and 70s opting for a maintenance-free, active retirement.

Speaking from experience

Those new, young residents are spreading the word that Seabrook is a great place to live. As an ambassador, Carol guides tours of people visiting Seabrook for the first, second, or third time and answers their questions about everything from the food to the financial structure. 

“When they asked me to be an ambassador, I said, ‘Why wouldn’t I?’ I couldn’t be happier here,” Carol says.

In July, she welcomed visitors to a sales event, then guided one of the groups on a tour of two model apartment homes—a Brighton and a Jackson. She could especially speak to the Jackson floor plan; she and her husband James live in one of the two-bedroom, two-bath styles with a spacious eat-in kitchen, a large pantry, and a living and dining area.  

Perched on the fifth floor, their corner apartment offers peaceful views of the trees and lots of natural light. Some Jacksons have bay windows. 

“It’s a very popular model for its large kitchen and pantry and for all the windows. It’s a  very bright apartment,” says Sales Counselor Dennise Baldwin.

‘What more could you want?’

One of the things Carol likes best about her Jackson apartment is the windows—or rather the fact that she doesn’t have to wash them. Seabrook’s general services department washes all outside windows once a year.

She and James don’t have to shovel snow, mow the lawn, or worry about their sump pump flooding their basement like it did in 2011 at their Plainfield home during Hurricane Irene.

“Sandy and Irene did us in. We were exhausted,” she says. 

Plus, she whispers slyly, “I was tired of responsibility. I wanna play.”

And play she does. Carol plays canasta, mah-jongg, bridge, and Rummikub. She also uses the indoor, glass-enclosed swimming pool. 

“You’re busy all the time if you want to be. There’s movies, operas, clubs, worship services. You don’t have to go outside for anything. What more could you want?” she says.

Smart financial decision

When asked by a visitor how she feels about the financial structure, which involves a 90% refundable entrance deposit and a fixed monthly service fee, Carol says she appreciates knowing nearly all of what she put down on her apartment home will go to her heirs, and she can easily budget for monthly living expenses. 

The monthly service package includes utilities, a flexible meal plan, property taxes, use of all amenities, parking, and 24/7 maintenance and security. 

Next question: What happens to your entrance deposit if you need additional care? Answer: You can use your entrance deposit for additional care, and the Resident Care Fund supports residents who experience a genuine and unforeseen change in their financial situation. Seabrook’s home for life commitment provides several options for people to protect their future (see the Residence and Care Agreement).

“With the financial structure the way it is, I know I can afford to live here,” Carol says.

Baldwin says all prospective residents meet with a sales associate who determines if Seabrook will be a good financial fit now and in the future. 

“Many people assume Seabrook is out of their means, only to find out that it’s actually within their budget and oftentimes even less expensive than living in your house when you consider all the expenses associated with maintaining a home,” Baldwin says. 

Baldwin recommends making a list of all expenses associated with living in a house and comparing them, side-by-side, to those costs at Seabrook. Her team can provide a specific worksheet to help.

“Make an appointment or visit during one of our events and find out whether Seabrook is right for you,” Baldwin says.

As for Carol, she can’t recommend Seabrook enough. “I love it, love it, love it!” she says.