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What’s the best decision you’ve made for your retirement years?

Harry Veal reveals his secrets to a no-regrets retirement

Created date

January 8th, 2018
Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor (center) helped make Harry and Cecile Veal’s move from Toms River to Cedar Crest simple and secure—yet another great retirement decision for these two retired educators.

Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor (center) helped make Harry and Cecile Veal’s move from Toms River to Cedar Crest simple and secure—yet another great retirement decision for these two retired educators.


When asked to name the best decision he’s made for his retirement years, Harry Veal has a hard time answering. Not because he can’t think of something, but because he can’t narrow it down to just one. 

“I think I retired at the right time rather than keep working,” says the former history teacher. Then he adds, “We try to keep active and not just sit around. That’s important too.”

With that in mind, he says he and his wife Cecile believe that moving to Cedar Crest, an active continuing care retirement community in Pompton Plains, N.J., last June, was a great decision because it gives them plenty of opportunities to stay active, interact with others, and see their children who live in Stockholm. 

Embracing their vision

After living in a similar community in Toms River, Harry and Cecile decided to move closer to their children. They weren’t seeing them enough, he says, and that wasn’t part of their vision for a healthy retirement.

“I want to be near my children, and I want to be busy. As long as you’re healthy, which we are, we can still travel a bit and do other things,” he says.

At home at Cedar Crest, they embrace an active lifestyle by participating in many of the community’s 180-plus clubs and activities. Cecile plays bridge two to three times a week, and Harry has joined the current events and history groups. He likes anything political and current. 

They also take advantage of easy access to New York City, taking bus trips into the city that the community’s Trips and Travel group organizes regularly. 

They dine on campus frequently but also enjoy discovering local restaurants. That’s why the flexible 20-meal-a-month option has been a great choice too. “We figured we’d take the 20-meal plan so we can go out every so often. We’re still finding nice places to eat around the area,” Harry says. 

Simple and secure from start to finish

The Veals felt secure in their decision to move even before they settled into their new home. They avoided many of the challenges of moving by using Cedar Crest Personal Moving Consultant Anne Connor, who assisted the Veals with their move from start to finish and helped get their house sold quickly.

She traveled to their house in Toms River and customized a moving plan tailored specifically to their needs. Connor helped them select a real estate agent, moving company, and downsizing vendor.

“Nine times out of ten, people just don’t know where to begin,” Connor says. “That’s why my services are complimentary. We want the moving process to be as easy and painless as possible so residents can start enjoying the dynamic Cedar Crest lifestyle as quickly as possible.”

Connor connected the Veals with a Cedar Crest preferred real estate agent who has proven success in the sale of area homes and in working with people moving to the community.

“Our house sold very quickly,” says Harry. “The first person who looked at the house wanted it.”

No regrets

Harry and Cecile recommend that people moving to Cedar Crest take advantage of Erickson Realty and Moving Services.

“Anne was very helpful and was always available to answer our questions,” Cecile says.

As part of the complimentary service Connor provides, she assists residents with planning the placement of their furniture through the use of a customized floor-planning tool.

“My job is to make the move to Cedar Crest as smooth as possible for our residents so that they can exchange home maintenance for vibrant, active, worry-free living,” Connor says.

So happy with their decision that he says he has no regrets, Harry suggests anyone considering how and where to spend their retirement should think about their lifestyle and visit different communities. 

“You have to go to these places and see how they fit into your lifestyle. Everybody has a different lifestyle,” he says. “You have to talk to other people to see how they like the place. Most people seem to like Cedar Crest.”