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Retire? There’s still work to do

Active, vibrant lifestyle at Linden Ponds supports those in the workforce

Created date

May 9th, 2018
Sandra Schipul, who lives at Linden Ponds, works part time at Pink Tulip Clothes & Accessories in Cohasset, Mass.

Sandra Schipul, who lives at Linden Ponds, works part time at Pink Tulip Clothes & Accessories in Cohasset, Mass.

About two and a half years ago, Sandra Schipul and her husband Bob decided to move from Cohasset, Mass., to Linden Ponds. They were persuaded by friends from their church, Janet Schmitz and Bart Nuboer, who were planning to move to the community as well.

“They were adamant that this was a great place. Their parents had been here,” Sandra says. “We came and said, ‘This is a great idea.’”

Another motivating factor to make the move were the severe winters New England has seen in recent years. Sandra says she and Bob were growing tired of the maintenance that comes with owning a house. The winter before they moved to Linden Ponds, they ended up with water in their dining room from ice on the roof—which was the last straw.

“Living here does make life a lot easier,” Sandra says.

Now that they’re happily settled at Linden Ponds, where all maintenance is handled by the professional staff, Sandra and Bob have more time for the things they really enjoy. For Sandra, one of those things is working. Yes, she may live at a retirement community, but there’s no rule that residents have to be retired!

So many perks

Sandra works two days a week at Pink Tulip Clothes & Accessories in Cohasset. She’s worked at the store for a while, and when people would ask her if she wanted to continue working, her answer was a resounding “Yes.”

“I love my perks—all the beautiful things on the racks that I can buy at a discount and getting first choice on new items,” Sandra says. “Plus, I can keep up with the pulse of what is going on in Cohasset.”

It’s not just income and first dibs on stylish clothing that Sandra gets from her job, however. It also provides her with freedom and an outlet for her creativity.

“It’s so nice because it’s energizing and keeps you feeling like you’re still productive,” Sandra says of her work.

Previously, Sandra worked as an office assistant and at her family’s stationery shop. She’s also been a full-time mother as well as a pastor’s wife.

Of all the ways she’s filled her days, Sandra says working at Pink Tulip has been one of her favorites. What’s more, working at a boutique allows Sandra to immerse herself in something she’s always enjoyed: fashion.

“As a teenager, I would buy Vogue magazine and look at the styles, and then I would go to dress shops and buy patterns that looked like what was in Vogue,” Sandra says. “I could sew the little Chanel suits—whatever was in that season, I would copy it.”

Ideal lifestyle for working adults

It’s not only possible to continue working while living at Linden Ponds—it may actually be easier than while you own a house. Not only do residents enjoy maintenance-free living, but they typically eat dinner at one of the community’s on-site restaurants. That means no more time-consuming trips to the grocery store, hovering over a hot stove night after night, or wasting evenings cleaning the kitchen.

“I have a meal ready for me when I come home, so I don’t have to worry about shopping and cooking dinner,” Sandra says.

Bob actually works full-time as a minister and does some chaplaincy work at Linden Ponds.

The Schipuls’ son and his family live nearby, so Sandra and Bob visit with their three young grandchildren two or three times a week. Between their jobs and their families, the Schipuls have a busy schedule—but they like it that way.

“I guess that is what keeps you young,” Sandra says.

During the spring and summer, Sandra and Bob maintain two garden squares at Linden Ponds’ communal garden. They grow tomatoes, squash, green beans, and herbs.

The bounty from one of their two gardens is grown for Linden Ponds’ on-site farmers market. Gardeners donate their proceeds to the community’s Scholarship Fund, which helps student employees pay for higher education, and the Resident Care Fund, which is in place to assist eligible residents who, despite careful planning, outlive their financial resources. No one has ever been asked to leave the community because of a genuine inability to pay.

The Schipuls also volunteer to visit with residents at Rose Court, Linden Ponds’ continuing care community.

When they are at home at Linden Ponds, Sandra and Bob enjoy meeting their friends Janet and Bart for dinner. Sandra says she’s also looking forward to getting more involved in some of the many resident-run clubs, including the sewing, painting, and sculpture groups.

“We’re thrilled; it’s all been great since we moved,” Sandra says. “I think it’s a great place—it always keeps you stimulated.”