A better place to retire than Hawaii

Couple moves to Wind Crest, starts international club

Created date

July 22nd, 2019
Traudl and Telu Li have lived internationally most of their lives, including Taiwan, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Hawaii, and now Colorado. Traudl wrote and published a book about living internationally entitled Light and Shadows

Traudl and Telu Li have lived internationally most of their lives, including Taiwan, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Hawaii, and now Colorado. Traudl wrote and published a book about living internationally entitled Light and Shadows

While many people dream of moving to Hawaii for retirement, Traudl and Telu Li moved from the Aloha State. But what would make someone want to move from paradise? 

After living in a tropical climate for 34 years, they were ready for a change of scenery. For Traudl and Telu, what started as a change of scenery and weather has become a positive change in lifestyle.

The right stuff

Four seasons and cooler weather drew the couple to Colorado, where they discovered Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch. After researching the maintenance-free community online, they visited in 2016. 

“I like the outdoors, and having the High Line Canal Trail was a big attraction,” Traudl says of the community’s active lifestyle and scenic trail that bisects the 84-acre campus. 

They also found the financial structure appealing. “The financial structure suits our situation and was a factor in choosing Wind Crest. The monthly service package is certainly nice,” Traudl says. 

She’s referring to the predictable monthly service fee. One check each month covers most day-to-day expenses, including apartment home maintenance, property taxes, heating and air-conditioning, trash and recycling collection at your door, dining plans and options, basic cable TV, regularly scheduled transportation, 24-hour security and emergency response services, plus access to a wealth of campus amenities.

Wind Crest has another main component of its financial structure, the 90% refundable entrance deposit, which provides financial security to residents and their beneficiaries (full details are in the Residence and Care Agreement). 

Those who move to Wind Crest enjoy the security of knowing their onetime entrance deposits are 90% refundable.  Should they spend the rest of their lives at Wind Crest or should they choose to move from campus, 90% of their deposit will be returned to them or their beneficiaries.  

Fostering an international environment

Feeling confident about their decision, Traudl and Telu moved to Wind Crest from Hawaii in June 2017. Two years later, “We have no regrets whatsoever,” says Telu. 

He’s channeled his knowledge and experience as a professor and researcher of oceanography at University of Hawaii at Manoa into on-site Learners classes, like “What ends up in the ocean” for 25 of his Wind Crest neighbors. 

Traudl, who worked at University of Hawaii’s Center for Chinese Studies and directed a small office of international programs, and published a book on living internationally, has channeled her experiences into developing an international group at Wind Crest. 

“We are very much into living internationally and in an international environment,” she says. They’ve lived in Taiwan, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, and Hawaii. “I look forward to doing group activities here with the international group,” she says.

As more people continue moving to Wind Crest, with its third neighborhood now open and two more residence buildings under construction, she expects the international group to flourish. “While there are only a few members now, people have identified themselves and are interested, and there are so many people moving here,” she says.

Her book, Lights and Shadows, tells stories of people who have not only lived overseas but truly integrated themselves into the culture. Through interviews, Traudl shares what they’ve learned from seeing their native country from another perspective. Getting to know their neighbors has been a similarly enlightening experience.

“What I find nice here is so many people have different backgrounds,” says Telu.

“Yes, there are so many talents and artistic talents. You name it and someone here has done it,” Traudl adds. “Everyone is social and delightfully friendly.”

In fact, Traudl lends her talents in book repair to her neighbors. At a table in her bedroom, she mends the bindings and pages of beloved books. “I’m doing a lot right now; word is getting out,” she says. 

When she’s not serving her neighbors, Traudl brings her focus inward, taking yoga classes, Pilates, and other group exercise classes in the campus fitness center. An accomplished yogi, she’s been practicing for 25 years and says it helps maintain her flexibility and focus. 

Telu maintains his physical fitness by walking outdoors along the High Line Canal Trail, hiking area trails or, in winter, walking the indoor corridors. Since climate-controlled walkways connect every building at Wind Crest, he can log several miles without ever stepping foot outside. 

Without having to maintain a house or yard, they now have time to focus their energy on the activities they enjoy most.