Life on their terms

Couple takes full advantage of their priority list status to plan their move

Created date

August 14th, 2019
After a long career at Lockheed Martin, Diana Martinac enjoys having more time to volunteer at Children’s Hospital, just five minutes from her and her husband’s home at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

After a long career at Lockheed Martin, Diana Martinac enjoys having more time to volunteer at Children’s Hospital, just five minutes from her and her husband’s home at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

When Rick and Diana Martinac walked into Wind Crest eight years ago, they were too young to move to the Highlands Ranch, Colo., Erickson Living community. But they weren’t too young to start planning for their retirement. 

Rick and Diana joined the priority list at Wind Crest to hold their place in line for an apartment home of their choice, and watched the community continue to expand with new buildings and amenities. 

“Joining the priority list is the best way to ensure you get the apartment that’s right for you,” says Sales Counselor Tony Stephenson. “Priority list members tell us the features they want, and we contact them, based on the date they joined the priority list, when an apartment that meets their criteria becomes available.”

All it takes to join the priority list is a fully refundable $1,000 deposit, plus a $150-per-person nonrefundable processing fee, to reserve your place in line for the apartment home styles of your choice. The day you join the priority list becomes your priority date, giving you preference over everyone else who joins the list after you.

When your desired floor plan becomes available, you’re given first right of refusal based on your priority list status. Passing on an apartment doesn’t change your priority list status. Should your future plans change, your priority list status is transferable to another Erickson Living community.

The time is right

With a booming real estate market, the Martinacs listed their Lakewood house in 2017—despite the fact that neither had yet retired—and moved to Wind Crest that same year. Because they had joined the priority list several years earlier, they were among the first to receive an invitation to reserve in Wind Crest’s newest residence building at the time, Longs Ridge.

“I’m so glad we did it that way,” Diana says. 

Because they weren’t rushed, they were able to watch the community grow and thoughtfully choose their apartment home—a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath Newbury apartment home in Longs Ridge with a breathtaking view of the foothills, an oversized master bedroom, open den, and extra-tall ceilings. 

While their full-time jobs stalled their involvement at the community for a year, Diana says she now has greater appreciation for Wind Crest’s active, maintenance-free lifestyle.

“I was very much impressed, now that I have the time [to get involved], because I find that oftentimes when people retire, they don’t know what to do with themselves. Here, we have all these groups and entertainment, and the people are just wonderful,” says Diana, who worked for 39 years at Lockheed Martin in configuration and data management.

Three cheers for volunteers

Wind Crest has more than 100 clubs and activities, fitness classes, and continuing education classes. Diana is now involved in the women’s club, welcoming committee, Resident Advisory Council, and volunteers at Children’s Hospital just up the road. 

“I love working with children and always knew I wanted to volunteer at a hospital,” she says. “When we moved here, I realized it’s only five minutes away so even in bad weather, I can still get there.” Wind Crest’s transportation services are available for those who don’t want to drive.

She volunteers at the surgical floor waiting desk, directing patients and their families, conducting checks and balances, and guiding families from pre-op until they leave. 

“[While working] at Lockheed, I did a lot of volunteering. I knew I didn’t want to leave my charity work when I retired, and here I’ve added to it. That was the goal,” she says.

Without the burdens of home and yard maintenance, Diana and Rick are free to enjoy life on their terms. She still enjoys cooking and baking, so the 20-meal-a-month dining plan that’s included in their monthly service package works well for them. 

The monthly service package covers most day-to-day expenses, including apartment home maintenance, property taxes, heating and air-conditioning, trash and recycling collection at their 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.

But above all else, Diana says, “What’s really great about this place is you get to interact with people of all ages, people who are older and have great stories, people who are younger and are still working—there’s something for everyone.”