What’s the real value of retirement living?

Cedar Crest residents agree it’s not just about affordability

Created date

September 19th, 2019
Former hospital administrator Dorothy Zimmerman understands the importance of having additional care available should she ever need it, while being empowered to live independently as long as possible.

Former hospital administrator Dorothy Zimmerman understands the importance of having additional care available should she ever need it, while being empowered to live independently as long as possible. 

Finding the right home to spend your retirement isn’t just about affordability. Or amenities. Or the food. It’s not just about continuing care or the size and style of your home. It’s about all of those things. It’s about finding a home that offers you the most value, which comes in many shapes and sizes. 

Among retirement living options, continuing care retirement communities are most likely to provide all of those things in one place.

Erickson Living manages 20 continuing care retirement communities across the country, including Cedar Crest, in Pequannock Township, N.J. Among Cedar Crest’s 1,800 residents, the top three priorities for choosing a retirement home include amenities and services, predictable spending, and continuing care. 

Predictable spending

Cedar Crest Sales Counselor Ruth Phillips says many people assume Cedar Crest is out of their budget because of its wealth of amenities and services. 

“When you actually compare the expenses of living in a house to living at Cedar Crest, you might be surprised to find you’re spending the same or less,” she says.

She credits that to Cedar Crest’s incredible value and its predictable monthly service package that covers most day-to-day living expenses. One check each month covers 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 variety of campus amenities.

“When you look at what’s included, the maintenance, everything, I feel I’m getting a good value,” says Joan Obermeyer. She and her husband John serve as resident ambassadors. 

As ambassadors, they greet potential residents, answer questions, and give tours during sales events. Throughout the tour, they share real-life pros and cons of living at Cedar Crest, but they say the conversation naturally sways positive thanks to the multitude of activities, convenient amenities located on campus, and the cheerful, welcoming people who become neighbors and friends. 

“We enjoy the safety of living here and the activities we are involved in,” says John.

More for your money

Cedar Crest’s on-site amenities—its swimming pool, medical center, fitness center, and multiple restaurants—are a major plus for many.

For Dorothy Zimmerman, a former hospital administrator, friends and organizations topped her priority list when she was considering a move from Norfolk, Va. She quickly became involved with the Jewish community and council, joined the Resident Advisory Council (RAC) as treasurer, and takes frequent trips into New York City, only 30 minutes away. 

“I’m a culture vulture and go to the theater as much as I can, sometimes using Cedar Crest transportation, sometimes on my own,” she says, referring to Cedar Crest’s shuttle services. 

Dorothy says she’s made some wonderful friends since moving to Cedar Crest thanks to all the on-site activities and amenities.

“There’s so much to do here, and you’ll make many friends,” agrees Blanche Blitzer, who moved to Cedar Crest 14 years ago. “You’ll find something that you enjoy doing because there’s so much to pick and choose from.”

She spends her time managing Dave’s Den, an on-site resale shop for furniture and larger household items. She’s also very involved in the Jewish and Interfaith Councils on campus. 

And because she no longer worries about home maintenance, she still has time to take advantage of Cedar Crest’s day trips, educational events, and on-site entertainment.

“When I lived in my own home, I had to worry about the roof or windows, or the basement flooding, or cutting the grass. Here, the only thing I do is my own housekeeping, which I don’t have to do. You have a lot of time for friends,” she says. 

Confidence in the future

Dorothy says she’s completely confident in her choice and her future. “I considered moving into a condo in the area, but I decided that I didn’t want to move twice if I never had to. Moving into a condominium building is not the same as moving into a community like this,” she says, referring not only to the activities and amenities, but also to Cedar Crest’s on-site continuing care neighborhood. 

Multiple levels of care on site ensure that should she ever need additional care, it’s available, meaning she can live independently today with peace of mind for tomorrow.

With a medical background, Dorothy understands the importance of having additional levels of care available should she ever need it, while being empowered to live independently as long as possible. 

As ambassadors, John and Joan Obermeyer often get asked about Cedar Crest's 90% refundable entrance fee. Joan says she appreciates knowing nearly all of what they put down on their apartment home will go to their heirs, and they can easily budget for monthly living expenses. (For more information on the refundable entrance deposit, the Residence and Care Agreement has all the details). 

Sales Counselor Kate Tanis says vibrant independent living with peace of mind for the future is the heart of Cedar Crest: “There is so much here to offer you to improve your lifestyle in so many ways.”