Dollars and sense

Understanding the financial piece of the puzzle at Eagle’s Trace

Created date

May 29th, 2020

When Joe Muse and his wife Dorothy moved to Eagle’s Trace in August 2018, they’d already had a glimpse into life at the West Houston community from visiting Dorothy’s friend Joella Perkins, who’s lived at Eagle’s Trace since 2015. 

“We liked the amenities and atmosphere at Eagle’s Trace, but I looked at two other communities in the Houston area just to be sure,” says Joe, a certified public accountant. “Neither one compared to Eagle’s Trace in terms of the lifestyle they offered.”

Eagle’s Trace, developed and managed by Erickson Living, sits on a 72-acre campus just south of I-10 on Highway 6. The community offers independent living apartments as well as the full continuum of care on site. Spacious, well-kept grounds invite outdoor activity with a nine-acre lake, resident gardens, a lakeside wellness garden, and dog park.

Indoor amenities include four restaurants, salon, bank, library, neighborhood store, pharmacy, medical center, fitness center, swimming pool, and creative arts studio.

Austin Square, a new residence building under construction, will add additional apartment homes, as well as a fifth dining venue, pickleball courts, life enrichment center, and fitness studio.

“We’re looking toward the future as we grow and add more amenities and services,” says Executive Director Stephen Aigner.

Financial stability

As Joe and Dorothy drew closer to a potential move, Joe weighed the financial implications of choosing Eagle’s Trace. 

The community’s financial structure has two components, a 90% refundable entrance deposit and a monthly service package.

The onetime entrance deposit secures your apartment home for as long as you live at the community and is 90% refundable to you or your beneficiaries. The monthly service package is a single bill that covers almost all regular living expenses, including utilities, cable television, and select meals.

“At first, I wasn’t sure about putting a substantial amount of money down for the entrance deposit,” says Joe. “Then I realized it’s a smart business model, allowing Erickson to fund future development without debt.”

Erickson Living is a self-funded developer with financial stability, lending peace of mind even in the midst of economic uncertainty. Nationwide, Erickson Living-managed communities consistently boast occupancy rates above the industry average. 

The Erickson Living network of managed communities brings over 35 years of experience helping seniors enjoy a vibrant, fulfilling lifestyle, free from the burdens of home maintenance. Erickson’s family of managed campuses benefits from the economy of scale, offering the highest quality services and resources.

“When it comes to the costs associated with maintaining a property, we have greater purchasing power as a community than I did in my single-family home,” says Joe.

Home for life

Unexpected home repairs and big-ticket expenses are a thing of the past too, now that Joe and Dorothy live at Eagle’s Trace. Utilities and cost-of-living expenses are bundled into one consistent, predictable monthly service package, so they don’t have to worry about surprise appliance repairs, property taxes, or higher-than-expected energy bills.

“The other financial consideration that impressed me is the Resident Care Fund,” says Joe. “I like the fact that Eagle’s Trace offers a home for life.”

Eagle’s Trace maintains a Resident Care Fund to assist eligible residents who outlive their resources. No one has ever been asked to leave the community because of a genuine inability to pay. The Residence and Care Agreement has complete details on the fund, as well as the refundable entrance deposit.

This year, Joe was elected to the Resident Advisory Council (RAC) at Eagle’s Trace and is putting his accounting background to good use as the RAC liaison to the finance committee. 

“I’m looking forward to learning even more about the financial operations on campus,” he says. “The partnership between staff and residents allows us to share an understanding of where the money goes and how it’s being used for the benefit of the community.”