Security and convenience

Maintenance-free living makes life easier for these snowbirds

Created date

May 29th, 2020
Bob and Sue Van Vleet spend their winters in Florida and come home to Fox Run for the spring, summer, and fall.

Bob and Sue Van Vleet spend their winters in Florida and come home to Fox Run for the spring, summer, and fall. 

For many Michigan retirees, spending the winters in a warm climate like Florida and returning home to be with family and friends for the spring, summer, and fall strikes the perfect balance. Moving to a retirement community like Fox Run doesn’t mean your snowbird days are over. In fact, many residents say living at Fox Run makes it easier to get away for months at a time.

“It’s much more convenient,” says Bob Van Vleet, who spends his winters in Bonita Springs, Fla., with his wife Sue. “We don’t have to worry about things like draining pipes and finding someone to take care of the house.”

Fox Run has around-the-clock security, which means when residents travel, they can simply lock their apartment home door and hit the road. For snowbirds like Bob and Sue, that saves a lot of hassles and worrying.

“It’s much easier because we don’t have to worry about our home,” Sue says. “We didn’t like to have our daughter constantly having to check our home. It’s a safety feature.”

When they are in Florida, Bob soaks up the sunshine while playing golf. Sue enjoys swimming in the pool, playing bocce, and catching up with friends.

“I’ve made friends down there, so I stop and talk to people,” Sue says. “There’s one woman who I went to elementary school, high school, and college with, so I visit her.”

Home base since 2018

Bob and Sue decided to make Fox Run their home base in 2018. They previously lived in a condo across the street from the community, so they had watched it being built from the ground up and were familiar with the worry-free lifestyle residents enjoy. Some minor health problems prompted them to start thinking about their retirement living options.

“We thought we better do it before we have to worry,” Sue says.

When they are at home at Fox Run, Bob and Sue have found plenty of fulfilling ways to spend their time. Bob, who still works part-time as a CPA, is a member of veterans’ club, genealogy club, and history club.

Sue worked for 30 years at the Farmington Hills Library. She was the supervisor of technical services and retired in 2007. At Fox Run, Sue is a member of a book club and works out at the on-site fitness center, which offers a variety of classes as well as individual personal training sessions.

Bob and Sue have a lot of friends in Michigan. Bob served on the board of their condo association, and they formed friendships with those people. Sue was a member of the Farmington Hills Welcome Wagon and made a lot of friends through that group. 

“Some have become lifelong friends,” Sue says. 

Since moving to Fox Run, Bob and Sue have taken the opportunity to make even more friends. 

“We’ve gotten to know some neighbors and went on a couple of day trips with some of them,” Sue says. 

Interestingly, Bob and Sue also own a farm in Tecumseh, Mich. It has been in their family since 1834 and been passed down from generation to generation. It was previously a dairy farm, and now they grow corn and soybeans. 

“The house is old, so it needs a lot of work done,” Sue says. “Our son-in-law has a master’s degree in restoration, so he is taking over that part.”