Oak Crest
Oak Crest residents Judy and Ken Phebus (pictured at Mount Rushmore) work together leading travelers to destinations across the U.S.

Nine years ago, Judy Phebus gave retirement a try. She left her job as a travel tour coordinator with Gunther Charters and Tours but quickly discovered retirement wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. One year later, she returned to doing what she loves most, leading travelers to destinations across the country with her husband Ken at the wheel.

Frank and Mary Longwell moved to Riderwood from Glen Arm, Md., in 2016.

When Frank and Mary Longwell decided to move to Riderwood, they had quite a unique perspective on the community: Their son, Jason Longwell, was previously Riderwood’s director of sales (he now works for Erickson Living as a regional sales director). 

Bea Rodgers, who lives at Riderwood, continues to work part time as a consultant to two organizations that advocate for people with disabilities.

“I have failed retirement twice,” jokes Bea Rodgers, who resides at Riderwood in Silver Spring, Md.

Anita Nixon and her neighbors founded Retired Teachers at Seabrook, an organization that stays abreast of current educational issues and volunteers their time for education causes.

As a young girl, Anita Nixon would set her dolls up at tiny make-believe desks and teach them reading and math from the front of a “classroom” in her childhood home. Her sister would tend to the dolls’ wounds and illnesses. 

Mary Ann and Nick Cammarano pose in their custom Seabrook home

Like many people looking to rightsize for retirement, Nick and Mary Ann Cammarano were initially hesitant to make a drastic change from their single-family home to lighter living. Two years after jumping on an opportunity—or two—they wouldn’t change a thing. 

RoseMary Cheek and her Cavachon Mazie Grace. A Cavachon is a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon.

What’s your pet’s name?

Mazie Grace.

What kind of pet is she?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She’s really a Cavachon—her daddy was a Bichon—but if you look at her you see no Bichon at all.

Describe the day you got Mazie Grace.

Tallgrass Creek
Smiling for the camera during one of the water exercise classes in Tallgrass Creek’s indoor, temperature-controlled pool are (from left) Donna Kempin, Sharad Gavankar, Al Pugsley, Anne Kyle, and Fitness Specialist Dawn Aronoff, who leads the class.

A day with no exercise is a rarity for Sharad Gavankar. Sharad is a familiar face, attending upwards of 12 land- and water-based exercise classes each week, all designed and led by Tallgrass Creek fitness experts Camin Bell and Dawn Aronoff.

Tallgrass Creek
Jan Ericson teaches piano lessons at a private studio she leases about three miles from her home at Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, Kans.

Three afternoons a week, Jan Ericson leaves her home at Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, Kans., and heads to a private piano studio located about three miles away. 

“It’s my ‘office,’” smiles Jan. “I teach piano lessons to young people, and I love it.”

Tallgrass Creek
Tallgrass Creek community members who live in Hummingbird Square share their experiences with future Goldfinch Lane neighbors. (From left): Bob Butterworth, Judy Higginbotham, Linda Peltzer, and Greg Svoboda. Sales Director Blake Marshall (right) kicked o

As the saying goes, “If you want answers, go to the source.”

A roomful of future Tallgrass Creek neighbors did just that earlier this year when they attended a panel and questioned current community members about their downsizing and moving experiences.