When researching retirement living options, one aspect should be at or near the top of your priority list: financial stability.
"You've spent your life saving for these years," says Samantha Long, a certified financial planner with Ameriprise Financial. "Whether you choose to stay in your house or move to a community, it's important to choose a retirement living option with proven financial strength, value, and reliability to ensure you can meet your basic monthly expenses while managing any investments."
That said, she stresses that the costs of home ownership must be accounted for in retirement. "If the expenses of home ownership, for example, a new hot-water heater or air conditioner or even larger expenses like a new roof, are not prepared for, they can severely impact your retirement goals," she says.
You may have set up a budget before or during retirement, but homeowners are more likely to get hit with unpredictable big bills, says Long, than people who live at a maintenance-free retirement community like Wind Crest, developed and managed by Erickson Living.
'A good financial decision'
Dave Pfeifle, former president and CEO of a global manufacturing company, has lived at Wind Crest with his wife Beverly since 2011. He says the financial components of Wind Crest, especially its predictable monthly service package, make it a good financial decision for people looking for an amenity-rich community and a wide variety of apartment styles.
"It's obviously a good financial decision when you look at everything: getting rid of maintenance issues and the ongoing costs that come with owning a home, and dealing with the unknowns," he says. "Here, you know what your costs are on a day-to-day basis."
Mel and Jane Birky have lived in the Denver metro area for around 50 years and have two sons in the area. They wanted to stay local during their retirement years. They visited several area senior living communities before choosing Wind Crest.
"We felt Wind Crest had the best combination of price, value, amenities, and location," Mel says, adding that the friendliness of staff and neighbors was also a big incentive.
Simplifying monthly expenses
At Wind Crest, wo sales counselors, Tony Stephenson and Sandy Shelpuk, assist people who are deciding to sell their house and move to one of the community's maintenance-free apartment homes.
"Our monthly service package includes nearly all monthly living expenses in just one check each month that remains the same throughout the year," Shelpuk says.
The predictable monthly service package, which corresponds to the size of each apartment home, includes all home maintenance, professional landscaping, property taxes, 24/7 security, utilities, a flexible meal plan, and use of all amenities. Wind Crest's grounds crew keeps the campus landscaped year-round, and during the snow season, grounds crews plow the campus loop and shovel and salt sidewalks to help keep residents safe.
"I shoveled quite a bit of snow before I moved to Wind Crest," says Mel. "It's nice having all that taken care of."
"When you start thinking about all the amenities available, including the medical center and continuing care neighborhood on campus," says Dave, "I think it's a very good package…a significant value."
Ensuring a healthy retirement plan
"Our on-site amenities and predictable monthly costs give such peace of mind to our residents," says Stephenson. "They don't have to worry about which bills have been paid and which need to be paid. It's convenient and budget friendly."
Which, Long adds, is imperative in retirement.
"A monthly budget should be strictly followed and reviewed at least quarterly," she says, adding that a financial plan should also be done annually by a trusted financial professional.
Long recommends reviewing your retirement plan sooner rather than later. "Remember, the longer you wait, the more limited your options for change," she says.
Don't wait to make your move to Wind Crest! For more information or to schedule a tour of the community, visit www.WindCrestRetirement.com or call 1-800-204-9893.
Photo: Wind Crest's maintenance-free living means you will never worry about structural or electrical repairs.
Written by Julia Collins