Ashburn, Virginia—The idea of moving to a continuing care retirement community appealed to Charles and Eileen Duggan. When the couple began to explore options, they each had a unique knowledge set to tap.
Charles had been a certified public accountant (CPA), serving in auditing and financial management positions within the equipment leasing industry. Following her career, Eileen volunteered with several senior advocacy organizations, including a stint as Vice-Chair of the Fairfax County Commission on Aging.
Together, they did their due diligence visiting numerous communities in Virginia and Maryland. Charles created an Excel spreadsheet with data that included entrance deposits, monthly fees and apartment home sizes. Charles and Eileen then compared the numbers.
"We came to the conclusion that Ashby Ponds was the best value of all that we had to choose from," recalled Charles. "To our delight, the sales team at Ashby Ponds was knowledgeable and transparent when we discussed the elements of the move. Naturally, we had created our own financial plan, and what Ashby Ponds offered made perfect sense."
"Ashby Ponds also won our hearts," noted Eileen.
In August 2015, Charles and Eileen moved to the Erickson Living-developed and managed community in Loudoun County.
The couple selected a spacious floor plan with two-bedrooms and a den. "We haven't skipped a beat since moving from McLean. Our apartment home at Ashby Ponds provides us ample room to work in our office as well as entertain family and friends," said Eileen.
The financial structure at Ashby Ponds, developed and managed by Erickson Living, has two basic components: the 90-percent refundable entrance deposit and a monthly service package. The entrance deposit secures the resident's apartment home as long as they live in the community. If they move away from campus, they receive 90-percent of the deposit; if they spend the rest of their lives at Ashby Ponds, the 90-percent goes to their beneficiaries.
"This brings a great source of comfort and satisfaction to residents with heirs," said Charles.
The monthly service package covers utilities including air conditioning and heating, 24-hour security and emergency first response, flexible dining plans, scheduled shuttle service, trash collection and recycling at your door, and all maintenance and repairs.
"Residents move to Ashby Ponds for a variety of reasons including the need to downsize. After fifteen years, our house required expenses that included landscaping and routine maintenance, not to mention the time it took to find trusted people to perform the work," stated Charles. "We don't worry about these things anymore."
A Value Proposition
"Ashby Ponds is part of the Erickson Living enterprise with a 36-year track record of serving seniors. We take great pride in having strong financials and being good stewards of our residents' money. It's reflected in our occupancy rates that are above the industry average," said Holly Henderson, Director of Sales.
As part of its Home for Life commitment, Ashby Ponds maintains a Benevolent Care Fund, designed specifically 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. Funds are raised through a combination of annual and legacy-giving campaigns.
Ashby Ponds also houses an onsite continuing care neighborhood, offering assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation. As a fee-for-service community, residents pay for advanced levels of care only if and when they need it. It is an affordable and secure financial model for many retirees.
"Our mission is to make sure that Ashby Ponds is a smart investment for those exploring senior living options in this market," noted Mrs. Henderson. "We routinely look at our competition and what we offer for our price point. We definitely have a much better value for what you pay when factoring in the incredible amenities and lifestyle offered here."
So Much to Do
A TD AmericaTrade survey of 2,002 adults taken in 2018 noted that 81 percent see their retirement years as a time to pursue new goals. And 76 percent see themselves using those years to pursue passions they previously neglected like spending time with friends and family, traveling abroad or taking up a new hobby.
The active lifestyle at Ashby Ponds for Charles and Eileen is a reflection of these national trends.
Since moving to Ashby Ponds in August 2015, Charles has been elected as a member of the Resident Advisory Council (RAC), served on the Finance Committee and is currently a member of the Entertainment Committee. They utilize the fitness center and take classes such as yoga; Eileen currently serves as the Chair of the Resident Health and Wellness Committee. And they continue to volunteer in the greater community and enjoy their love of the theater.
"The socialization opportunities are incredible, especially in the restaurants and pubs. We are exposed to new pursuits and make new friends as everything we could possibly need is right here. Life is good," said Eileen.
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,475 residents and 550 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Ashby Ponds. Additional information can be found at AshbyPonds.com.