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Fewer financial worries, more security for retirees at Charlestown

June 17, 2019

Vibrant lifestyle, robust amenities and predictable expenses combine for easy retirement living

Catonsville, Md. –  A 2018 Gallup poll noted that 78 percent of retirees report that they have enough money to live comfortably. But, with the rising cost of groceries and health care, peace of mind can be fleeting. Unless you're one of the 2,000-plus residents living at Charlestown, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) managed by Erickson Living.

Thanks to a solid financial structure that includes a predictable monthly service package and a refundable entrance deposit, residents of Charlestown can balance their budgets with confidence, knowing that their future is secure.

A solid financial structure

"There are many different options when it comes to retirement communities," says Pamela Stiner, Director of Finance at Charlestown. "Here at Charlestown, we operate on a fee-for-service model. This ensures that you are only paying for the services you receive and requires a lower upfront entrance deposit."

There are two basic components to Charlestown's financial structure: a 90 percent refundable entrance fee and a monthly service package. The refundable entrance fee secures an apartment home for as long as you live at the community. 

The monthly service package covers property taxes, utilities, 24-hour security and emergency first response, flexible dining plans, scheduled shuttle service, and trash collection at your door. Maintenance and repairs, as well as services like professional landscaping and snow removal, are also included, helping residents plan for their expenses with confidence. 

Charlestown's unique Benevolent Care Program provides residents with additional peace of mind that they will never be asked to leave their home due to financial hardship stemming from unexpected or rising medical costs or other unforeseen circumstances.

Peace of mind is priceless

Financial planners like Alec Knight, Vice President of Wealth Management at Brooks Financial Group in Towson, Maryland specialize in helping retirees understand the costs associated with moving to a CCRC. Knight's grandmother was once a resident of Oak Crest, another community developed and managed by Erickson Living in Parkville, Md.

"When someone comes to us and says, 'I'm considering making a move, we ask a simple question, 'What's important to you?' Then we can start to develop a plan," says Knight.

"We have a planning tool we use that gives us the ability to easily model different scenarios so you can see a side-by-side comparison of where you are today financially, compared to where you would be in the future if you decide to move." 

"It's important to work with someone you can trust and has your best interest at heart. We have worked with Erickson Living residents for over a decade. Our goal is not to just have a transaction, but to gain your trust and build a relationship so we can help you make the best decision for you. That's really at the heart of what we do," says Knight.

Good financial sense

Charlestown's financial strength starts with a strong occupancy ratio of 98 percent. Erickson Living communities enjoy occupancy rates higher than the national industry average, offering financial security to its residents.

Francine Ashby has called Charlestown home for the last six years. For her, the move from her house in Catonsville made good financial sense. 

"I spend much less here than I was in my house," says Francine. "I didn't realize how good the monthly service package actually was until I got here. I have more money to spend on myself because my day-to-day expenses like the gas and electric, water bill, even telephone, and cable costs were much higher in my home than they are here." 

Charlestown residents like Francine also have access to a wide variety of amenities right on campus. An all-season swimming pool, fitness center, bocce courts, 300 different clubs, classes, and volunteer possibilities, as well as access to conveniences such as a bank, hair salon, on-site medical center, and computer lab, are all just a few indoor steps away.

"Because Charlestown has so much to offer, I think people are under the misconception that it might be out of their price range," says Francine. "But it's actually very affordable. The lifestyle is so stress-free here. I'm glad I made the decision to move. I think most people will tell you that they wish they had moved sooner than they did."

Photo Caption: Francine Ashby's move to Charlestown from her nearby home in Catonsville not only made good financial sense but allows her to enjoy a more active, vibrant retirement lifestyle. With predictable expenses and an incredible array of activities and amenities, Francine enjoys less stress and more fun.

About Charlestown: Charlestown, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 110-acre campus in Catonsville, Maryland. The community is located in Baltimore County and is home to more than 2,000 residents who are supported by a team of more than 1,200 employees. Additional information about Charlestown can be found at