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Finding Real Value in a Retirement Community

June 12, 2019

Maris Grove Offers Great Value for Price Paid

Maris Grove resident Warner Knobe understands numbers.

The founder and former CEO of three community banks spent close to 50 years in the financial world. He understands financial statements and the picture they portray of an organization's financial health. 

When Warner and his wife Diane were ready to sell their large family home in New Jersey, this self-described "banker through and through" conducted a detailed financial comparison with several retirement communities. They chose Maris Grove, a continuing care retirement community in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, developed and managed by Erickson Living.

The couple had three must-haves: maintenance-free living, plenty of activities, and, above all, the best value for their money. Says Warner, "Maris Grove quickly became the standard by which we measured other communities. None came close. It was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of overall value."

A Financial Proposition That Made Sense

One of the most influential factors in their decision was Erickson Living's 90-percent refundable entrance deposit. This one-time deposit secures the residents' apartment home as long as they live in the community. If they move, they receive 90 percent of the deposit; if they spend the rest of their lives at Maris Grove, the 90 percent goes to their beneficiaries. 

Says Warner, "When we heard about the 90-percent refund, we said, 'That makes sense.' The program is straightforward and makes the cost of entry lower than at other communities we evaluated.

It's a very attractive proposition for anyone who wants to preserve their savings."

He also cites the value and simplicity of Maris Grove's predictable monthly service package. "Being the banker that I was, I had kept detailed records of our living expenses over the years so was able to compare our projected living costs at Maris Grove with what we were currently spending. When I compared our high property taxes, monthly bills, and maintenance costs to what I'd pay each month at Maris Grove, the benefits so outweighed what we were leaving behind," notes Warner. "Here, the social life, dining, and activities add immeasurably to your quality of life. We don't have to lift a finger. It turned out to be just as we had estimated."

Maris Grove's Sales Director Liz Harrington says that kind of feedback illustrates Erickson Living's commitment to providing clear and complete financial information regarding every aspect of life at Maris Grove. She says, "Our job is to help prospective residents make an informed decision based on actual costs. Most times, they find that they will spend less at our community and receive much more in services and amenities." Those services include virtually everything: utilities, scheduled shuttle service, cable TV, flexible dining plans, fitness center, art studio, clubs, and all maintenance.

 Sound Financial Foundation

 Warner had one more due diligence exercise to complete before he and Diane were ready to sign. He assessed the community's financial health by reviewing its rather complex annual reports. He spoke to people on the financial advisory board and to Maris Grove Director of Finance Randall Cox about the company's long-term financial health. His review confirmed to his satisfaction that Maris Grove had the kind of operational efficiencies and solid financial outlook that would protect his retirement savings.  "We needed to know that Maris Grove would be here for the long term to provide us with the services we need now and in the future," he says.

 Harrington adds, "Maris Grove is part of an 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. We know how hard people work to save for retirement, and we do everything possible to make our community affordable for the average middle-income person."

 Warner and Diane also point to the Resident Care Fund as something that sets Erickson Living communities apart. The fund ensures that no resident will ever be asked to leave the community due to a genuine inability to pay. "It makes us feel good to be a part of a community with that commitment." says Diane.

 An Easy Transition to Their Best Lives

 A 2018 TD Ameritrade survey of 2,002 adults revealed that 81 percent of retirees see their retirement as a time to pursue new goals; 76 percent see themselves doing things they didn't have time for previously, like spending more time with family and friends, traveling, or trying a new hobby.

The Knobes agree wholeheartedly with those findings. 

Since moving to Maris Grove, Warner and Diane have found life to be just as they imagined: active, enriching, and maintenance-free. With multiple dining options, fitness classes, more than 150 clubs, and fabulous cultural attractions and shopping close by, Maris Grove has given them the security and freedom to pursue their interests and take up new ones.

Not surprisingly, Warner has joined the financial advisory board, but he and Diane are taking full advantage of everything Maris Grove has to offer. Says Warner, "We have said at least monthly, if not more often, if we knew then what we know now, would we do it again? Yes, absolutely."

Maris Grove is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.  

About Maris Grove: Maris Grove, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 87-acre campus in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,600 residents and 740 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information about Maris Grove can be found at

Story written by Dorrie Anshel

Photo: Maris Grove resident Warner Knobe chose Maris Grove for its value and the many activities in at the community and surrounding area.