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Make A Plan to Create the Retirement of Your Dreams

By Michele Harris
January 30, 2024
resident Miriam Washington sitting in a chair in her apartment home

For some people, retirement means adopting a slower pace. For Dave and Judy Semon, retirement symbolized a new beginning with exciting opportunities.

"When we were searching for a retirement community, we had a list of must-haves," says Dave. "One of them was having new activities to explore."

The Semons also wanted to be the ones who decided where they lived and when they moved.

"We knew of some peers whose declining health made it so that their children had to make decisions for them," he adds. "They didn't have the chance to determine their must-haves, and we didn't want that."

"By planning ahead," Judy notes, "we had control of our situation!"

Taking a proactive approach and planning for your future, just like Dave and Judy did, can ensure that you have the freedom to live life on your own terms--whether that's relaxing by the pool or trying a new fitness class with friends. 

'The place to be'

Ashby Ponds, the Erickson Senior Living community in Ashburn, Va., was the perfect fit for the active couple. 

"It had everything on our list," says Dave. "We could try new things while still doing the things we've always enjoyed."

With an array of top-notch amenities on campus, including a fitness center, creative arts studio, putting green, outdoor pickleball court, and a performing arts theater, there's no shortage of ways for Dave and Judy to get involved. 

"The several restaurants on site were a huge perk too," he notes. "We quickly realized that Ashby Ponds was the place to be."

Since settling into their apartment home in early 2023, the Semons have been making the most of their retirement--without the burdens of home maintenance and stressing over future care. 

"It was our decision, and it was a smart one," says Judy, pointing to the community's quality continuing care. "Now, all we need to do is just enjoy ourselves!"

Socialization and support

After decades of living in a single-family house, Bill List and his wife Carol began to feel overwhelmed by the time-consuming upkeep. What's more, they found that their social circle was shrinking. 

"We needed to revitalize that, but we also wanted to move on our terms," says Bill. "We didn't want it to get to a point where we had to move."

Conducting their due diligence, Bill and Carol toured several retirement communities. Lantern Hill, the Erickson Senior Living community in New Providence, N.J., stood above the rest in terms of maintenance-free living and socialization. 

"We moved to Lantern Hill in December 2022. The first thing we did was jump into a lot of activities," says Bill. "We got into pickleball and line dancing, and we took classes at the fitness center, where we met many people right away."

Tragically, not long after they moved in, Carol passed away. 

"All I can say is thank God I was here at Lantern Hill. I had so much support from neighbors and staff members," says Bill. "I'm so glad that I didn't have the added pressure of managing a sizeable house or figuring out my relocation plans alone during that time. Planning ahead paid off."

Easy access to amenities

Miriam Washington loved living in her Philadelphia, Pa., row house, which was just a few doors down from her children. What she didn't love was the home's many steps. 

"The steps became increasingly hard for me," says Miriam. "A year ago, I fell and broke my hip."

That fall was a wake-up call for Miriam. 

"I realized that I didn't want to wait for the day when my kids would come to me and say, 'You can no longer live here.' My plan was to be able to choose where I would live," she says. "When I saw Ann's Choice, I knew it was the right place at the right time." 

All apartment homes at the Erickson Senior Living community in Bucks County, Pa., are one level, and all buildings on campus are connected via elevators and climate-controlled walkways--making it easy for Miriam to get around. 

"Since moving to Ann's Choice last year, my knees already feel better," she says. "I take my dog for walks around the community trails, and I feel like I am in great physical shape. It's a gift to be here, and my kids think it's pretty great too."

Your next chapter

Retirement is an exciting new chapter in your life. By carefully planning ahead and making informed decisions, you can create the foundation for a rewarding, vibrant lifestyle.

Find a community near you to learn more about how you can make your retirement dreams a reality!