After working hard throughout your life and carefully planning for your retirement, you want to be careful about how you spend your nest egg. The sales team at Riderwood, an Erickson Living-managed senior living community in Silver Spring, Maryland, understands that, which is why they take the time to help prospective residents compare the cost of living at Riderwood with their current housing costs.
“We know our customers do their research and want to make a sound investment for their future. Our team is extremely transparent about our financial model and is great at helping to sort through current monthly expenses like food, water, and gas bills, and in turn showing how these expenses line up with our monthly service package,” says Senior Sales Associate Ryan McClure. “The other piece we explore with them are the hidden or unexpected home owning expenses like appliance replacement, lawn maintenance, or roof repairs. These are expenses our residents do not ever worry about because Riderwood takes on this responsibility at no additional cost.”
When people realize everything that is included in Riderwood’s monthly service package, McClure says most determine that the community is on par or more affordable than their house or condo. Plus, residents enjoy the added benefit of having amenities such as four fitness centers, an indoor pool, two convenience stores, and on-site pharmacy, as well as services like home repairs, doctors, and 24/7 security right at their fingertips.
“Once we explore the types of expenses our customers incur normally through their lifetime, they can better understand how our community becomes a much more affordable option,” McClure says. “And another perk is that we simplify expenses under one predictable monthly payment, instead of paying five or six different companies.”
Best value in the area
Carman Gannotti, a retired accounting and tax professional who also worked in real estate, moved to Riderwood in 2018. He previously lived in a three-story house in Germantown, Md. Carman is healthy and active, but over the years, he found that fewer friends and relatives lived nearby.
“Life was very different, and this house that was always so alive with people wasn’t so alive anymore,” he says. “I started visiting communities and seeing what they offer, and I realized I have a lot more living to do, and there’s an opportunity here for a different lifestyle.”
Carman found that Riderwood is much more affordable than other retirement communities in the area. When he considered the price as well as all of the amenities, activities, and choice of apartment homes, Carman says Riderwood was the clear winner in his mind.“
The price itself was considerably much better than all the other communities that would be comparable in the Washington area,” he says. “Another one I looked at was double the price.”
Riderwood’s large size is another thing that appealed to Carman, who describes himself as a “city person.” He says he didn’t find any other communities that offer everything that Riderwood does.
“With big comes choice,” he says. There are 2,500 people living at Riderwood, and with 2,500 people, you have many on-site restaurants, “as opposed to another community with just one dining room. Most of the communities I looked at were one building and it was the same all the time—the same décor, the s a me rooms.”
Peace of mind
Another key aspect of Riderwood’s value proposition is the 90% refundable entrance fee, as outlined in our Residence and Care Agreement. This onetime fee is held for residents and returned either to them or, if they live at Riderwood for the rest of their lives, to their beneficiaries. By contrast, Carman says some of the other communities he looked at had a cooperative ownership model, but he no longer wanted to deal with the hassles of home ownership.
“Here, there is no concern if there is a major storm or freezing or branches coming down—you don’t worry about that,” he says. “Or if the electricity is out, I don’t worry about what I have to do to get it back on, especially during the pandemic, you wouldn’t know who to call and who is taking precautions.”
Another aspect of Riderwood’s value proposition is access to the vibrant social life on campus—something that is difficult to put a price tag on. Whether you’re into politics or photography, woodworking or Wii bowling, there’s probably a club you’ll want to join at Riderwood.
“Residents have access to over 250 resident-run clubs and activities, which means creativity, collaboration, education, and social connection all thrive across our campus,” McClure says. Carman is a member of the finance committee and enjoys playing bridge with his neighbors. He also volunteers to help residents living at Riderwood’s continuing care neighborhood and serves as an ambassador to introduce prospective residents to everything the community offers.
“I am also active in my faith community,” Carman says. “We have a gorgeous chapel here, which was a very important factor for me. We have many religious services here that go on in various faith communities.”
A true ‘home for life’
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Riderwood’s value proposition is the “home for life" commitment. The community maintains a Benevolent Care Fund to assist residents who, despite careful planning, outlive their financial assets.
“Most importantly, the residents know Riderwood will have their back financially,” McClure says.
“Residents at Riderwood are never asked to leave due to a genuine financial inability to pay their monthly bills. Should their monthly expenses exceed their financial capacity, our Benevolent Care Fund is here to support them.”
McClure says Riderwood is committed to remaining affordable by keeping costs down through efficient vendor contract negotiations, while at the same time, operating and maintaining the community to the highest standards. “Any price changes have to be approved by our not-for-profit board of directors,” McClure says. "We know how important predicting monthly and yearly costs are to seniors who are on a fixed income. Because of our size, we are able to use our economies of scale to offer our residents many services and amenities at an affordable price.”
Consider Riderwood if you’re interested in living in an active senior independent living community. Beautiful walking paths, gardens, resort-style amenities, an on-site medical center staffed by full-time medical professionals, and new friends await. Request more information today.