Tinton Falls community offers great value and quality of life
With a successful finance career in treasury management, Barbara Solan knows a thing or two about making smart investments. That's why, when it came to living her best life and investing in her own future, she recognized the benefits of choosing quality over quantity.
In May 2015 Barbara, who was living in a 2,895-square-foot house on Staten Island, New York, drove a friend to a luncheon at Seabrook, the Erickson Living developed and managed community in Monmouth County, New Jersey. While she wasn't investigating for herself, she knew a smart decision when she saw one.
"When I came down here and looked around, I said, 'This is better than the big place I have!'" Barbara recalls.
Seabrook 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. The community offers independent, maintenance-free living for those 62 and older in spacious, modern apartment homes, with all levels of care available on campus in its continuing care neighborhood.
A Sensible Financial Structure
During that first visit, Barbara and her friend received a personal tour of the community, enjoyed a lunch prepared by Seabrook chefs, witnessed the myriad amenities available on campus, and learned about Seabrook's financial structure, which includes three main components: a 90-percent refundable entrance fee, a predictable monthly service package, and the resident care fund.
The 90-percent refundable entrance fee provides financial security to residents and their beneficiaries. Those who move to Seabrook or any Erickson Living community enjoy the security of knowing their one-time entrance fees are 90-percent refundable. Should they choose to move from campus, 90-percent of their fee will be returned and, should they choose to spend the rest of their lives at Seabrook, 90-percent of the fee will be refunded to their beneficiaries.
A predictable monthly service package covers all the expenses associated with traditional homeownership—from property taxes and utilities to home maintenance and repairs—as well as a wide range of amenities, including meals at exceptional dining venues, heated indoor pool, game room, library, and fitness center. Plus, residents have access to the on-site medical center, salon, on-site pharmacy, convenience story, on-site bank and ATM, and more.
Finally, the resident care fund is at the heart of an incredible commitment that Seabrook makes to residents. The community assures residents 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. Funds are raised through a mix of annual and legacy-giving campaigns, managed by the Philanthropy Department.
"Our mission is to make sure that Seabrook stays affordable for the average middle-income person. We have looked at our competition and what we offer for our price point. We definitely have a much better value for what you pay when you factor in the incredible amenities and lifestyle offered at Seabrook It's a smart investment," says Sales Director Dan Simms.
Barbara was impressed.
"I went home that night and made plans to downsize," she says.
Though Barbara downsized her personal living space by about half, she gained that much more in lively opportunities.
At 1,503 square feet, her two-bedroom apartment with a den still gives her the feel of a house without all the unused rooms to clean and maintain.
With less house to maintain, Barbara says she's getting value for price paid and saving money on her monthly living expenses—something this finance major checked before moving. "I pulled out paper and pencil, went through my check book and credit cards, listed all of my monthly expenses, and compared it to the monthly maintenance at Seabrook. I decided that I was saving money," she says.
Not only is she saving money, she says the financial structure of having all her living expenses combined into one fixed monthly service package provides an unmatched convenience. One check each month covers most day-to-day expenses, including apartment home maintenance, property taxes, heating and air-conditioning, trash and recycling collection at her door, dining plans and options, basic cable TV, regularly scheduled transportation, 24-hour security and emergency first response services, plus access to a wealth of campus amenities.
"Everything is in one bill, and it's autopay. I don't have to sit down and write checks for this, that, and the other thing. It's so much easier and simpler," she says.
Enjoying Life to the Fullest
With less time maintaining her large house and paying bills, Barbara can now be more involved than ever—something that brings her joy and a sense of fulfillment. In fact, she's on so many committees that she received the Most Outstanding Volunteer Effort Recognition (M.O.V.E.R.) Award for her outstanding volunteer work in October 2018.
"Seabrook is a great place to be," Barbara says. "I've made a lot of friends which is really wonderful. I can go out without having to go out. I can go to the movies and not have to worry about getting home or bringing my coat. I can go to dinner with different people. Everything is right here. The doctor, the salon, the CVS—it's totally convenient. There's always something to do. You can be as busy as you want or as unbusy as you want."
About Seabrook: Seabrook, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 98-acre campus in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,400 residents and 750 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 Seabrook can be found at SeabrookCommunity.com.
Photo: Finance professional Barbara Solan enjoys living at Seabrook, in Tinton Falls, N.J., which she says is a smart investment in her future.
Story written by Julia Collins