30 Mar Why We Won’t Wait to Retire
Oh NO We Won’t GO!
One day as I was going through my mail, I came across an invitation to an information session about a new retirement community that was being built in Mills River, North Carolina. My first instinct was to throw it in the trash, but since it came from an acquaintance of mine, I decided to give it a closer look. I checked out the website and though I was very impressed with what I saw, I said to myself – maybe in 10 years, it’s too early, we are just not ready to move to a retirement community. Afterall, we were living in our “dream lake home “in Connestee Falls, Brevard, NC that we had built 10 years ago and we had no intention to move. The thought had not even crossed our minds. In fact, I often said that the only way I would leave this house was if I was dragged out kicking and screaming!
Raking Leaves = Aching Knees!
Then, we started to reflect upon the reality that the past 10 years had not always been kind to our physical bodies. Both of us have sustained our share of “weekend warrior” injuries along the way. It was no longer fun or easy to maintain the house, shovel snow, blow leaves (time after time), replace rotting deck boards, tend to the landscaping, stain the decks, clean, and mulch and fertilize the yard – YET AGAIN! Though it was hard to admit, as I was only 69 and Al only 74, our bodies were not quite the workhorses they were 10 years ago. Plus, wasn’t it time to just relax and enjoy retirement?
On Second Thought…
So, we thought, hmm, maybe we should look into this Legacy at Mills River place and see what it has to offer. We attended the information session and were immediately impressed by the professionalism and knowledge of the staff AND by the information presented. We were particularly intrigued that this retirement community was going to be an Equity Model community; not a typical Life Plan Community where, in exchange for lifetime access to healthcare, they require you to GIVE an enormous sum of money to the community upfront just for the privilege of living there. Money you will never see again. At Legacy, you have access to the same level of healthcare but you own your home 100%. If one day circumstances change and you decide that you needed to move somewhere else, you can sell it and recoup your equity and any accrued appreciation. With the equity model, It is your home to do with as you please.
They Had Us at Hello!
We called and made an appointment to visit the Legacy property and Design Center. “They had us at Hello”. I mean, the gorgeous campus sits amid North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Rolling hills and a beautiful lake encompass the site. The campus allows for plenty of green space, hiking trails, and community gardens. We then headed to the Sales Center where we saw that the senior homes and apartments are well designed – and, with over 50 floor plans to choose from, no doubt we’d find the perfect home ! The style and finishes envisioned for the exterior of the buildings/homes and the indoor common spaces were harmonious with the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround the spacious property in Western North Carolina. We then visited the Design Center where we saw that there are so many options to choose from, that we can design our new home in our own personal style. I could go on and on, but that’s for another blog. Our resolute “NO” became a resounding “YES” and we signed up that day.
NOW is the “Right Time”!
Now, here is where the “it’s not too early, we ARE ready” part comes in. When we first considered Legacy at Mills River, we were convinced that we were too young for a retirement community. Then we took inventory of all those “weekend warrior” injuries we have sustained over the years and the amount of time we spend on upkeep or our house and property and we asked ourselves this question – “What is really important going forward in our lives?” The answer is, a place to live that has all the amenities we can possibly want. A place in a beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain Setting that has the “vibe” of casual mountain living while at the same time delivers outstanding dining opportunities; a wide range of wellness activities; and opportunities and spaces to gather and share common interests. A place where we will develop lasting friendships with our fellow residents. Plus, we will never need to move again. Legacy will provide us with members-only healthcare that includes rehabilitation care, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care right there on the campus should we ever need it.
We are very excited about our move to Legacy at Mills River and are already building community with our new neighbors. We hope you will join us!
About Connie: Connie and husband Al Byrne met in Rochester NY where they raised their family and ultimately their careers brought them south to Mooresville, NC. Today they live in Brevard, NC where Connie has been active serving on boards and volunteering in the community, as well as still actively working as a Design Consultant for a local home builder.