Moving from a spacious family home to a retirement community is a significant decision, often driven by the desire to retire for a more carefree and active lifestyle.
Jonathan and Susan Simmons, though not yet 70 when they moved, recognized the value of making the move earlier rather than later. The couple found a home at Buckingham's Choice in Adamstown, Maryland in the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic. For them, it was the perfect time to find security and community in the midst of uncertainty.
Choosing the Right Time to Move
"We both felt that it was time to move," said John Simmons. "Sue's mom, living at Tryon Estates in North Carolina, had advised us not to wait until we're old because we won't be able to do as many things as we could while we're young."
"There are so many activities to get involved in, and it's a lot easier if you're younger," Sue added.
Escaping the endless, daunting responsibilities of homeownership was also a big draw.
"If I’m going to have to hire someone to mow the lawn," John explained, "Why not make the next move instead of doing this step by step and fooling myself that I can really take care of things?"
Joining the Waiting List
Deciding to join the waiting list at Buckingham's Choice was a strategic move for the Simmons.
John said, "We decided to join the list at least five to seven years beforehand because we wanted to be on the list. By the time we were ready, we were way at the top."
"It’s great being on the waiting list, and every year you're working up that list so that when you finally decide, you can move in very quickly."
Having explored various communities, Acts Retirement-Life Communities stood out for its more than 50 year track record of excellence in senior living. It was the Loving-Kindness in Acts' mission statement that the Simmons experienced first hand.
"Acts took such good care of my dad while he was really sick, and they helped mom through the transition from when he passed," Sue said. "They just took great care of him, and we knew that's what we wanted. We didn't want to have our children worry about trying to take care of us."
Downsizing and Embracing A New Lifestyle
The move involved downsizing from a large home to a more manageable cottage. Sue describes it as a positive adjustment, and said, "we were used to a country setting such as we are here."
"We went from a two-car garage to no garage," John said. "My garage now is my deck box, and we can handle it. It's good to downsize and not become a packrat anymore."
Moving to Buckingham's Choice with its expansive campus and resort-style living, allowed them more free time to enjoy hobbies, develop friendships, and appreciate what matters most to fill their days with purpose and excitement for what's to come.
"We have something every day," Susan said. "We have the Friends of Music group which brings concerts here. It’s wonderful."
John added the convenience of living close to major cities like Baltimore and Washington while enjoying the tranquility of small town living at the Adamstown community, is ideal for the perfect balance.
"Buckingham's Choice is in the perfect location near two major cities where you have all the attractions of the city and yet far enough not to have any of the discomfort of a major city," he said. "The surrounding is beautiful, the campus is beautiful, and it really spoke to us."
Making Friends and Building Connections
The couple described Buckingham's Choice as a friendly, warm community where friends become more like family. The loving atmosphere made it easy to become acclimated to community life.
Sue, known for her outgoing nature, shared her strategy for making new friends.
"I always make a reservation for four and sometimes I can get a couple to come with us," she laughed. "Or sometimes we pick a couple up who are waiting without a reservation."
John and Sue said they have no regrets of moving in to fully embrace their active lifestyle without worry for the future. They considered downsizing as an opportunity for liberation, and are thrilled to live at Buckingham's Choice where every day is filled with new adventures and connections.