A Family Style Retirement

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In 1954, Mr. Warner graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. While employed by the IRS, he was one of 100 agents to be chosen to attend the first Internal Revenue Service School at the University of Michigan. In 1956, he opened his accounting practice in Woodstown. Because of health reasons, he retired in 1978. His two sons have continued to run the business as Warner & Co., a CPA firm.

Mrs. Warner, a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades,” retired a few years after him. She held various office positions, prepared tax returns, and even drove a school bus.

Shortly after their retirements, the couple moved to Florida. Their interest in golfing encouraged them to move to a golf-course community in Georgia. They recently moved back to Florida to Celebration, a Disney planned community, where they have enjoyed living because of its pristine condition and desirable location.

It was while driving back from a trip to New Jersey that the couple began to discuss moving back home. “I picked up a brochure for The Village, and on our drive home we started to discuss moving. It was our feeling that we needed to make the decision of where we wanted to be, so that our children wouldn’t have to worry about it,” recalls Mrs. Warner. As the couple discussed the idea of moving to a retirement community, it quickly became apparent that The Village at Friends Home at Woodstown, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), was the obvious choice.

Friends Home has become a part of a family legacy for Mrs. Warner. Her second cousin was one of the first residents at the community. After seeing the quality of care that her cousin, Martha, received, she immediately thought of the community when her parents needed assistance: “When my father, who had Alzheimer’s, needed care, we knew that we wanted him to be at Friends Home. A few years later, my Mother moved there as well. My mother has been there for almost seven years now, and she is very happy.”

Although the Warners looked at other communities in Pennsylvania and Delaware, they realized that the chance to be two of the first independent living residents at The Village was a great option for them. Friends Home is in the process of becoming the first CCRC in Salem County, NJ. They are adding an independent living section, which will include 47 cottages and 20 apartments, as well as an assisted living and a dementia care wing. After 106 years of service to the community, they are thrilled to now be able to offer the high quality of care they have become known for to independent and assisted living residents.

Jane R. Burslem, the Director of Marketing for The Village, notes, “We are so excited that construction for our expansion project has begun. It is wonderful to be able to offer the residents of Southern New Jersey the opportunity to stay in their own neighborhood, in a familiar environment, and receive the care they need from the first CCRC in the area.” The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2005, and many future residents like the Warners have already reserved their spaces.

For the Warners, it’s wonderful to be able to come home to retire. Of the move, Mrs. Warner exclaims, “We’re ready to go now! We’re really looking forward to it.” Their family and friends are certainly looking forward to having them back in the area. “My mother, who lives in the Nursing center at Friends Home, is so excited about me moving to the community. To have me close by will really mean a lot to her and to me,” she says.

The couple is already planning for what they know will be a packed social calendar. Several of Mrs. Warner’s long-time friends from high school still live in the area, and they will be closer to some of their children and other family members. While attending socials and luncheons for The Village, the Warners have also made new friends in the community.

In addition to hosting dinner parties and going out with friends, they are excited about the many activities offered at the community: “There will be a lot more things for us to do on a daily basis once we move. There is a computer room and a library and all types of amenities that will be available to us without leaving the campus.” Mrs. Warner will also have plenty of extra room in their new cottage to pursue her sewing and machine embroidering.

Moving into their newly built cottage will give her the chance to personalize their home. This was one of the most desirable aspects about moving into a community that is still under construction: “I really liked being able to make decisions about our cottage because I enjoy decorating and personalizing my home. We got to choose the location, exposure, size, and style of our cottage-in addition to choices regarding colors, carpet, flooring, cabinets, and options to upgrade.”

Once all the choices are made and the construction is complete, Mr. and Mrs. Warner are ready to make their new cottage their final home: “We’ve been retired for over 20 years. At this point, it’s time to prepare for what is next. I know our quality of life will be enhanced by moving to The Village. We will not be bored or lonely in the community. There will be lots of activities going on and choices to make in terms of what we would like to do with our time, and it’s always good to have those types of choices.” Choosing to move back to their hometown was the most important choice for this couple, who is anxiously anticipating the second phase of their retirement.

The Warners’ second retirement will not be spent on a golf course or traveling around the world. They have done that already. Now they are returning to the family they love and moving to the place so many of their family members have loved, The Village at Friends Home at Woodstown-where they plan to make the most of their family-style retirement.

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