Planning for a Successful Retirement
It was their similar career aspirations that ultimately brought New York City natives Imogene and Leonard Lehman together. The two were among a class of 150 men and six women when they met and graduated from Yale Law School 60 years ago. Not surprisingly, their ideas for the future were also in sync when they recently considered the idea of a retirement community and found Ingleside at King Farm, a continuing care community that was being built near their home.
Following their graduation, Imogene practiced law in New York while Leonard went to Washington, D.C. They married two years later and moved to Bethesda, Md. to start a family. Imogene stayed home to raise their five children and eventually returned to practice for 17 years. After retiring, she worked as a volunteer for the Montgomery County Hotline, an opportunity that she described as “fascinating and very rewarding.”
The couple remained in their Bethesda home for 23 years before moving to North Potomac when the nest emptied. “We also lived there, interestingly enough, for 23 years; it must be our magic number,” Leonard said with a laugh.
Although the Lehmans loved their second home that featured a first-floor master suite, they recognized that its location could leave them isolated geographically. “We realized that if we couldn’t drive we would be stuck,” said Imogene.
Also concerned about their potential future health needs and not wanting to burden their children, the self-described “planners” found the concept of a continuing care retirement community very appealing. “We didn’t want something to happen so that our children would have to move us some place and take care of all of the downsizing that was involved,” said Imogene.
As a result, they began researching and visiting different housing options until they learned about Ingleside at King Farm, which was being planned in Rockville, Md.
Imogene and Leonard were immediately impressed with the community, which would not only offer them a continuum of care, but a “walkable environment” with convenience to shopping, dining and activities. Although Ingleside at King Farm was not planned to be built for another two years, the couple knew it would be a great place to call home and reserved their apartment. “This had the combination of the design of the community itself and the convenience of its location,” said Leonard.
For the Lehmans, the decision to move to a community still under construction proved to have its advantages. “We had a two-year period to plan for the move, which allowed us to go through the downsizing systematically,” said Leonard. “We made our decision only looking at the floor plans, and if anything, we found since we’ve moved here that it has far exceeded our expectations.”
Along with a systematic move, the transition to Ingleside has enabled the Lehmans to enjoy a sense of community that stems from the other enthusiastic new residents.
“People with different backgrounds are sort of sharing the pioneering experience coming in at the same time, and as a result, you find a high level of cooperative spirit. They’re really enjoying their stay here,” said Leonard.
They also attribute this dynamic energy to the welcoming staff and those individuals who have played a role in Ingleside’s development. “They have done a beautiful job in planning, not only the design and layout of the building itself, but the programs that they have developed and their interest in creating a community,”said Leonard.
With this overall camaraderie and a close proximity to their fellow residents, the Lehmans could not be happier now having the lively tight-knit neighborhood they had desired.
“We didn’t realize when we were living in our house how much we missed contact with people,”said Imogene. “When we walk around King Farm, every resident says ‘Hello’ and smiles. This doesn’t happen in other places.”
As new residents continue to move in every month, the couple said they have met hundreds of individuals, whether it is on their daily walks or at dinner each night.
While Imogene and Leonard enjoy the social environment of Ingleside, they appreciate the flexibility of engaging in activities in and outside of the community. From a fitness center to art classes, residents have endless opportunities onsite with easy access to the offerings of Washington, D.C. Since they have subscribed to the Symphony at Strathmore Hall, the Lehmans take advantage of the community’s provided transportation. Although the couple and many other residents at Ingleside have their own cars or enjoy walking, there are shuttle buses traveling continuously to the Shady Grove Metro station.
With the extensive amenities and convenient lifestyle they have found since moving to Ingleside, the couple has no complaints, but they agree that the accommodating staff is always seeking ways to make life even better for residents.
“There is an eagerness here to be problem solvers,”said Leonard. “What can we do to make it even better here for you is the approach they have with the residents and we can feel this in everything that we do. The comfort level is very high.”
And the Lehmans also find that comfort with the healthcare services that are available onsite including Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care. With this security, they know they will not have to rely on their children and can remain together no matter what health changes may occur in the future. “In this kind of community, it’s not a matter of having to find another place to go if you have a medical problem. You have this opportunity for continuing care which was one of the attractive features for this place,” said Leonard.
As they enjoy an active lifestyle at Ingleside with peace of mind for the future, the couple shared how important it is for others to take advantage of these housing options while they are in a position to make the decision and find the right choice.
“We didn’t have to make the move when we did, but looking ahead rather than backward, we decided it was time to move onto another stage in our lives,” said Leonard. And their proactive planning certainly paid off as the Lehmans are continually proven at Ingleside that they did in fact make the best choice.