RetComLife – Retirement Community Review… One Final Time

During my two major trips, and even in between, I have visited about a dozen different retirement communities across the country. This review will be the last one in that category. Two weeks ago, I finally managed to visit an actual “Active” Retirement Community. The review of this facility, and some final thoughts on the topic will be what this post is all about. To get everything in that I want to tell you, this post will likely run substantially over my self-imposed 500-word limit. Sorry about that…

Friendship Village of Dublin Ohio, was the last one on the list. It was dubbed an “active” retirement community of about 400 residents. I found it to be more active than any I have visited. There are activites, too many to even mention, that were well staffed and funded. The one that struck my heart was the woodworking/craft shop.

Like most of the other facilities, it was well appointed, clean, and just plain beautiful. I could see myself spending hours there on one project after another.

One of the biggest selling points here was that it has four different dining options, some that are open twelve hours a day. Just drop in whenever you hungry. The options range from a pub all the way to tablecloth covered dining with a rather lavish restaurant style menu. This was a far cry from the sit-down/feedlot style dining which is the only option in my current community.

There is an on-site private medical practice, which is part of a regional organization. There are four physicians on staff. They are open from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily and an on-call staff is available 24/7.

The monthly fee is very much in line with my current home. This almost sounds like heaven, but there is one glitch. The $250,000 entrance fee which is drawn down 2% a month, basically doubles the monthly cost during the first four years.

I could afford living here with my current assets and monthly income levels, but the problem is that it would much more quickly draw down on my future grant that will provide financial-need scholarships for nursing education that is contained in my last will and testament. I just don’t feel comfortable using all that money on myself when it could be used to allow some struggling nursing students in the future a better life. When it comes to one vs the other, I have to put a priority on the grant.

Let me close out this post and this part of my RetComLife category with some basic facts that are somewhat common to all the facilities I visited.

  • The average age for almost all the facilities was 84 years. That basically meant that the same population exists in most of them. But, of course, the more expensive ones had a more affluent, and usually more educated residents.
  • Except for Friendship Village as cited above, most facilities had only two different dining options. Only 3 of the 12 had only one.
  • Housekeeping occurred every two weeks in most of the facilities. My RetCom home provides it every week, which I think is really unnecessary.
  • During a traditional visit, it is hard to tell just how well the staff functions. I would suggest that when it comes time to choosing a facility, that you visit it several times and partake of lunch and dinner meals when you do. Pay attention to what is happening in the background.

I want to make it clear that there is a very distinct difference between the retirement communities I visited and the typical assistive-living and/or nursing homes in most areas. Don’t mistake the two as being the same thing.

With this post, I am closing out reviews of different retirement communities. I will continue to post in this category to tell you stories about life in my RetCom, but my search for alternative housing is done for me. Even though the dining situation here continues to invoke worry, tension, and increased depression, I am committed to staying where I am, at least for another year. But, for my peace of mind I have decided to forego all dining here until the wait-staff issue is resolved and the dining room space is no longer throttled down. I will consider the sit-down/feedlot dining option here is for the assistive-living wing and those in the independent apartments who are unable to cook for themselves. I do really enjoy cooking and like what I cook for myself, so that will be my life here until things eventually get better. That way, I can at least quit worrying about it on a daily basis.

4 thoughts on “RetComLife – Retirement Community Review… One Final Time

  1. I have been struggling with the concept of “one vrs the other” in my life also. Tonight as I toss and turn I wonder if it an aspie trait to always put myself last. My conflict isn’t with money like your scholarship fund, mine is with my personal time. I try to keep the homeless warm by making hats and mittens, and continually deny myself the things I want to make for myself or my home. Yet I so badly want to enjoy the challenge of using my creative energy to do something other than yet another hat. I convince myself that their need is greater than my want and sometimes resent that I don’t feel right doing things I want to do in the limited time I have left on this earth.

    I question my thinking because on reading your post I immediately thought that “of course you should move there and enjoy your life”. Well then why is it so easy to see the answer for someone else and not myself, which is why I have been awake since 2 am – ha ha.


    1. Hi Mary, I applaud you for thinking of someone else. That seems to be a rare characteristic in the world recently. It’s called empathy, and I believe it is at the core of the teachings of Jesus and other religious figures. It is also what humanism is about. We need to take care of each other as if we were family because we are.

      I have done quite a bit of volunteerism in my time, and there is nothing wrong with looking for other ways to serve humanity. If one way gets boring, move on to the next.

      I love the phrase “The curse of being a humanist is that if one person is suffering you can’t see joy in your life.”


  2. RJ…thank you so much for sharing such a glowing review of Friendship Village of Dublin! I very much enjoyed your visit and I hope you will drop in again during one of your future travels! While a Type A Life Plan Community isn’t for everyone, I appreciate how you explained what we have to offer while also seemingly encouraging everyone to do their research to determine what options best fit them and their needs. I see myself as a resource, so I would be happy to provide anyone who is interested or who is also doing their research into retirement communities with further information about the different types of communities and explain the fees associated with each type.
    I wish you the best and I hope we can chat again soon!


    1. Emily, it was a pleasure meeting you in person a few weeks ago, and I am glad you liked my review of your facilities. It is really first class and probably the best I found during my search. I will revisit my choice of a future home in another year, and maybe a move might happen then. As you say, I hope some of my viewers contact you to do a review of their own.


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