December 23, 2022
Bill and Jet George chose to move to Independent Living at Royal Oaks Retirement Community in Sun City Arizona just 4 months ago — and they’re so glad they did it. At age 72 and 79, both Jet and her husband Bill thought they were a bit young to be moving to a senior living community. Initially, Jet was hesitant, but after settling in over the last four months, she says, “We couldn’t be happier.”
“We’re really proud. Jet and I took charge and independent control of our own destiny. We’re kind of control freaks,” says Bill. We chose our place and we’re thrilled with our choice. It turned out to be much better than we thought. “It’s also an incredible gift for our children,” says Jet. For those who are considering an Independent Living lifestyle, here’s why the couple feels they’ve made the perfect choice.
A Rich Social life and Maintenance-free Independent Living
“I don’t have to think about or prepare meals at all. The food is wonderful and the dining company is terrific,” says Jet. At first, she didn’t realize just how much is done for residents at the community. After the two moved in, Jet quickly realized that she really enjoyed not thinking about menus and recipes or having to cook three times a day. She says, “Lunch is really fun now. We meet up with interesting people who ask if we can eat together. We get to enjoy the company of new friends, meet so many interesting and friendly people, and enjoy the wonderful food.”
Royal Oaks staff also really knows how to throw an excellent party. “They don’t skimp on the parties, they keep us really busy in this community for sure,” says Bill. The MC that hosts most of the events always has us all up and dancing. “I never used to dress up for Halloween and now I do,” laughs Jet. There was a casino night with a James Bond Theme, and there’s a New Year’s Eve party to look forward to. With so many people wanting to attend this year’s Holiday party, the Royal Oaks activity committee is planning on having it for 2 consecutive nights. Everything is taken care of with wine and beverages, catered food and great entertainment — they throw an excellent party.
“There’s always something going on, and they celebrate everything,” says Bill. With Friday movies, mahjong, pool activities, cards, ping pong, Wii games, and you name it, plus the field trips, Christmas lights tours, live performances, and cultural excursions, there’s always something to do both on and off campus. “It’s like a cruise ship,” says Jet. They even celebrated the day Hawaii became a state. There were decorations, delicious catered Hawaiian food, and professional hula dancers. There’s a full-time activities planner, and so there’s a wonderful social lifestyle here.
The Friendly Staff and Sense of Community
“Even though it’s a big community, it feels small. Every encounter is a wonderful encounter, and there are some really terrific people here,” says Jet. After her recent fall and fractured femur, Jet says she was surprised at all the well wishes and genuine concern from people and staff at the community. The security guards came and helped her and then followed up. Friends reached out to check in on her. Even when Jet went to water aerobics, the instructor asked about her fracture and made sure to follow up. There are currently about 350 apartments, but with the new Inspirata Pointe, there will be more.
Everybody is so friendly and welcoming. The staff knows everyone, and that’s what makes it feel so comfortable. “We see management and they talk to you and answer any questions we have — and that’s a really good thing,” says Bill. We see the CEO walking around all the time, and the CFO, Carter, we see him everywhere too. They keep the residents feeling happy and secure.
Strong Financials and the Non-profit Status of the Community
“It’s a non profit, so all the money goes back into the community, and it’s quite amazing,” says Bill. He says with financials this strong and longevity of 40 years in business, this is a safe and secure option for people looking to invest in their future lifestyle. Bill thinks, “The worst thing that could happen would be that the community gets sold and changes hands during your residence. That won’t happen here.” Bill explained how there’s a safe feeling, and the couple thinks for the next 20 years it will only get better.
“For a Life Plan Community, this is the place to go. They definitely know how to run a business,” says Bill. “Even if we run out of money through no fault of our own, we can stay where we are. Everyone is vetted financially, so there’s a real sense of security in terms of finances,” explains Bill.
This is what a Life Plan Community like Royal Oaks offers. It’s a type of carefree senior living that means never having to worry should a health event ever occur — for the entirety of your retirement. Residents are assured of being taken care of for life — no matter what. No worrying about any future or unplanned medical costs — ever. Nothing replaces the peace of mind that comes with Life Plan living, or the elevated sense of freedom, confidence, and independence it brings.
The Security Blanket of a Life Plan Community is HUGE
“As you go through life, things change. I feel secure as I age with things like Physical Therapy available right on campus, along Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nurses to help if either of us ever needs it,” says Bill. “If I need to go into Memory Care, which is a real possibility, Jet can stay in the apartment for no additional cost per month. This “security blanket” is huge.” Nobody really knows what will happen in the future. There’s a saying at Royal Oaks that it’s better to be 5 years too early than 5 minutes too late.
“Jet and I are very independent control freaks, and we wanted to make our own decisions. We didn’t want to be at the mercy of what was available, or who had space for us, or having someone else make our decisions,” says Bill. We wanted to PLAN the last stage of our own lives. If you don’t make a plan, then someone else can put you wherever.
The great thing about Royal Oaks Community is that everyone chose to live here; nobody put the residents here in Independent Living. “Everyone like us did their homework and decided that this was the best place to be. Everyone is so happy. It’s noticeable in everything from treatment of all of the employees to the longevity of staff. Every encounter is a wonderful encounter, there’s really a terrific culture and a great group of people here,” says Bill. All this put together gives us confidence and security as we age.”
The Community is Dog Friendly too
“When we first started looking at senior living communities, we ruled out Royal Oaks because it wasn’t dog friendly, but this has recently changed. Today, this place has an amazing dog park. Our ‘grand dogs come to visit us and they just love it there. There’s grass, rocks and landscaping — everything is well kept. It’s first class,” says Jet. So many people have pets, so this is a win-win for anyone looking to move with an animal.
Independence is really the main reason people like Jet and Bill decide to move to a community like Royal Oaks. It’s a comfort to make a plan and be in charge of your own destiny. “We wanted to control our own destiny, so there was no reason to wait,” says Jet. With family close by, they have everything they could dream of and more. The couple says that they worry about friends who are taking the “head in the sand” approach to future planning. “Why wait?” they say. Both Jet and Bill think that this is the best choice they could’ve possible made. It’s exceeded their expectations and they’re proud to be part of a community like Royal Oaks.