Terry and Kay Day said: “Residents we interviewed would always tell us,
‘Oh we love it. We wish we’d done it sooner.’ We looked at each other and said, well, what are we waiting for?”
Terry and Kay Day Interview, February 2013
JILL: Good morning, this is Jill.
TERRY: Hi Jill, this is Terry Day.
JILL: Hi, how are you?
TERRY: Just fine. My wife is on the speaker with me.
JILL: Oh, super! Hello Mrs. Day.
KAY: Hi there, how are you?
JILL: I’m good!
TERRY: This is Kay.
JILL: I’m good – I’m really grateful that you took the time to talk to us this morning. I’m here with Ines Newby; she also works with Joe and we’re just happy to have you on the phone. Thank you again!
KAY: Our pleasure!
TERRY: Well, what can we do for you today?
JILL: Well, I’ll tell you what – I have a few questions here, and if I can run through them and get your insight, we’re really looking to kind of get a glimpse of your experience and figure out ways that we can help people really, in general, make that move. We really aren’t all that focused on making them think, oh, Lake Pointe’s the only place to go; it’s got to be Lake Pointe or they’ve made the wrong decision. We just really want people to start thinking about their options. So you don’t have to think about sales pitches for Lake Pointe at all, just your personal experience and then we’ll put all our notes together and go from there.
TERRY: Good, Jill.
JILL: Ok, awesome. If you don’t mind, then I’ll just dive right in.
TERRY: Go right ahead.
JILL: OK, what town did you live in before you moved to the Fountains?
TERRY: We lived in Sarasota since ’94.
JILL: Oh, well that’s really great; you were right there.
TERRY: In fact, it’s only three miles from our former residence.
JILL: Oh, super, so you were probably familiar with Lake Pointe before, or did you learn about it when you said, “Hey, let’s start researching?”
TERRY: We’ve been familiar with it for some time because of the job that I have; we work – we both work for a company called Senior Moves; they’re move managers and I do the marketing for Senior Moves. Have you ever heard of that company?
JILL: Actually, you know, I think I have. And what a great idea for a company – who doesn’t need help when it comes to downsizing and all the things that come along with that?
TERRY: Exactly, and I’ve been with them now for three, going on four, years, and when I first started, Kay and I made the rounds of all of the assisted living and independent living facilities in Manatee and Sarasota county – just about all of them anyway, there are so many and such an amazing variety. The competition must be fierce. But anyway, so as a result of that – I’m doing the marketing for Senior Moves because a lot of our leads, as you might imagine, come from these places. So anyway, we were very familiar with all the options, and it’s confusing.
JILL: Sometimes there’re almost just too many choices.
TERRY: That’s true in Sarasota.
JILL: I believe it. Wow, so you are definitely a couple who knew all the options before you started out making your choice.
KAY: That’s right.
TERRY: And by the way, if you hear noise in the background, we just recently moved in and there’s construction going on in our apartment and also next door.
JILL: Oh, perfect. No problem; I’ll speak loudly, and I can hear you just fine so far. With all those different choices and all that familiarity, maybe I will ask you what made you choose the Fountains over the rest?
TERRY: Well, we – first of all, we became familiar with the differences that each one has to offer, and did we want to buy in? Did we want to rent or do a membership fee such as the Fountains has to offer? And we looked at those options and narrowed that down a bit and finally we also narrowed it down based on what we could afford; there are those properties in Sarasota that are very high-end, such as the Glenridge, which was very close to our house, but it was probably 40-50% more expensive than the Fountains.
JILL: Oh really!
TERRY: Go ahead, Kay has something to say.
KAY: It’s not the same setting; you’re actually comparing apples to oranges because one is continuing care and the other is not.
KAY: So we didn’t particularly want continuing care because we didn’t want to pay for something up front that we weren’t possibly going to use.
JILL: Interesting – I really like your approach. It’s very pragmatic. It’s interesting to, and I think good advice, to tell people to first think about the financial options that work for you and then think about your budget. That should be steps one and two really, before we figure out who’s got certain amenities and what not; it’s kind of like first thing’s first.
KAY: Jill, you know, I think the one thing that drew me to it, and I think Terry feels the same way, and that is the friendliness, it’s a family. We are a family here and there’s no question about it. The sales staff, the maintenance staff, the administrative staff – it’s all one big happy family and I do mean happy. We haven’t felt like strangers since we’ve moved in.
JILL: Oh my goodness, that’s so wonderful to hear. Oh, I just love that and you can’t fake than, can you?
KAY: No, you can’t, you can’t. And we’ve had – this is a big move for us because we are relatively younger than the group of people that are here and it was a kind of a thought, and then the more we got to know them – I don’t want to say the more gracious – but certainly we had dinner with people that have invited us practically every night, and of course our diets are shot out the roof, but that’s alright. People could not be more helpful.
JILL: That is super; it’s just terrific. What do you think made you decide to make the move a little bit younger?
TERRY: Well, it was – I tell people it was sort of an alignment of the stars; the housing market has been depressed here for four or five years, like every place else, but just in the last six months it’s started warming up pretty noticeably, and houses in our area started moving again. And the prices were gradually creeping up and at the same time, the sales staff here at the Fountains, who we were already familiar with due to our work with Senior Moves, pointed out to us that there were a couple of very nice apartments coming open with price incentives in place during that period. So it was sort of an alignment with the stars – and also, one of the things that made Kay and I think about moving earlier, and some of our friends… As we went around to all these facilities and would interview the residents, the common theme that people would say is “Oh, we love it; we wish we had done it sooner!”
TERRY: I’m sure you’ve heard it.
JILL: We do; we hear it from almost everyone, but it’s really something when you take that advice to heart and take advantage of this opportunity that was in front of you.
TERRY: Well, we’d heard it so much that we finally looked at each other and said, well, what are we waiting for? Because we have no children, so it’s not like we have someone to help us if we become frail and can’t handle all this by ourselves.
JILL: Ok, so you didn’t have kids influencing your decision, but you certainly were well educated in the market to make that decision on your own.
JILL: Is there anything you were reluctant about to move? Is there anything you were sorry to leave behind?
TERRY: Well, not really. Of course, we had to consider all the implications of downsizing from 2400 square feet to 1750 or something like that where we are now. And we’re in one of the larger apartments. And personally, I was reluctant to give up my two-car garage with my tool bench and all the stuff that you normally find in a garage; of course, we don’t have that anymore.
JILL: You’re right; that’s true.
TERRY: But we don’t need it anymore, as Kay points out, because the maintenance staff here is great. Anything needs to be done – you don’t do it yourself; you pick up the phone and call the concierge.
JILL: That’s true – and then you go enjoy doing something that you’d enjoy doing otherwise.
KAY: That’s right!
JILL: And Mrs. Day? Yourself? Was there anything you were reluctant to leave?
KAY: No. We’ve moved around all our lives; our background is travel because my husband was in the Foreign Service, and as a result, this was just another step in our life.
JILL: Well that’s interesting – what a great career! That’s really, really neat.
KAY: Yeah, it’s been fun. We just so enjoyed our move; we did it around Christmas time, which wasn’t so enjoyable, but everything just came together; it couldn’t have gone better.
JILL: It’s a great way to start the new year, too, when you make a move in December like that.
KAY: Absolutely. But I had no remorse and I didn’t really look back. They were all very positive for us.
JILL: That’s terrific. When you moved, were you surprised in anyway? You mentioned how friendly people were and how gracious and how you never felt like a stranger. Were there any other surprises?
KAY: Not really, except the help – our help in moving in here came from all the people on the staff and the Move-In Coordinator Maria Ryman, who was just absolutely fabulous.
JILL: Oh great.
KAY: Couldn’t have been better! It was nothing we were surprised at particularly; I had to say it, but it was kind of expected because we knew what they offered and they came through.
JILL: Oh, that’s perfect. Most surprises you’d be happy to see them coming before you are surprised – that’s just wonderful. All right – and then I have a question here: how is your life different now than it was before you moved?
KAY: Well, the structure of our life isn’t that much different, but we’re being wined and dined every night for the time being.
JILL: Right – on a diet!
KAY: The structure really is not different at all – if anything, our life has been expanded a great deal in terms of knowledge and people and making new friends, because we’re shopping in the same area because we lived in the same area and our doctor’s the same and our work – we both still work, so no, it has not changed other than a very good expansion of friends.
JILL: Well, that’s really wonderful – and almost answers my next question, which is what do you think are the benefits of living in a retirement community like The Fountains?
KAY: How many minutes do you have?
JILL: Oh, how nice. What a great answer! That’s so nice to hear. Well, I guess just give me your top highlights each, and then I really only have one more question following this one.
KAY: Well, mine would be piece of mind.
JILL: Just knowing that everything is taken care of for you and you don’t have to worry about making this move?
KAY: Correct, correct. We don’t have the pressure of a house; we don’t – our personal lives are more so now. Terry doesn’t have to worry about the house and the structure and the hurricanes here; we had to put up shutters and such for our house every season. That doesn’t happen here. Just piece of mind, generally. Terry?
TERRY: What was the question again?
JILL: What benefit do you think people can find – the greatest benefit in moving to a retirement community?
TERRY: For me, it’s being able to lock up and walk away. We’re at the age where we have the time now, and we want to travel and see the U.S., because when I was in the Foreign Service, we spent most of our adult lives traveling in Europe and Africa – we didn’t really have any chance to see the national parks in the U.S., so what we want to do in the next four or five years is hit the road. And living in a retirement community like this, we’re able to walk away without any worries. When we were on a cruise recently with friends, and the whole time we were on the road, he was worried about the roof that was being replaced at their house while we were cruising. And we had already moved in here, and I didn’t have those worries.
JILL: That’s a really interesting insight – I really honestly haven’t heard that before. I like that: You can lock and walk. You’re just free to go and know everything is taken care of.
KAY: Jill, that’s a good marketing line!
JILL: Yeah, I think so! I think so – it really, it’s two words that say a whole lot more.
TERRY: It’s also – and this was pointed out to us by the sales staff as part of their pitch – it’s a lot easier to do your budgeting when most of your expenses are already taken care of; they’re fixed and you don’t have a lot of surprises like the hot water heater breaking or the fridge has to be repaired or all the different things you don’t have contingency funds for. So budgeting is a lot easier for us.
JILL: That’s very true; that’s a very good point because those, when it comes to home ownership – have you ever heard that phrase “Do you own your home or does it own you?”
T & KAY: Uh-huh.
JILL: That kind of goes right along with that sentiment and it’s definitely true because those expenses never stop.
TERRY: No, they never do. Well, of course, we have expenses after we moved in here, but just because we wanted to put fine touches on the apartment, like adding extra ceiling fans and buying different kinds – we decided to buy a little refrigerator to put in the closet – that’s what the sawing is that’s going on right now.
JILL: Well, that’s nice; those are the little things that make life more pleasant and your space wonderful. That’s great. Well, I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated your time. It has been a real pleasure speaking with both of you. I did want to ask if you’d be willing to meet with other potential residents, certainly only on your schedule, I don’t know if Joe’s ever asked you or if you’ve ever interviewed with people?
KAY: We have not interviewed with people; we’ve met with them before dinner and opened our apartment up on several occasions to have the tours come through.
JILL: Oh how wonderful of you – thank you so much. Oh, and I’m so sorry, I just realized I skipped one question. Are there any particular programs or activities that you take part in at the community or Watermark University classes? Anything you’ve particularly enjoyed?
KAY: Well, we’re so new here that we really have not gotten involved in anything because we moved in the middle part of December, and then we left for two weeks for a cruise, so we’re really becoming in house right now, and as far as really taking part in on a permanent basis, no. We haven’t just yet, but we’re both bridge players and we both are very interested in the Watermark University; actually my husband has spoken at the Watermark University in the past, so…
JILL: Oh, as part of Senior Moves?
KAY: No, well, once as part of Senior Moves, and once as Africa (indecipherable, 24:48), he gave a talk on that and also on the Foreign Service.
JILL: Wow, that is spectacular. I guess it’s still your oyster to discover then, isn’t it?
KAY: That’s right.
TERRY: That’s right.
JILL: That’s wonderful. Well thank you again so much – I sincerely appreciate your time, especially with the sawing happening. It didn’t bother me a bit, but I really do appreciate you doing that during this time and I can’t thank you enough. We’ll be in touch with Joe and he’ll just be so happy to hear about this. I really appreciate your insights.
KAY: Jill, if I may add, kudos to your marketing staff here; they are absolutely extraordinary.
JILL: Well that’s wonderful to hear! It’s very important because often times, it’s your first person that gives you an impression of the community.
KAY: I’m certain that we would not be here if it had not been for them.
TERRY: For Joe!
KAY: For Joe, particularly, and then Maria is his right hand gal and she’s just as efficient and back up Joe 150%, so those two are just great together. We did network with the other two – we worked with Phyllis Cusack on many occasions before.
JILL: Well, I will pass that along and I’m sure that Kevin will love to hear that too.
KAY: Indeed, indeed.
JILL: Beautiful. Well, you two enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll be thinking about you and your adventures.
KAY: I was going to say stay warm, but you are warm, aren’t you?
JILL: Well, Tucson is shivering right now because it’s in the 30s at night, and for us that’s pretty frosty, but it’s supposed to head back up into the 50s by the weekend.
KAY: Oh, we are about 75 today.
JILL: Oh, my sympathies.
KAY: We love it!
JILL: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much!
KAY: You’re welcome.
TERRY: You’re welcome. Bye bye!