CLT Boomer

Saying goodbye to their home of 40 years

Melinda Johnston

Bob and Mary Rothkopf moved into their new apartment at Plantation Estates on May 1 making them two of the newest, and happiest, residents there.

“It’s a delightful place to live. Everybody’s needs are different but everyone seems happy here, and I think we are among the happiest,” said Mary Rothkopf.

The couple, both 78 years old, didn’t move far, just five miles from their Lansdowne home, but the process was still the same.

“It wasn’t a great distance, but it was still a move. We had lived in our house for 40 wonderful years, and really thought we would be there forever,” said Mary.

But as they watched their friends growing older, they decided that a move to a Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) would be a good fit for them as well as keep a burden off their children should they ever need extra help.

“We have seen so many other friends run into trouble with their health or with losing a spouse, or just not being able to take care of their home,” said Bob.

“We just decided it was the right thing to do, and we didn’t want our children to have to worry about us. At this stage of our lives it’s a move, but it’s also a terrific sense of security.”

After touring five CCRCs in the area, Plantation Estates got their vote, especially when they saw the plans for the new phase now open across Fullwood Lane. Plus, they knew several other couples that either lived there or were contemplating a move, so they would already have friends when they moved in.

They signed up when the apartments were still in the planning stage, and moved in as soon as construction was complete, a little over two years later. That gave them plenty of time to deal with a lifetime of stuff.

“It was difficult to part with things that weren’t necessities but that had sentimental value. Fortunately our children wanted a good bit of it. The other stuff we just gave away,” said Mary.

“But once you’ve done it, you don’t look back. It’s a ‘less is more’ attitude.”

They say they appreciate the gatherings Plantation Estates has arranged to help neighbors meet and greet one another. And Bob is excited about joining some of the groups around the campus, or maybe even starting a photography club himself.

So is he ready to recommend such a move to others? His answer would be yes, and maybe.

“Is it a good decision? I really won’t be able to tell for another few years. But we made a decision that alleviated a lot of stress for us and for our family. And that’s a good decision,” said Bob.