Diane and Ed Myers leaning on counter of open kitchen in cottage

Getting Ahead of the Curve with a Pre-Retirement Move

Meet Diane and Ed Myers. When this busy couple began their search for a place to retire, they were focused on a two-year plan. They knew they wanted to stay in the area of Camp Hill, Pa., where they have lived for more than 45 years. They were pretty sure they wanted to move to Bethany Village, but still checked out the competition. And Ed, still practicing law at his family firm, had no plans to retire anytime soon.

But when a church friend who had recently moved to a cottage at the Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based retirement community, suggested to Diane and Ed that this option might work for them, they decided to take a look. They fell in love with the wooded lots and deer, fox, and other wildlife.

Renovations make new home their own

At the time there was a waiting list, which generally averaged about two years. The Myers got on the list excited that the timing fit perfectly into their plans. Fast forward two months when one of the rarely available homes became vacant.

“I was pretty sure that my husband would just pass on this one, but he didn’t,” says Diane. “We decided to use the time to make it our own.”

They enlarged the sunroom, renovated the kitchen, and relocated cabinets and appliances, creating a light-filled sightline from the front door to the sunroom. Diane loves the wall of windows that provide a secluded view of woods, birds, and other wildlife.

The early deadline also put the couple on the fast track to downsizing, prepping, and selling their five-bedroom home. “The downsizing was a challenge,” admits Ed. “But the house sold in four days.”

Work, volunteerism keeping them busy

Now that the hard part is behind them, Diane and Ed are enjoying their freedom from home ownership and all the accompanying responsibilities. Ed, a lawyer, makes the 13-minute commute to his office five days a week. And Diane, a retired librarian, devotes several days a week to her volunteer work at the Cleve J. Fredricksen Library, where she serves as a Board member, Friends Treasurer and volunteer.

Diane’s schedule gives her time to take part in a few of the many programs and amenities on campus. She joined the Bethany Readers and regularly walks the spacious campus. While Ed’s schedule is pretty full, he’s looking forward to the day when he can enjoy the pool, join the Resident Council, and volunteer to share his skills with others.

Peace of mind, community connection

Both Diane and Ed are enjoying the peace of mind that comes with having a plan in place should their health change in the future. “It’s great to be in a place where we don’t have worry if one of us busts a leg and needs help,” jokes Ed. And with four children and 11 grandchildren spread out across the country, the couple is happy that they won’t need to burden their kids with caregiving.

Being longtime residents of nearby Camp Hill, the couple has been able to keep their doctors, dentists and attend the same church, where she sings in the choir and Ed is clerk of session. They also have easy access to air travel, which simplifies visits to their children.

When the kids come east, the family retreats to their summer home in Pennsylvania’s Sullivan County. Built in 1857, the old farmhouse has no heat, no Wi-Fi and no TV, making it the perfect spot to get to know the grandkids and serve as the family “escape valve.”

But their Bethany Village East Cottage already feels like home.

“This really is a community,” says Ed.  “The people are friendly and welcoming. The management is top-notch, and we feel safe here.”

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