Approaching retirement often means a move is on the horizon. Many want to be closer to the grandkids, enjoy easy access to a range of amenities, or soak up year-round sunshine. For Melton and Linda Graham, it was a desire to downsize from their lifelong family home that prompted them to start the search for a new location. Luckily for them, they didn’t have to look for very long before they found their ideal spot.
Viridian, close to Arlington, TX, had everything they were looking for and even a few things they didn’t know they wanted! “I wasn’t completely sure about going to live in a 55+ community,” explains Linda, “but the minute I went to Viridian, I thought to myself, ‘this is going to be perfect.’”
The master-planned community is in the process of completing its new 141-acre 55+ development, Elements. With the stunning natural beauty of the Viridian community as its backdrop, Elements offers a variety of homes designed by some of the areas finest builders, David Weekley Homes, Drees Custom Homes, and Lennar Homes.
Needing to downsize and find their forever home, the Grahams are now looking forward to the completion of their single level 2,500 square foot home. “It’s stylish and comfortable with a few age-in-place features to accommodate our time of life, such as wide doorways and extra spacious showers,” smiles Linda.
With a host of luxury amenities available, including a ‘pool that I don’t have to clean,’ Linda can’t wait to kick back and enjoy the good life without having to be responsible for endless repairs and maintenance. This ease and peace of mind create lots more time and energy for the Meltons to be able to visit nearby family, make the most of Viridian’s inspiring workshops, and relish the peaceful scenery.
The drive across the Lowcountry marsh in Beaufort, SC, to Lady’s Island to the 400-acre riverfront community of Coosaw Point is both breathtaking and serene. An unrestricted community, residents enjoy vibrancy with a slower pace as told by the stories of two couples in slightly different phases of life.
Dave and Pam Rimer have lived in many places, but found their favorite place in Beaufort, SC, when they moved into their home at Coosaw Point in 2006. They decided to relocate after their son graduated from high school. They toured the Charleston area and spent several days driving around the Lowcountry until they came upon Coosaw Point, and they knew they had found their place. They downsized from a 4,500 square-foot home and now have more time to have fun than maintaining a large home, though Pam added that you can have as large of a home as you’d like at Coosaw.
“The community was small at that time and really just getting started. It was just a sense of what it was going to be,” said Pam. She organizes the community directory and has seen the community’s growth first-hand. Pam says, “We enjoy the mix of ages and people, from newborns to 90. It’s a vibrant community, full of caring neighbors.”
While Dave is “semi-retired,” they find time to enjoy boating as often as they can. With the warmer climate, they have even been boating on New Year’s Eve. Pam and Dave enjoy the people and Pam says, “You can participate as much or as little as you want.” The Rimers particularly enjoy “High Tide Fridays,” where neighbors meet for happy hour.
Next, meet Dee (48) and Marc (47) Robinson who relocated from Colorado just a year ago with their 16-year-old son. They had vacationed to the coast and knew they wanted to retire by the coast one day. Dee said, “We thought why wait until we retire? Let’s see if we can make this work now.” She found a job in Beaufort, and they couldn’t be happier that they made the move.
They are enjoying the outdoors. “Marc likes to stand-up paddle board, while my son and I like to kayak. So, we kayak to Hunting Island State Park. We’ve seen all kinds of wildlife from deer to dolphin. We are hoping to see the sea turtles hatch.”
“It’s a totally different life than in Colorado. Each are beautiful in their own way. It’s particularly wonderful to see the water so much living here. When you go over the bridges, the views are so amazing with the vibrant greens of the saltwater marsh. It’s breathtaking,” says Dee.
The Robinsons enjoy walking along the waterfront in the quaint town of Beaufort and sitting on the swings in waterfront park. They’ve been finding some good restaurants including Plums, Breakwater, and the Foolish Frog, just to name a few.
Dee says, “We made a good decision to take the plunge. We love the style of houses and walking trails. Coosaw Point has a great mix of people. Everyone is here because they love it.”
Located along the banks of the Tuckasegee River in the North Carolina mountains, you’ll find a quaint mountain haven of Cullowhee River Club with phenomenal views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and close proximity to numerous small towns. This is exactly what Dr. James Spirito and his wife, Cher were looking for. A home on the river in the heart of the Blue Ridge.
“For us, it was like all of the stars fell in line. We wanted to live in North Carolina on a river, where there was a continuity in neighborhood design, and we found it at Cullowhee River Club,” said Cher. They are currently building a cottage that should be ready by late June, just in time for summer months in the mountains.
The Spiritos will use this home as a vacation home as a nice getaway for “fun, casual, relaxation.” It will enable them to have more free time to enjoy their “antiquing” hobby. From this mountain location, Cher says its an easy day’s drive in any direction for antiques with all of the historic towns in neighboring states.
Cullowhee River Club is designed as a respite from the world with a Grand River Lodge and the River Park Pavilion where residents can enjoy one another’s company or simply relax along the river. The Property Owners Association even rents boat racks monthly on a first come, first served basis. And, because 60% of the land surrounding the Cullowhee River Club will be perpetually protected open space placed in a conservation easement, the community will have groomed hiking and biking trails for its residents to enjoy. The trails will also connect to the planned Jackson County Greenway Trail System.
While the Spirito’s primary home will remain in Florida, the Spiritos love to travel the world and have been to just about everywhere except the Middle East. “I have recently retired from Delta Airlines and am still in the stage of missing it very much. There is a reason there is a club called Clipped Wings … you never quite get over the longing for taking to the skies,” says Cher. They even own a condo in Thailand, from where they travel about. With Cher being a former flight attendant, the Spiritos have been able to take advantage of world travel, even many times to her favorite country of Japan, where the people are known for their honesty and respectful nature.
The Spiritos just celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Dr. James Spirito (Dr. “J”), a retired engineer, inventor, defense contractor, and professor still has much to offer the world. He is currently building a 1933 Hot Rod. For Dr. “J” life and retirement have taken him down many roads, some straight and some curvy but always an adventure. He is a refreshing example of work hard and play hard.
The Spiritos have a great love and admiration for one another, have built an enviable life, and are looking forward to enjoying their next phase in the mountains of North Carolina.