Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Where We Live: Retirement doesn’t mean downsizing in this RiverLights house

Retirement isn't always about being practical, experts say. Sometimes it's about living it up.

WILMINGTON — Nestled inside the 2-square-mile RiverLights development is Del Webb Wilmington, a neighborhood designed specifically for those over 55.

Craig and Rosa Fedderson are two recent retirees from Pennsylvania who this past spring moved into their new home located in Del Webb. The move to Wilmington followed an extensive search throughout the US for their new community with a long list of “must haves.”

“When we were house-hunting we sought a robust city life, an opportunity to appreciate nature, and warm weather,” Craig Fedderson, a retired American Airlines pilot, said.

Rosa Fedderson’s career in college administration and her love of fine arts put cultural and educational opportunities at the top of her list for a new community. Both consider themselves foodies, enjoy the outdoors, and working out.

Wilmington’s small town feel with big city amenities won them over.

“The historic downtown offers many places to see and dine out. Cape Fear Community College and the University of North Carolina Wilmington create an upbeat college environment,” the Feddersons said.

Del Webb Wilmington is 10 minutes from downtown Wilmington, has a 15,000-square-foot amenity center including a state of the art fitness center, walking trails with views of the Cape Fear River, and is within 20 minutes of Pleasure Island.

Craig Fedderson went on to share what he and his wife like about their home.

“We feel this house is an agreeable blend of function and design,” he said. “A spacious floor plan allowed us to keep many furniture pieces. A four-window sunroom works with our dining room furniture and the large master bedroom is very nice. The central living room is a comfortable place for entertaining.”  

Rosa and Craig Fedderson selected a three-bath, three-bedroom home with a formal dining room and a study. While this may seem impractical for two people, according to a 2014 survey conducted by Merrill Lynch of 3,638 adults, including 2,192 baby boomers, half of the pre-retirees who expect to downsize in retirement don’t do so. About 30 percent of those surveyed actually moved into larger homes after they retired.

“Retirement isn’t all about being practical,” said Ken Dychtwald, founder and CEO of the consulting firm Age Wave, which partnered with Merrill Lynch on the survey, “More and more people are turning their empty nests into nurturing nests.”

This could certainly be said of Rosa and Craig Fedderson’s new home. It is everything they wanted, they said: a place to enjoy the next chapter of their lives that would be good for minds, body, and soul.

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