Resident Al Siebert’s Liberating Move to The Fountains

Is living in a retirement community for you? We have interviewed several residents across the country at various Watermark communities. They will tell you in their own words why they decided to move and why you should consider it too. We hope by providing honest insight from people who were once in your shoes you will get the help you need to make one of the most important decisions of your life.

When you take time to fully explore your retirement living options, you’ll be better prepared to make the choice that’s best for you.

“Don’t wait until you’re saying, ‘I have to do it’…then sometimes everything goes too soon, too fast. You may not make decisions that you would’ve made if you were thinking about it ahead of time.” – Al Siebert, resident of The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay

You can learn a lot from someone who has been in your shoes. Their honest insight can help you navigate your way to the place that’s right for you, regardless of which community you choose. (All quotes contained in this post are excerpts from an interview conducted with Al Siebert on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014. To read the full, un-edited transcript, please click here.)

If you’ve ever been to Northside Baptist Church, you probably already know Al Siebert. A popular minister there, he once had his own radio broadcast. Even in “retirement,” he continues to give sermons, sings in the choir and conducts community outreach for the church. It was through such outreach visits that he first became acquainted with The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay, his home since January of 2013. Moving to new places never daunted Al. Over 40 years as a pastor took him to six different churches, from Winnipeg to Florida and to six interim pastorates. Semi-retired in the warm Florida sunshine, Al and his wife enjoyed a simple but happy life in their St. Petersburg mobile home.

If you cherish your independence, why would you ever leave important decisions about your future to chance? Situating yourself in a retirement community before you “have to” lets you have your cake and eat it, too. A little bit of planning can assure you’ll continue to enjoy an active lifestyle surrounded by friends, along with convenient access to services and care that you’ll appreciate now and forever. Even if you’re years from being ready, it’s never too early to make your plan. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. Whether it’s gradual or sudden, change is coming. Don’t wait for future unknowns to force your hand. Let us help you start the planning process at your leisure right now. Exploring all your options is not only fun, it’s also the best way to ease yourself gracefully into the future that you choose. “Don’t wait until you have to.” – Al Siebert

When Al lost his wife in 2010, he stayed put for a while. Worried from afar, his five children arranged for outside housekeeping help. After eight months, Al finally said, “This is not the life for me.” First he moved to Brentwood, close to his church. When management converted it to 100% assisted living, he relocated to a studio apartment at The Fountains. Today he enjoys dining with friends, attending Bible Study, Wii bowling and simply gazing at his beautiful view. “I sit in my chair at the window at night and the sun sets in the west out there. I can look out and see a beautiful sunset if I want to…” – Al Siebert

At 93, Al has counseled countless parishioners and has no plans to stop. This quick witted, forward looking preacher plans to deliver a sermon on his 100th birthday. He has no intention of needing assisted living, though he’s grateful it’s available on site, so he won’t have to move to a new community if he ever needs the services. Having found such a well suited lifestyle, it disheartens Al when couples say, “We’re going to wait until something happens to one of us, then we’ll take care of it.” He learned the hard way that when couples situate themselves in a supportive setting “before they have to” they can put their worries about the future in the past.

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