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Life Here

December 1, 2020 By Julie Turner

New on the Ridge: Rick Preuss

Rick Preuss makes life decisions that fulfill his head and his heart. It’s a proven process that connected him to his beloved life partner of 52 years, James, and gave him the courage to uproot his life and move cross-country to California where they lived joyfully in the Bay Area until James passed in 2020.

That same approach led them to select The Ridge at Paradise Valley Estates for their next home. While the benefits and safety of a Life Plan Community were certainly practical, they were equally enchanted by the community’s friendly culture and sheer visual beauty.

Rick recently shared details about their decision to join the Life Plan Community and what he’s looking forward to about his new home.

Did you always know you wanted to live in a Life Plan Community?

“We’ve lived in the Bay Area since 1970 and I like it. I wanted to be relatively close,” he says. “We don’t have children and my family connections are rather tenuous. I really like the solution — that you know, upfront, what you’re going to do, what your expenses are going to be, and that there are people who are going to look out for you.”

What was it about The Ridge that captured your interest?

“I started researching Life Plan Communities when I turned 70. I came across Paradise Valley Estates and thought it was a great place but, at that time, it was military only. We’d paid a deposit elsewhere when we found out Paradise Valley Estates was welcoming civilians, too” says Rick. “We’d never set foot on the campus, but we were impressed right away with the size and selection of floor plans. With The Ridge, we’d get brand-new infrastructure and buildings that are up to the latest codes within a financially sound organization that has a good track record. It was too good to pass up.”

Was it easy to pick a cottage style?

“It took me about 30 seconds,” laughs Rick. “I knew instinctively. It was clean and modern and very, very contemporary. There was a lot of space but no wasted space. We loved the layout of the large living room, the cathedral ceilings, clerestory windows and wall of windows. I was impressed with the master bedroom and the huge walk-in closet. I have three doors from my unit that open onto the patio. I have all sorts of plans about how I’m going to use that patio!”

What about the location appealed to you?

“The day that we put down our deposit, we drove to The Ridge site and I walked up the path by myself,” says Rick. “I was really, really impressed by the silence. You couldn’t hear the freeway. The only thing you could hear is nature, the birds and whatnot. And then the view from up there, over to Mount Diablo and across the golf course, it’s just spectacular. I’m a very visual person, so I’m just very, very taken by the visual pleasures that will be available there every day.”

What are you looking forward to about moving into your new cottage?

“I really, really look forward to the housekeeping assistance, and quite frankly, the maintenance that’s going to take place, and the safety. That takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” he says. “I’m looking forward to getting to know my friends better, and to not having to cook when I don’t want to cook. I’m a damn good Italian cook but I don’t want to do it every night!”

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