For Don Group, “Retirement” Lays the Cornerstone for a Second Career
Since toiling on a fruit farm for a mere 35 cents an hour at age 15, Don Group has worked every single day of his life, and the past few years have proven that neither retirement nor a worldwide pandemic could keep him from doing what he loves.
The same year he retired, Don started his family business, the Midway Self Storage and Car Wash, where he works behind a desk and with his two sons, Don Jr. and Tony; daughter-in-law, Brenda; friend, Gretchen; and grandson and manager, Brent.
“During the pandemic, we had our doors locked for several months, but we could do a lot of things over the phone and help people without having contact with them. We were handicapped some, but we were still able to take care of our customers,” Don said.
In fact, Don found himself in a unique position to help people. Joblessness affected an estimated 23 percent of Pennsylvania’s workforce in 2020, and Don’s family committed to delaying payments for people suffering from job loss. “We weren’t able to talk with people in person like normal, but we could still listen to their stories over the phone and try to help them,” Don explained.
After all, Don remembers a period of time as a young man when he himself worked a series of odd jobs (including time on the railroad) to make ends meet. Don ultimately built his career working for, and eventually running, a well-respected general contractor business for 48 years before retiring in 1999.
Almost 30 years after retirement, Don and his wife, Roxey, felt prompted to make a change.
“At our age, we were looking to downsize and find a smaller place,” Don said.
They also wanted the assurance that, no matter what the future holds, they will have access to the care and security they desire.
Pointe Place, Chapel Pointe’s brand new neighborhood of 12 townhomes, fit the bill. As part of Chapel Pointe’s continuing care retirement community, Pointe Place offers the Groups access to personal care, memory support, therapy, and skilled care should they need it in the future.
As a contractor, Don knows a thing or two about buildings, and the new townhomes more than met his standards. Because the Groups chose Pointe Place before construction began, they provided early input into the home’s details and recommended adding a pantry, second bathroom sink, and appliance garage, all of which ultimately became standard features and benefit all Pointe Place residents.
When it came to quality and value, Pointe Place couldn’t be beat. “For what we get, I don’t think that the cost of our townhome was much money at all,” Don said.
Even Gigi, Roxey’s Maltese Poodle, feels at home in her new community! Gigi has been a cherished member of the family since Christmas eight years ago. She often checks the mail with Don and loves her family strolls around the walking paths at Dickinson Park, which connects to her own yard.
Between rounds of golf and his job, Don has connected with many of his Pointe Place neighbors, including old friends who worked in construction. Don and Roxey have also bonded with neighbors over their mutual love for dogs.
“We do the same things we did when we lived in our old house! …It’s just nice to know that if something happens to me now, my wife has security and a home here,” Don said.