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June 3, 2021 49 min

Middle-income seniors have too many financial assets to qualify for Medicaid and not always enough to cover housing and support needs as their health and functional abilities change. If you’re a middle-income senior who wants or needs more help, but can’t afford it, where do you turn?

Merrill Gardens offers senior living communities for the middle class with an option for those in need of some extra assistance while maintaining independence.  Whether they need some extra assistance with daily activities or want to enjoy all the perks of an active lifestyle, the residents have the freedom and flexibility to pursue their interests while staying in one place. The community offers five pillars of support—healthcare services, wellness programs, dining options, social events, and resident services—to ensure your loved ones will always have what they need when they need it. 
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Timestamps:

[00:00]
Pre-Intro dialogue from William Pettit

[01:35]
Introductions

[02:59]
You had 18 years in banking before joining RD Merrill Company. What prompted you to make this career switch?

[05:36]
The company believes that the ability to help seniors live their own lives and make their own decisions is the key to happier and fuller lives. Can you explain what you mean by that?

[07:11]
How do you think the senior housing industry will change post-pandemic?

[09:35]
Do you think these changes will help evolve to the next generation of senior living?

[10:36]
From an operational side, you're talking about wellness, longevity, just activities offering some vibrancy and perhaps lends itself for them to have a purpose?

[21:00]
The next generation of seniors will have more options for middle-income seniors available to them, than generations in the past have. What do you think these middle-income options will look like and what services may be available?

[29:58]
Do you think someday these senior living alternatives may become the norm?

[30:26]
Do you think it's a better alternative to aging in place? Why or why not?

[39:01]
You rolled out Google Nest Hub, Max Devices, to many of your buildings. The residents now have plug-and-play experience when it comes to contacting their friends and loved ones. Can you give us a brief explanation of what this product is and what were you trying to solve?

[44:42]
During 2020 in the thick of the pandemic PGIM Real Estate provided a loan of 460 million as part of Merrill Gardens' portfolio acquisition. This speaks volumes about the strength of the relationship and the collaboration required by all parties to navigate this, turbulent, pandemic market climate. What lessons can you share about your successful closing? In terms of quality of the portfolio, location, and mostly the people?

[47:16]
Do you have any other thoughts that you would like to share?
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Bio:

William (Bill) Pettit is the president and chief operating officer of the R. D. Merrill Company with responsibility for Merrill Gardens and sister company Pillar Properties. Merrill Gardens is one of the most respected assisted living operators in the country with 70 communities in 20 states. Pillar Properties is an award-winning developer, owner, and operator of multi-family housing with 1,700 units in operation and the developer for all Merrill Gardens new communities.

Pettit joined the R.D. Merrill Company in 1992 after 18 years in the banking industry and he was instrumental in the formation of the companies. He directed the rapid growth and timely execution of acquisitions and developed the policies that speak to the Merrill Gardens and Pillar Properties' commitment to quality.

Learn more about William Pettit here: https

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