RiverWoods Receives Upgrade to A- Fitch Rating

Landing in Top 2% NationallyRiverWoods at Exeter Upgraded to A- Rating

The national agency, Fitch Ratings, released their independent report on RiverWoods’ financial picture, and upgraded the community to A- status, which puts RiverWoods in the top 2% of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) nationwide.

Of the 1900 Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the U.S., the majority of which are non-profit, only 7 % are rated by professional financial rating firms. The reason for a community to undergo the grueling process of having their financial books rated by an outside agency is to establish their financial strength in relation to others on a national stage. This, in turn, helps the community gain more preferable borrowing rates from lending organizations.

Another advantage of having your debt rated is that an independent evaluation of the community’s financial picture provides an outside third party assessment.. Few CCRCs invite this type of evaluation and RiverWoods is the only CCRC in New Hampshire to achieve an A- rating.

In 2011, RiverWoods reached stabilization on their third campus, The Boulders, which opened in 2010. Having just borrowed $74 million in 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, and succeeding in reaching stabilization of the new campus significantly ahead of schedule, RiverWoods was ready.

In the words of RiverWoods CFO, Kevin Goyette, “We decided to invite a ratings agency in 2012 to assess our debt portfolio because we were confident that our diligence in stewarding the growth of our organization was at investment grade level. The fact that in less than two years, we have been upgraded from BBB+ to A- is a testament to our financial strength. We achieved this through the hard work of all our employees who optimize the organization’s resources without sacrificing quality.”

According to the analysts’ report, “RiverWoods strong performance was supported by high independent living occupancy and improved occupancy rates within assisted living and skilled nursing, as well as good expense management.” RiverWoods is an independent, nationally-accredited non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community located in Exeter, New Hampshire. Started by a small grassroots group of Seacoast area residents, RiverWoods opened its first campus 20 years ago, in 1994, with the mission to “celebrate the freedom of senior living and ease the challenges of aging.” Today, RiverWoods is comprised of three distinct campuses on 200 wooded acres, and is home to more than 600 residents.