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The Real Cost of Senior Living — It’s Not as Expensive as You Think

The Real Cost of Senior Living  Its Not as Expensive as You Think

What’s the value of predictability and peace of mind?

You’ve worked hard to save for your retirement, and deciding how to best protect your nest egg while continuing to live the life you want can be difficult, especially when life can be so unpredictable. While you might prefer to stay in your home, it can be a challenge to keep up with home maintenance and feel almost impossible to find reliable people you can trust to work around your house.

So it’s not surprising many seniors turn to the maintenance-free lifestyle of a senior living community. But with all the senior living options out there, how can you figure out which one is right for you? In my experience, the biggest question seniors have is how much does senior living cost? And when you compare Life Plan Communities with senior living entrance fees and monthly fees versus rental communities with just monthly fees, you may want to know what you’re getting for your money. To help, here are five questions to ask yourself as well as a brief overview of both community types.

Choosing your best option

The culture and friendliness of residents and staff vary from community to community. So while looking at the cost of senior living communities is important, you should also visit as many places as possible to see if they fit with what you want.

As you start your search, here are five questions to consider that can help you make the best decision:

  1. What are your current and future needs? Consider the services and support you want now and in the future. Does the community have a continuum of care for seniors on-site, and how much does it cost? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of seniors 65+ will need some type of long-term care. A Genworth Cost of Care Survey conducted by CareScout® indicated that in our area, 2018 market rates for assisted living averaged $5,100/month, and a private room in skilled nursing costs $9,505/month.
  2. What can you afford? Senior living communities have a monthly fee to cover meals, utilities and other expenses, so it’s a good idea to figure out what you can afford. (These are expenses you’ll probably have whether you live at home or in a community.)
  3. Where do you want to live? Do you want to be near family and friends? Would you prefer to live near popular vacation destinations? Think about where you want to go, and remember, location can impact the cost of senior living.
  4. Where can you do your research? Online is the easiest way to do research. Visit a community’s website and Facebook page. Are there online reviews? Once you narrow down your list, you can call and ask questions, request more information, or schedule a personal visit.
  5. Who do you trust for advice? Asking friends, family and loved ones for advice is a good way to get a second opinion. If they have time, ask them to visit a community with you. They can help ensure you’re making the right choice.

Life Plan Communities

Life Plan Communities with Life Care, like Harrogate, require an entrance fee, but what does it cover, and is it a good idea? People who buy into a community through an entrance fee tend to be more invested in the culture and direction of where they live. At Harrogate, residents have a lot of input, which is why we offer a wide variety of services and amenities — like housekeeping, as well as indoor and outdoor maintenance — and a full calendar of fun activities, engaging clubs and educational opportunities.

If you’re healthy and active today, you’ll have the freedom and independence to do the things you love to do. And if you need a higher level of care in the future, you have guaranteed access to our continuum of care right on-site. So you won’t have to relocate to another community, and your monthly fee will remain about the same. While a portion of your nest egg is tied up in an entrance fee, at Harrogate we have several options to fit your budget, and a portion of your entrance fee is refundable to your or your estate.

Your monthly service fee also covers your utilities; provides you with delicious, chef-prepared dining options; gives you access to our fitness center and indoor pool; and much more. It’s also possible a portion of your monthly service fees are tax-deductible because you’re prepaying for your medical expenses. Talk with your tax adviser for all the details.

Rental communities

Not all senior living communities charge an entrance fee. Rental communities can have either a year-long lease or be month-to-month. While it does give you greater flexibility and control, you may not have access to higher levels of care, and if you do, you’ll be charged the market rates we discussed earlier on top of your monthly rent. Because rental communities only collect one fee, less money is typically spent offering services and amenities. Plus, your rent could also increase more quickly to produce additional revenue.

I hope you found this information useful and it answered the question of how much does senior living cost. At Harrogate, we have options to fit your budget that give you access to everything our community offers. If you’d like to learn more, give us a call at 866-606-0178 or use our contact form.