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Keeping Independent Senior Living Costs AffordableBy: Country Meadows | Independent LivingAs people plan for the future, one common goal among older adults is to maintain independence in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. However, life is unpredictable, and there may come a time when seniors find themselves in need of a little extra support with everyday tasks or simply crave companionship. Independent living is designed for seniors who are generally healthy and active, but prefer a community setting that offers convenience, social engagement with others and amenities such as meals or recreational activity programs. Independent senior living costs can vary widely based on several factors such as location, amenities, additional services provided and type of housing.Housing typeThe type of housing a senior chooses can significantly impact independent senior living costs. When seeking information on various types of housing, seniors will find options that may include apartments, cottages, condominiums or single-family homes. Larger or more luxurious accommodations typically come at a cost with higher fees.LocationParticular geographic areas can influence overall expenses. Independent senior living in urban or high-demand locations will have higher costs than those in rural areas, as is the case in private homes or rental properties. For example, independent senior living in New York City will come at a much higher rate than living in rural Pennsylvania.AmenitiesIndependent senior living costs often include a range of amenities and services such as fitness centers, activities programs, housekeeping, laundry and transportation services. The more extensive and upscale the amenities, the higher the cost may be. Consider which amenities are important to you and your loved one when choosing senior living accommodations.Meal plansSome independent living communities offer meal plans as part of their services. The cost of these plans can vary based on the number of meals provided each day as well as dining options available, such as special meals where premium menu items such as filet mignon or lobster are offered.Utilities and maintenanceIndependent senior living costs may include utilities and maintenance services in their fees, as is the case at Country Meadows Retirement Communities. Others may have separate charges for these services, which is why its essential to clarify items included in the monthly fee.Healthcare servicesWhile independent living is designed for seniors who are relatively healthy, some communities offer healthcare services or have arrangements with healthcare providers and vendors such as nursing agencies and medical specialists. Additional healthcare services may come with extra costs.Community fees and depositsThere are several different types of senior living communities, and with those come a wide variety of costs. A Continuing Care Retirement Community, also known as a CCRC, may require a large entrance fee for admission as well as a monthly charge to guarantee service availability at every level of care. Other senior living facilities may require a community fee in addition to monthly charges. This fee may cover administrative costs, reserve funds or contribute to community improvements.Social and recreational activitiesAccess to social and recreational activities may be included in the monthly fee at some senior living communities, such as Country Meadows Vibe program. Some independent senior living costs might include higher fees for organized events, outings, entertainment, classes and fitness services.Transportation servicesTransportation services for medical appointments, shopping trips and social outings may be included in independent senior living pricing at some communities. At other locations, transportation services may be billed separately depending on a variety of factors such as distance and time of day.Security and safety featuresIndependent senior living costs typically include secured building entrances and 24-hour emergency response systems in private apartments. Additional security features which might incur higher fees are 24/7 medical alert systems and security personnel, which can significantly impact cost.Its crucial for seniors and their families to thoroughly review the costs of each community. Additionally, considering the long-term financial implications, including any potential increases in fees, is important when evaluating the affordability of senior independent living.Stop by one of Country Meadows Retirement Communities nine campuses in Pennsylvania or one in Frederick, Md., to pay us a visit. For information about any of our locations or services, or to ask a Question, please reach out to our expert advisors. Were here to help! Country Meadows
PERSONAL FUNDS Utilizing personal funds to pay for a move to a Senior Living Community is an uncomplicated option for some people. Whether it be through savings, liquidating certain assets, or drawing upon investment income, this strategy provides seniors with a payment method that they have the most direct control over. Working with a financial advisor to plan for this is often beneficial. In addition, many Senior Living Communities have special team members who are experienced in financial matters and can offer assistance as well. SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE Social Security payments can be used to help pay for the costs of living in a Senior Community. However, the amount it would cover will depend on the recipients monthly benefit. According to U.S. News and World Report, the current average benefit paid is $1,657 each month. It is important to understand that while Medicare does not cover the actual costs of living in an Independent Living, Assisted Living or Memory Care Community, it does help pay for other critical needs, such as prescriptions, doctor visits, medical equipment and other health care related expenses. LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE & LIFE INSURANCE Long Term Care insurance (LTC) is a special type of policy that helps pay the expenses of home care or a Senior Living Community. The amount of benefit available from a LTC policy can vary by such factors as the amount of the monthly payment, as well as the duration of the benefit. Some life insurance policies can be cashed in for a lump sum payment while the insured is still living under what is known as a Life Settlement arrangement. Policy holders should review their life insurance contracts to see if this feature is available to them. VETERANS BENEFITS If you or a loved one served in the military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has programs that can help pay for certain Senior Living services. While these dont pay for direct housing expenses, the VAs Aid and Attendance benefit is available to veterans that meet certain income requirements and also have difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing, eating, bathing, using the restroom, or moving about. REAL ESTATE ASSETS If the person thinking about moving into a Senior Community is a homeowner, their house can be a good revenue source. Selling the home, renting it out, or arranging for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) are all ways to help pay for living expenses at the new residence. If you have any questions, call us today at 402-819-0669.
Is it time to sell your home? Maybe youre ready to retire, downsize or a major event has made it necessary to move to a senior community. No matter what the reason a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) has unique training to help guide you through the process and find whats right for you. Selling a home can be a difficult decision and is an emotional time for most. An SRES understands the issues facing older adults and their families. They will patiently support and help you through each step by taking the time needed to make everyone feel comfortable through the complex process. An SRES has built a network of professionals who are also focused on serving older adults. Theyve identified helpful experts in all areas, from financial and tax specialists to right-sizing and moving help, along with trusted contractors to prepare the home. Their ties throughout the 55+ community can even help you with finding the right active adult community or other more needs specific senior community. Your SRES is looking out for your best interests throughout all aspects of your transition, not just the sale of your home. Theyve invested time in becoming an SRES because they enjoy working with clients in your situation and truly care about helping others. You can count on your SRES to guide you by making the entire process less stressful and more successful. Editors Note: This article was written by Alyce Chermack, Realtor & SRES. Alyce is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist with The Platinum Group, REALTORS and can be reached at 303-475-2792 or via email at Alyce@PlatinumHomeSales.com
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