What does successful aging look like to you? Do you wish to enjoy retirement in your current home? Perhaps you’d like to be closer to family, or maybe even move to the beach and enjoy a slower pace of life. There’s no right answer, but there are many different options. We’re here to help outline common costs and considerations of common retirement living options, so you can begin planning now for the future you’ve always wanted.
Aging in Place with Hired Care
For some older adults, staying in their current home is the plan. If you fall in this camp, make sure you have plans in place should you or your spouse need assistance with transportation, home or yard maintenance tasks, or should you require advanced medical care.
Talk through your plans and preferences with loved ones and look into the costs associated with things like home safety upgrades or in-home health aides. Minor safety updates to your home might be a few hundred dollars while serious updates or a renovation can cost hundreds of thousands.
The Federal Government reports that 7 out of 10 older adults will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Data from Genworth puts the average monthly cost for home health aides in the United States around $4,500. Having conversations about your future now can help ensure you are equipped to enjoy the retirement you desire.
Moving in with Adult Children
Perhaps you’d like to move to be closer to family. Really close to family. Some older adults (and their children!) find a multigenerational housing situation to be the ideal setup in retirement. Research from Generations United shows the positive impact this living arrangement can have on the whole family, including the opportunity to form closer bonds, improve mental and physical health, and improve the financial situation of one or more family members.
After first ensuring the whole family is on board with this decision, other major factors — and potential expenses — to consider are the space you’ll be living in and the care you might require. Do you feel you will have the amount of privacy you desire? Are there any safety upgrades that need to be made to make the space comfortable for you? Will you require the support of outside caregivers? These costs are similar to those you might incur if you choose to stay in your own home and can range from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand.
Specialized care communities are excellent options to consider if you or your loved one require additional medical assistance. For those who are still rather independent but could use help with activities of daily living like grooming or dressing, assisted living communities typically offer private rooms with on-site support from healthcare providers. The average monthly cost for assisted living can start around a few thousand dollars, but go up depending on location, services and amenities and exclusivity.
For individuals with severe cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s, there are residential communities that specialize in memory care. These communities often feature specialized memory-focused programming and have professionals on staff who specialize in working with adults with memory loss. Due to the specialized nature of memory care, the monthly cost for this type of care is more expensive, with national averages around $1,000 more than the average monthly cost of assisted living.
Ready to ditch the trappings of homeownership for a maintenance-free, active lifestyle? If so, independent living communities are a wonderful option. Senior apartments, frequently located in a dedicated senior apartment complex, are apartments that often have safe design elements — like grab bars and wide doorways — built in and are reserved specifically for older adults. Monthly rental fees for senior apartments can range greatly depending on the size of the apartment, the location and available amenities, like a fitness center or laundry service.
Another independent living option is a 55+ community. These planned communities reserved for older adults consist of a neighborhood of homes typically built around a central attraction, like a clubhouse, and might even cater to particular interests or hobbies. Because “55 and over” can be a catchall term, inquire about age requirements at any independent living communities you are considering. The cost of living in a 55 and over community typically includes the purchase of your home within the community and any accompanying fees like an HOA fee or monthly membership dues. According to a report from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC), the average monthly cost of independent living can range from a few hundred to well over $9,000.
Life Care Community
If you’re looking for the best of an independent living community paired with the security of knowing your future care is planned for, consider a Life Care community. Also called continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), Life Care communities are vibrant communities for active older adults that offer convenient access to higher levels of care, often directly on-site. Similar to 55 and over communities, the cost of a CCRC includes the purchase of your home within the community. Most CCRCs also require an entrance fee, however, and may have a higher age requirement. This fee, which can range from $100,000 to well over $1 million, helps cover the cost of your new home as well as helping to cover the cost of future care.
In addition to an entrance fee, CCRCs have a monthly fee that is, on average, a few thousand dollars. This fee covers the cost of things like dining, transportation, maintenance and activities.
CCRC Contract Types
The type of CCRC contract a community offers can impact the cost of the entrance fee and monthly fee. The three primary contract types are Type A (Life Care), Type B (Modified) and Type C (Fee-for-Service). Type A contracts are the most comprehensive, often building the cost of future care into the entrance and monthly fees, with the tradeoff being little to no increase in monthly expenses should you require higher levels of care.
A Type C contract might be less expensive up front or have lower monthly fees for independent living, but will increase to include the market rate of any additional care services you need, should you ever require them. Type B contracts sit in the middle of the spectrum, often building a portion of advanced care costs into the entrance or monthly fees through a discounted market rate or a set number of “free” days per year.
Retire in Luxury at Harbour’s Edge
Harbour’s Edge in Delray Beach, Florida, is a premier continuing care retirement community offering active older adults ages 62 and older unmatched views of the Intracoastal Waterway, delicious dining experiences and a rich social life, not to mention the peace of mind that comes from living in a Life Care community.
A Life Care contract at Harbour’s Edge offers access as needed to on-site skilled nursing and rehabilitation services as well as individualized support in your independent living residence through our Lifespace Personal Services. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about the opportunities that await at Harbour’s Edge, please connect with our team.