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Understanding the Expenses of Moving to a Senior Living Community

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Understanding the Expenses of Moving to a senior living community. Older couple reviewing paper work.

There’s no question that cost is one of the most significant factors when deciding whether to move to a senior living community. While average costs are helpful to know, what you’ll pay may differ depending on needs, wants, or even the community’s location. Not to mention it can be hard to decipher what’s included in those monthly costs and what’s not. But we can help. From the rent to the fees to add-on costs, here’s how to better understand the expenses when moving to senior living in Somerset County.

The expenses of senior living

Average costs of the different types of senior living

When considering moving to senior living, it can be helpful to think of the types of care and their associated costs as similar to a continuum. As your care needs increase, so does the average cost. As such, there are typically three types of senior living, each supporting different wants and needs.

  • Independent Living – Designed for seniors who can still live independently, this type of senior living is focused on convenience and active living, and home upkeep, cooking, and cleaning are provided. In addition, residents enjoy a range of amenities as well as social and enrichment opportunities. Published data on the average cost of independent living varies greatly, but you can typically expect it to be between $1,000 to $4,000 monthly.
  • Assisted Living – This type of senior living includes many of the same amenities and features as independent living. However, assisted living residents also have support with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management as needed. Onsite medical care is also available. According to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost for a private, one-bedroom is $4,500.
  • Memory Care – Exclusively for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, this type of senior living offers 24-hour support in a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff. Residents have the comfort of a structured daily schedule, enrichment activities, and fitness and social opportunities to help them thrive. Published data on the average monthly cost for memory care also varies greatly, but you can usually expect a range between $2,000 to $7,000 monthly.

Expenses to expect when moving to senior living

Now that you know more about the average costs, let’s take a closer look at what makes up those numbers so you can better understand what to expect as you consider moving to senior living.

  • Base rent –This is the flat monthly cost for the community, typically including rent, utilities, cable, meals, life-enrichment activities, and housekeeping. Some may also include other services like scheduled group transportation as well. This may also be known as the base fee.
  • Upfront fees – Some types of senior living communities called Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) or life plan communities charge entry fees or buy-in fees in addition to the base rent. For most senior living communities, communities that charge these fees offer multiple levels of care and consider them a down payment for higher levels of care you may need down the road. Keep in mind when considering moving to a CCRC that this one-time cost can run into the six figures. On the other hand, many communities offer a pricing model that does not require a buy-in; however, they may still have smaller upfront fees such as a security deposit or first and last month’s rent.
  • Add-on expenses – Depending on your wants and needs, you may incur additional expenses when moving to senior living, such as personal care or private transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Other expenses could include outings, beauty/barbershop charges, concierge services, and pet fees.

Keep in mind that there are solutions to help you stretch your budget further when moving to senior living. One option that’s often overlooked is the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit for qualified wartime veterans or their surviving spouses. You might also consider long-term care insurance, a life insurance conversion, or perhaps a reverse mortgage as well to help you offset the cost of senior living in Somerset County.

To learn more about moving to senior living or your options for senior living in Somerset County, download our Choosing the Right Community guide. Or contact us today for more information or to schedule a tour.

Click here to download our Choosing The Right Senior Living Community guide

Written by kaplan

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