One of the most common concerns about senior living is the cost. And that’s understandable. You’ve worked hard for your money and you want to protect it. This guide will help you consider the costs associated with senior living versus staying in your house, as well as the value of choosing a community. That way, you can make a smart ﬁnancial plan for your future.PLANNING AHEAD: MAKING A SMART FINANCIAL DECISION
2COMPARING MONTHLY EXPENSESEven if your mortgage is paid off, living at home isn’t free. Write down and compare these common monthly expenses as you explore your senior living options. Then compare that to the monthly service fees at different communities. (If the speciﬁc costs are included in a community’s monthly service fees, ﬁll in the blank with “Included.”)VeryMortgage/Rent/Property taxesHome insurance/Association feesUtilitiesParking/Scheduled transportation Maintenance/YardworkHousekeeping/Linen service 24-hour securityDining Fitness centerWellness programs Activities/EntertainmentPriority access to continuing care at predictable ratesCommunity A Community B YourHouse
3THE COST OF STAYING AT HOMETo keep your home safe and comfortable, you need to take care of regular maintenance and repairs. And if your needs change, it may require modiﬁcations such as grab bars or ramps. What will your home need?VeryRoofDrivewayFurnace/Air ConditionerPlumbing ElectricalGutters FoundationPaint (Interior/Exterior) Carpet/FlooringAge-related modiﬁcations OtherWithin 6-12Months Within 2-5Years NeedNowOnly about 1% of existing homes are conducive to aging in place.
4Age-Related ModiﬁcationsHere are average costs for some common modiﬁcations to accommodate walkers, wheelchairs and limited mobility, along with others that make the house safer and easier to navigate. (Not all these may be necessary. Costs are national averages and will vary by location.) Grab bars in bathrooms $140 Easy-to-use door handles, pulls & faucets $10 - $400 each Walk-in shower or tub $5,000 - $10,000 Non-slip bathroom ﬂooring $1,300 Additional or repaired stair rails $100/s q . f t.Widen entry door $200 - $7,000 Widen hallway without structural changes $800 - $1,400Entrance ramp $1,600 - $3,200Stair lift $3,000 - $12,000Accessible bedroom addition $43,000Lower counters and/or sinks $15,000 - $20,000AverageCost
5ANTICIPATING HEALTH CARE COSTSMany people assume that if their health changes, long-term care insurance or Medicare will pay for all their care. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. So before you assume long-term health care costs will be covered, be sure you have the facts. Long-Term Care Insurance helps cover the cost of long-term skilled nursing, assisted living, home health care and other long-term care services. These services usually aren’t covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare. However, you have to be healthy enough to qualify, and: • It will only pay for a portion of the daily cost for care. •Premiums can be expensive. •There’s a maximum daily beneﬁt for most policies. •Most policies only pay out beneﬁts for somewhere between two and ﬁve years. •There may be a waiting period before beneﬁts kick in.Medicare only covers short-term care such as short rehab stays at a skilled nursing facility, home rehab and therapy for a limited time, or home health care under certain circumstances. Not every facility accepts Medicare, and you may not get to choose where you receive care. It does not pay for: •Assisted living •Long-term rehab stays •Long-term care at a skilled nursing facilityThe average length of long-term care is three years. 70% of people age 65+ will use some type of long-term care services.
6THE VALUE OF ENTRANCE FEESLife Plan Communities (also called Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs) offer an active independent lifestyle for the way you want to live now, along with access to a continuum of care that gives you peace of mind for the future. The entrance fee at these communities is a one-time upfront payment that has a surprisingly good long-term value. • It ensures priority access to all levels of long-term on-site health care, if ever needed. That means you don’t have to relocate to another community if you need care. • If you’re approved for a Life Care contract, your monthly fees won’t rise signiﬁcantly if you need a higher level of care — which can save you money in the long run. •A portion of your entrance fee may qualify as a prepaid medical expense tax deduction. • Many communities offer a partially refundable entrance fee, which returns a large portion of that fee to you or your estate. It’s a way to protect your nest egg for your family.We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. If you have questions about the costs of our community, or would like to discuss your ﬁnancial options, please call one of our sales counselors at xxx.xxx.xxxx.Sources Harvard Joint Center for Housing StudiesFixr.comHomeAdvisor.comU.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesAdministration on Aging