Comparing retirement communities and considering whether or not they are a good option when compared to living at home, is a big decision. One of the first questions people want to know is “How much does it cost?”
No matter where you live, there are costs involved. At home, you may have a mortgage, yearly taxes, utility costs, and then of course, maintenance, ranging from keeping all your appliances working to taking care of the outside of your home. When you move to a retirement community, many of these costs are included in a monthly fee.
Some Life Plan Communities, provide for your long term healthcare needs as part of the contract. Part of your monthly fee covers the costs of healthcare and your long term care, which makes a portion of each month’s fee tax deductible for many people. That’s something important to note and to compare when comparing fees between retirement living communities.
Understanding the differences
In many fee-for-service retirement communities, there are attractive monthly fees when you move in, but costs can escalate and can even double from the initial monthly amount as you require more care over time. If you and your family haven’t budgeted for this cost, there could be problems as care needs expand. What seemed like an affordable option can quickly deplete your assets.
With some (not all) Life Plan Communities that offer a traditional Life Care Contract, your care is already factored into your monthly fee. While fees do increase by a small percentage to keep up with rising salary, utility, and food costs, you will never have to pay additional fees above your monthly fee for higher levels of care. That means when you may need to move to the assisted living/personal care or skilled nursing areas, there are no additional fees. You pay your current monthly fee only. With rates for skilled nursing care beds running at $13,000 per month per person or more, you can easily see how a traditional Life Care Contract provides you peace of mind and protects you from unexpected costs if you have health concerns.
Submitted by SCCCC Member: