Value Of A Senior Living Community

What Is the Value of a Senior Living Community?

When you are ready to upgrade your living situation and join an independent living community, it is common to worry about costs. There is a misconception that active living communities are unaffordable; however, an all-inclusive senior living community can be the best choice for your overall happiness and wallet.

Many older adults feel more comfortable making this transition once they understand the value of senior living. That is to say, the decision-making process is easier once they realize all that is included in the monthly charge at a community as well as the costs of aging in place. Read on to learn more.

The Costs of Aging in Place

It is tempting to assume that aging in place, or remaining in your private residence, is more affordable than moving to a senior living community. Nevertheless, this option often involves many hidden costs.

In addition to paying a mortgage, the average homeowner spends several thousand dollars each year on regular upkeep like gutter cleaning, roof maintenance and more. Of course, this cost depends on the age, size and condition of your home.

There are also real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees and lawn upkeep to factor in. If you are renting, then your landlord is paying for repairs, but you are still paying rent, which usually increases every year. You may still be responsible for utilities, renter’s insurance and minor repairs as well.

Mobility issues can also demand home renovations. As we age, we often need to install grab bars in the bathroom or handrails in the hallway. If you rely on a wheelchair or walker, you may also have to widen doorways. Unfortunately, these modifications can get expensive very quickly. The average cost of remodeling a bathroom, for instance, is $6,500. If you have a two-story home, you may need to install a stairlift for $3,000. Just cleaning your home can be expensive, costing at least $200 per session.

There’s Value in Simplicity

Many people find that instead of tackling a long list of repairs and home renovations, it is much more cost-effective to move to a place where these changes have already been made. Senior living communities, for example, are designed with older adults in mind. As such, bathrooms are outfitted with grab bars, doorways can accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, and there are no stairs. Plus, there are many benefits to decluttering and living small — the main one being less stress.

With convenience in mind, senior living communities provide a robust lineup of amenities and services like on-site dining, transportation and housekeeping. This frees up time that you would normally spend cooking, cleaning and driving. Imagine not having to dedicate hours to grocery shopping or washing laundry. Instead, you are free to meet with friends, pursue hobbies or explore new interests.

There’s Value in Community

A recent study found that 40% of seniors feel lonely, and with good reason. Many older adults live by themselves, waiting days if not weeks for visitors or traveling long distances to meet with friends or family. A senior living community helps by providing a wealth of social opportunities under one roof. With a calendar full of activities, you can join friends for afternoon tea, grab a movie with a neighbor or read in the courtyard.

It is impossible to quantify the value of living in a group setting. Living just steps away from other like-minded adults allows you to develop strong bonds. But senior living communities also encourage residents to nurture old friendships too. Residents can always invite family members to visit and attend community festivities.

Doing the Math

Aging in place is not inexpensive. As a homeowner, you are not only expected to pay your mortgage and homeowner’s insurance, but you are also responsible for home upkeep and repairs. Plus, as your physical and mental needs change, you may have to outsource tasks like:

  • Landscaping and lawn care
  • Housekeeping and linen services
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Meal prep or delivery

However, when you live in an all-inclusive community, you simplify your lifestyle. Everything you need will be included in one monthly charge. You will also be granted access to services and amenities such as:

  • All-day dining
  • Housekeeping
  • Lawn care
  • Beauty salon/barbershop
  • Fitness center
  • Wellness programs
  • Entertainment options, such as a movie theater or performing arts center
  • Other social activities

After comparing the cost of senior living versus aging in place, you may find that staying in your current home is significantly more expensive than living in a community of your peers. Plus, there are many avenues to help pay for a senior living community. Some examples include:

  • Life Insurance: many policies allow you to pull money out of your plan to support the costs of senior living. You may also be able to convert your policy into a long-term care payment plan.
  • Veteran Benefits Administration: if you are a veteran, you may qualify for financial aid in assisted living
  • Sell Your Home: if you own a home, now may be the best time to sell and profit off of the equity. Selling your home gives you a lump sum you can use for the next chapter of your life.
  • Rent Your Home: this is a great option for older adults who are looking to downsize. By renting out the space, you could make thousands of dollars of passive income each month.

In Summary

There are many advantages to senior living. These communities provide residents with financial freedom, social engagement, peace of mind and more. The value these communities deliver is both qualitative and quantitative. Meaning, they make sense for your finances and your overall well-being.