In the first part of our series on continuing care retirement communities, we talked about how to find the right community for you, and what you can expect once you arrive. In this part, we’ll discuss the costs of joining and living in such a community, and how you may be able to finance your stay.
Gaining access to a secure, comfortable community can be expensive. For that reason, many CCRC’s do require that you disclose your assets and income to ensure that you will be provided for throughout your retirement years. On the upside, once you sign your care agreement, you can rest assured that your care fees will remain predictable over time, even if you move from independent to assisted living on the same campus.
Entrance Fees & Monthly Fees
The entrance fee at a CCRC is a one-time fee which a resident pays up front to live in a home on campus and take advantage of the community’s services. Many residents will sell their homes right before they move to a CCRC and will use a portion of those funds to pay for their entrance fee. This is a great way to downsize on upkeep and regular maintenance of a home, as a CCRC will manage all of the maintenance of your new residence and the grounds. Once this is paid, you will have guaranteed a spot in the community’s independent, assisted living, and nursing home facilities whenever you need them.
Depending on the types of services you require, you will also pay a monthly fee which bundles up your housing, transportation, utilities, and maintenance fees. It could also include housekeeping and meals. While entrance fees can vary widely depending on your location, the monthly fees for living in the community typically range from $2,000 to $5,000 per month.
As noted, many seniors will pay initial fees out of the sale of their homes. If you have an insurance policy which has matured, it may make financial sense to cash this out and use it for your care, depending on your other policies and your comfort level. Many seniors pay for their monthly fees using a mix of social security and investment or retirement funds. Alternatively, if you enter the community in an independent living home, it may be worthwhile to seek out a long-term care insurance policy, which can be tapped for monthly fees if you ever need to make the transition to assisted living or nursing home care on the same campus.
Medicare and Medicaid may also pay for some skilled nursing care and medical costs for eligible residents of certain communities, but this should be considered supplemental income and not expected to cover the full cost of monthly fees.
Another way to reduce your overall costs is to take a look at itemizing deductions on your taxes. Certain healthcare expenses can be deducted, which may include your entrance fees and monthly fees. Talk to a tax professional about your specific situation.