Plan Like a Pro: Understanding the Real Cost of Senior Living

You may be surprised at how cost-effective the price of senior living can be, compared to keeping up a house. And the kind of service and amenities offered in a community setting can make the move a great investment.

Consider how several everyday expenses can be consolidated under the umbrella of independent senior living costs.

Recurring House Expenses

Many people equate a paid mortgage to cost-free living, but you know that’s not quite true. Yearly home expenses typically amount to 1% of your house’s value, plus the additional time investment and safety concerns that can come with maintenance. Most senior living communities include home maintenance, landscaping and some housekeeping and laundry services. But those benefits are just part of the cost equation.

To get a clearer picture, compare the monthly fee at a senior living next to the total monthly cost of living in your house. Include HOA fees, taxes, insurance, maintenance fees, utilities, landscaping and snow removal, and a security system. Use this worksheet to help you tally your monthly expenses.

Grocery Bills

Add up how much you spend on groceries and eating out each month. At communities like Sedgebrook, nutritious, restaurant-quality meals are included in your monthly fee. And you don’t have to do the dishes. You’ll also have the option every day to share your meals with good friends or dine in the privacy of your home.

Added Lifestyle Expenditures

Gym Membership – Do you belong to a gym or a health spa? You can expect access to a 24-hour fitness center, an aquatics center and a variety of group exercise classes included in your independent senior living costs.

Cable & Internet – A senior living community will likely provide basic cable in your apartment and access to internet—whether in your apartment or in a common area. You’ll have options to upgrade services as you need, but you’ll be well connected from the start.

Outings, Events and Local Travel – What are you spending on gas and car upkeep to get to your local grocery store or to fun events around town? Those costs could be covered if you join a senior living community. You can certainly still use your car, but you might like the ease of scheduled transportation and the transportation-included special outings that many communities offer.

Health Care Costs

This is an important factor when you’re considering the cost of senior living communities. Already one of the largest expenses in retirement, health care spending in the US is set to rise by an average of 5.5% between 2017 and 2026. According to a 2019 report from Fidelity Investments, the average couple over the age of 65 can expect to pay $285,000 for medical expenses — excluding the cost of long-term care!

You don’t want to worry about the future. So make a plan. Life Plan Communities offer a variety of contract options for higher levels of care. With some, you pay more upfront for the security of paying lower rates for future healthcare. With other types of contracts, you pay less up front, but you’ll pay market rates for future healthcare — but only for what you actually use. With any Life Plan Community or type of contract, you’ll get priority access to the care you need on-site.

The Bottom Line

Make sure you’re looking at the whole picture when you’re comparing the cost of staying home to the cost of senior living because, all together, you may save money in a Life Care Community. In addition to the wealth of life-enriching amenities and services included in your service fee, you’ll also have the support of friends, neighbors and staff. And that’s a benefit that’s truly priceless.

If you have any questions about the cost of moving into our community, the cost of senior living communities in general, or broader questions about senior living, reach out with our contact form. We’d love to help you.

Sedgebrook’s Management Company becomes J.D. Power’s most awarded brand in the history of its Senior Living Satisfaction Study

Sedgebrook’s Management Company becomes J.D. Power’s most awarded brand in the history of its Senior Living Satisfaction Study

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