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Independent Living Costs & Value

Personal and family budget planning

While most people look forward to retiring, many of them worry about where they’ll live later in life. Some will opt to stay in the homes they’ve enjoyed for years, but others will need to explore other living options.

Today, seniors everywhere are evaluating the advantages of moving to a retirement community.

However, the costs involved worry a lot of retired people.

Understanding Some Definitions

Because there are dramatic differences between retirement communities, assisted living communities, and nursing homes, understanding their differences helps to establish which type of living arrangement is needed and what the costs involved are.

In most cases, potential residents are quite concerned about the cost of assisted living. Potential residents rarely have unlimited assets and need to ensure they can afford the community they choose.

Retirement communities focus on residents who are able to live independently and don’t require significant medical care. Most of these communities offer a variety of living arrangements, often including everything from small studio apartments to single-family homes.

Since each community is different, take the time to evaluate the available options to ensure they meet your needs and budget.

Assisted living communities typically provide a range of services older individuals may require.

That might include memory care and nursing home care as a resident’s needs evolve. Because of the extensive services provided in these settings, the monthly expenses will be higher than those routinely seen in retirement communities.

Factors that Impact Monthly Costs

Some communities brag about flat rates for all residents, but that’s not always a good thing. Since community members generally require different types and levels of service, those services may be limited or everyone pays for a maximum level of service.

Below are a few factors that contribute to the monthly costs of retirement communities.

  • Personal Needs. Residents who require assistance with daily needs like bathing and dressing will usually face higher fees than those who are totally independent.
  • Medical Care. Anyone needing routine medical care and ongoing health assessments will pay more than healthy residents.
  • Administering Medications. Anytime a resident requires the administration of medications, their monthly costs will go up.
  • Housekeeping and Meals. Independent residents who take care of their own housekeeping and meal needs will pay less than those who require housekeeping and meal services.

Top communities provide customized options designed to meet the needs of individual residents.

That keeps costs as low as possible while still ensuring residents receive the level of care they need. If you or a loved one will be exploring retirement living options, take the time to discuss the various options with community representatives prior to making any decisions.

In Ohio, seeing monthly costs between $3,000 at the low end of the scale to $10,000 per month should be expected. The expenses will vary with the level of services required, the type and style of living quarters, and the amenities provided for residents.

Evaluate Your Options Carefully

When considering different retirement living arrangements, evaluate what you’re getting for your money. For example, even seemingly similar communities might not be as similar as they seem. Does the community have medical professionals available?

What amenities are included in the monthly fees?

Is the community conveniently located or will residents need to travel to shopping and entertainment venues? Every factor should be considered when deciding where to live, so do your due diligence when making life-altering decisions.

Remember, while the costs involved are always important, what you get for your money should also be considered.