When considering where to live in retirement, determining whether to stay in your home or move to a senior living community is a significant decision. For many, the cost is the most critical factors influencing the decision.
Before making a choice, examining the expenses associated with staying at home and those related to senior living is essential.
This article will examine and compare the cost of senior living with staying at home so you can make an informed choice.
Estimating the cost of senior living
Senior living communities are tailored to the unique needs of older adults. Understanding the different types of communities and what they offer can help you evaluate and make the best financial choice.
Independent living: overview and costs
Independent living communities are designed for healthy, active seniors over 55 who don’t need assistance with personal care.
These communities offer various planned social opportunities and high-end services and amenities, such as fitness centers, restaurant-style dining, pools, happy hours, and live entertainment.
Independent living communities are generally less than others because personal and medical care is unnecessary.
You can expect to pay roughly $3,000 monthly, depending on location, services, amenities, and type of living space.
Assisted living: overview and costs
Assisted living communities are designed for seniors who want to maintain independence but need assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and medication management.
Most assisted living communities offer services and amenities that include:
- A full calendar of planned activities
- Nutritious, chef-prepared meals and snacks
- 24/7 security services
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Scheduled transportation
- Fitness center
- Community amenities such as theater, sports bar, billiards room, salon, and library
The following factors will significantly determine the amount you’ll pay in an assisted living community:
- Type and size of living space
- Services and amenities offered
- Where you live
- Level of care needed
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the median monthly cost of assisted living in the U.S. is $4,500.
Making a list of wants vs. needs before visiting assisted living communities is a financially savvy way to control costs and stay within your budget.
Download our free Family Decision Toolkit!
Memory care: overview and costs
Memory care communities are designed for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Memory care communities have professional staff trained to care for and treat people with cognitive diseases. Memory care staff create customized care plans and activities that benefit memory care residents. In addition, residents can receive help with personal care and have access to various services and amenities.
The specialized training and skills required in memory care communities contribute to the higher monthly cost of $5,375.
Estimating the cost of staying at home
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that staying at home is less expensive than senior living. Even if you’re mortgage is paid, there are still other expenses to consider including:
- Property taxes
- Homeowners Insurance
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Home maintenance and repairs
- Homeowner association (HOA) fees
- Potential renovations for ramps and enhanced safety features
Expect to pay even more if you need in-home health care or someone to help with daily tasks such as housekeeping, laundry, or personal care.
Genworth’s survey estimates that a home health aid will cost approximately $5,000 per month, depending on where you live and the level of care needed.
Deciding between staying at home and senior living involves carefully evaluating the level of care needed, amenities, living space, social requirements, and, most importantly, finances.
If you’re interested in senior living in Clearwater, Florida, contact the caring senior living team at Seasons Senior Living would love to help! Download our free Family Decision Toolkit for helpful tips about choosing the senior living lifestyle.