Does moving to independent senior living make sense for you from a financial point of view? You may assume that life in an independent living community costs more than your current expenses living in your home. Or maybe you haven’t given it much thought. Either way, you’ll want to make a fair comparison between the two to help you make an informed decision.
Let’s compare the costs of living where you are now with an independent living community.
Why independent living?
One of the appeals of the independent living lifestyle is that you no longer have to look after your property and take care of the many maintenance requirements, both recurring and unexpected. In an independent living community, you can spend more of your time on things that are enjoyable and/or meaningful for you.
Handing over the responsibility for property maintenance to someone else can have big financial benefits.
As you get older, you’ll likely need to make modifications to your home. To improve safety in the bathroom – a high-risk area for falls as we age – you’ll need to consider changes that could range from installing grab bars to installing a walk-in shower. If getting up and down stairs becomes an issue, other modifications may be necessary such as moving your washer and dryer to the main level, installing a ramp to your front entrance, or even installing a stair lift. Renovations may set you back tens of thousands of dollars.
Independent living communities are designed to be very senior-friendly. Safety features are baked in. Your living space is on a single level. Moving to an independent living community can help you avoid spending many thousands of dollars on renovations to your current home.
Download our free e-book, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Independent Living.
General property maintenance
The same is true for standard property-related expenses you’ll likely incur if you remain in your current home. That includes expenses like furnace / air conditioner replacement (about $10,000), roof replacement (about $20,000), window replacement (about $11,000), and lawn care (about $25,000 over 10 years). We shouldn’t fail to mention the periodic replacement of major appliances like water heaters, washers and dryers, and dishwashers, each of which can set you back at least a thousand dollars, most likely much more.
In independent living, you don’t have to worry about big property-related expenses like these that can put a significant strain on your cashflow. They’re covered in your monthly fees.
Other expenses associated with staying in your current home include utilities, property taxes, homeowner association fees, and insurance. Remember that these are also usually covered in your monthly fees when you move to independent living.
Also consider the amount that you currently spend on groceries or take-out food in your current home, particularly if you compare it to the cost of an independent living community that offers restaurant-style dining with one to three chef-prepared meals a day.
When all is said and done, independent living can be financially comparable to living in your current home. The main difference for many people who move to independent living is that they can more easily live the life they want there.
For more details about how the costs of independent living and living in your current home compare, check out our free e-book, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Independent Living.