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Life Enriching Communities Blog

What Every Senior Needs to Know About Investing in a CCRC

Posted by Twin Lakes on November 16, 2017

Senior couple looking at a tabletMaking a move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) sometimes called a Life Plan Community, is an investment in your future. It is not purchasing a home for your retirement.

The main reason people move into a CCRC is to gain access to the continuum of care: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and any other health care services the community offers. Choosing a community that provides the care they may someday need provides them a sense of security that cannot be found in their family home.

Most seniors move while they are independent and active. They see it as an investment and want to take advantage of using as many of the amenities and services for as long as possible. They also want to free themselves of the upkeep and maintenance of a home, giving them more time to do the things they want to do.

CCRC Costs and Contracts

More variations in CCRC contracts have developed in recent years, just as more CCRCs have popped up across the country. Common among most of these contract types are Entrance Fees and monthly fees.

  • An entrance fee is a deposit that  is often compared to a membership fee which offers you access to the continuum of care in the community.
  • A monthly fee covers the community services, amenities and conveniences gained from the moment you move in.

As you tour CCRCs, get a complete list of all services and amenities included and not included in the monthly fee. Ask about the entrance fee, any administrative fees, health assessments and/or any other community fees that are required upon signing or reserving a home.

How Do Most People Pay for a CCRC?

Many residents fund the move through the sale of their home, retirement accounts and investments.

Most CCRCs require a resident to be in good health when moving into the community. Some may even require that residents be able to live independently when first moving in, and they may have minimum and maximum ages for new residents.

Of course, applicants are required to show they have the means to meet the fees and monthly costs. You may even be placed on a waiting list if the community is in demand.

Are CCRCs Worth It?

CCRCs vary in price and contracts, making it difficult to compare apples to apples when it comes to costs.

What you can focus on is determining: Does this fit into my budget? Does it offer services and amenities I will use? Is it a sound investment in my future?

The best way to determine costs is to compare your current cost of living to each CCRC. Use our free Cost of Living Comparison Worksheet to estimate the long term costs of maintaining your home and lifestyle versus the inclusive benefits of living in a community.

Narrowing Down Your Senior Living Options

Whether a Continuing Care Retirement Community or other senior living option, the key is to find what fits you and your needs. Narrow down what you are looking for by starting with these questions:

  • Do I want to continue maintaining my current home?
  • Am I looking to downsize?
  • Do I still want my independence through a smaller home? An apartment? A condominium?
  • Would I like more opportunities for socialization, new activities and new experiences?
  • Do I need care assistance or does my spouse?
  • Do I want to live with family?
  • Do I want assurance that care is there, if I would need it?
  • Am I looking to have future care lined up?

The best to time to make an investment and move into retirement living is when you are independent, active and have many years ahead to enjoy the services and community lifestyle. 

Begin touring early so you can prepare and even reserve the home you want. While touring CCRCs, plan ample time to walk the homes and grounds, talk with residents and get your questions answered by staff. Take along this retirement community checklist to help uncover if a CCRC is the best financial and lifestyle choice for you in retirement.

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community focused on delivering exceptional, everyday experiences to seniors. If you would like a tour contact us here or feel free to call us at (513) 247-1300.cost comparison worksheet

Topics: Finance and Planning

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