Some older adults may hold off on moving to a senior living community because of the impression that this type of retirement lifestyle is expensive. However, looking at all the factors and benefits of senior living, you may be surprised at just how affordable it is. In fact, you may find that it costs the same – if not less! – than what you’re currently paying to live in your own private home.
We’ve put together a guide to help compare the costs of independent senior living and the tangible and intangible benefits residents enjoy. This is meant to help give you an overview of how this lifestyle can benefit you or a loved one financially, emotionally and socially.
Types of independent living
Independent living communities are known by a variety of names and come in a variety of styles, and they offer different benefits, services and amenities. They are all communities that have been designed specifically for older adults and have a minimum age requirement. They’re an excellent solution for older adults (ages 65 and up) who want fewer responsibilities and more time to live the lifestyle they want.
- Retirement communities or retirement homes are housing communities designed for older adults who meet a minimum age requirement. Some stand-alone communities allow adults as young as 55, while more comprehensive communities often require a resident to be 62 or older. These types of communities still offer services and amenities but allow for a more private lifestyle. Most will offer the option to purchase or rent a home, while paying for an additional monthly fee.
- Life Plan Communities, also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), offer independent senior living alongside a full continuum of care, including assisted living, memory care, post-acute care (rehabilitation), and long-term care (skilled nursing). Independent senior living residents who eventually require higher levels of care can quickly get the care they need without moving off campus. They usually require a high entrance fee.
Charles E. Smith Life Communities offers the benefits of all-inclusive independent living with the flexibility of being a rental community with a low community fee – one of the lowest in the surrounding area. We also provide the benefit of higher levels of care services on campus without requiring our residents to pay a large upfront entrance fee or make a long-term commitment. It’s the best of both worlds.
Community fees vs. entrance fees for independent living
As mentioned above, Life Plan Communities require a one-time entrance fee that can be significant. Entrance fees are considered an upfront cost as a surety against future care. These types of entrance fees can also be partially or almost fully refundable, protecting a resident’s assets while hedging against inflating healthcare costs.
At Charles E. Smith Life Communities, independent living residents at Ring House pay a one-time community fee (not an entrance fee) of only $5,500, which makes independent living in our community both affordable and enjoyable. This is a one-time, non-refundable fee paid to cover the costs of preparing and upkeep of the apartment for rent.
Monthly independent living costs
Just like entrance fees, monthly fees at an independent living community can vary greatly depending on what’s included in that fee. For example, a one-bedroom apartment with minimal services and amenities will cost less than a three-bedroom, stand-alone home in a full-service Life Plan Community.
On average, independent living nationwide costs about $4,500 per month. The average monthly cost of independent senior living is 30 percent to 50 percent less than assisted living costs, making it the most affordable option available.
The monthly fee for Ring House residents includes a variety of amenities and services, such as:
- A private apartment with a luxury kitchen and beautifully appointed bathroom (several floor plans available)
- Kosher breakfast and dinner
- State-of-the-art personal emergency response system
- 24-hour concierge
- 24/7 security and maintenance
- Weekly housekeeping services
- A robust calendar of events filled with life enrichment and leisure programs
- Scheduled transportation to shopping and cultural events
- Fitness center
Extra costs of independent living
While your independent living monthly fee covers many different benefits to help you live your best possible life, the fee isn’t always comprehensive. Depending on the contract you sign, you may incur additional costs as a senior living resident. Here are some of the most common:
- Personal services, such as laundry, hairdressers, meal delivery, dry cleaning and medical expenses
- Pet care includes a pet deposit and potentially an extra monthly fee
- A second-person fee, which means it can cost extra to have a spouse, partner or friend live with you long term
- Parking spots if you choose to bring a personal vehicle with you
- Additional meals or specific meal plans (some communities only include one or two meals per day in an independent living monthly fee)
- Certain utilities, such as phone service and anything beyond basic cable
Of course, you can’t put a price tag on the social and emotional benefits of independent living. Residents thrive in an older-adult-focused environment with an emphasis on healthy aging and overall wellness. Being surrounded by other individuals in the same life stage presents many opportunities to make new friends and enjoy new experiences.
Ring House at Charles E. Smith Life Communities is an excellent option for older adults considering the benefits of independent living. It’s an affordable option for individuals who want to customize their senior living experience with add-on benefits in our community, such as meals and activities, so they are truly free to shape their golden years.
Learn more about independent living costs and benefits at Ring House.
For more information on the value of living at Ring House at Charles E. Smith Life Communities, we invite you to join one of our CESLC Insider Events. Click here to view all upcoming events and to RSVP – or contact us today to request our cost of living calculator to help you calculate the value of independent living for your lifestyle.
Charles E. Smith Life Communities’ network of residences has been caring for older adults since 1910. We offer independent living and a full suite of care services, including assisted living, memory care, post-acute care and long-term care. To learn more about our residences, call our sales team at 301-304-4810.