How Much Do Retirement Communities Cost?

Whether you’re getting ready to retire yourself or you’re researching for your parents, the cost of retirement communities is probably one of the first things you’ve thought of. There are a number of things to consider and there’s no one right answer to the question ‘how much do retirement communities cost?’ Here are some of the different housing types and a rough estimate of what it might cost to live in one.

A Senior Active Living Community

A senior active living community is usually the least expensive type of community. Here, seniors can live together in apartments, attached houses or single family detached homes. These neighborhoods usually have a number of on-site amenities, such as fitness centers, golf courses, restaurants, tennis courts, arts and crafts centers, nature preserves and even spas. The price can vary according to the type of amenities, the location and whether residents are expected to rent or purchase a home, condo or apartment. However, it’s possible to buy a home for under $70,000 in some areas, which can mean a monthly mortgage payment is truly affordable even for retirees on a budget. Some also have an entrance fee and these average around $1000. This fee can vary based on the location and is typically non-refundable.

A Continuing Care Retirement Community

A continuing care retirement community, also known as a CCRC, offers many of the same amenities, but it also provides three different levels of care: independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. Residents can choose to live independently, but have the added comfort of knowing that a nursing staff is there to help if necessary. A CCRC may have an expensive one-time entrance fee that can range from $100,000 up to $1 million. Additionally a CCRC may have a monthly fee from $3000-$5000. The fee can vary based on the type of care that is provided — for instance, someone who lives in the independent living section may have a lower cost than someone who lives in the skilled nursing section.

Senior Apartments

Senior apartments are different than an active living community. These apartments are usually smaller than the condos or houses in an active living neighborhood and they typically don’t offer quite as many amenities. While most of the apartments have full kitchens in each unit, it’s possible to find a building that offers a dining room, library, laundry services and more right in the building. Many of these are also fitted to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and other things that will help residents stay mobile. Some of these apartments may be subsidized according to a resident’s income, which can help residents on a budget.

Other Things That Can Affect The Cost Of Retirement Communities

Because the cost of retirement communities can vary wildly according to location, amenities and other variations, these numbers are only a rough estimate. To answer the question, ‘how much do retirement communities cost?’ it’s important to compare like communities so you’re getting an apples to apples comparison.

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