There are many older adults who never consider an independent living community as an option because of the perceived expense. They assume that the costs are simply too high. Before you completely write off the possibility of moving into an independent living community, take a little time to look at the real numbers. What is it costing you now to stay home? What will it cost in the future? What is included in the price you pay for an independent living community? Answering these questions with real figures will allow you to accurately compare the costs of staying home to those of moving to an independent living community.
Current and future costs of staying at home
It can be easy to miscalculate the true cost of living in your home. Expenses like water, electricity, cable, internet and lawn care are so common that you may forget to include them as you think about what type of living arrangements you can afford as you age. Utilities, property insurance, security, and extras like cable are monthly expenses when you own a home. Future costs like home repairs and maintenance will surprise you and can be very expensive. If you are debating between staying home and moving into an independent living community, it is essential that you get an accurate understanding of the current and future costs associated with remaining in your home.
Costs included with independent living
Looking at the total number associated with moving into independent living does not always give you a clear picture of what is included in that cost. Rather, you need to look at the individual costs that are included to accurately calculate the value. You will get much more than an apartment or cottage with your monthly investment. Just few examples of the services and amenities included in the price of senior living are 24-hour security, responsive staff, utilities, emergency call systems, access to a fitness center and life enrichment programs like art classes or music therapy. When you find a community that you are interested in, you can get a customized list of the amenities included in the price.
The cost of staying home versus the cost of independent living
How does the cost of staying home compare to the cost of independent living? Is independent living more expensive than staying home? In order to answer that question you need to use real numbers in your calculations. Make a list of your current and potential expenses at home. Compare that list to the amenities and costs included in the price of the independent living community you are considering. Many older adults are surprised to discover how the costs compare once they have the numbers side-by-side. You can use our cost comparison worksheet to ensure that you do not leave out any important line items as you make the comparison.
Each independent living community will be slightly different in the amenities offered and features that are included. You can get detailed information about the specific costs and options by contacting the communities directly. The cost of independent living communities is not as high when you truly understand what you get for the price.