Text Resize
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Monday April 22, 2024

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Choosing a Retirement Community

Can you help me find retirement communities that offer a range of housing options and care services, from independent living to nursing home care? I plan to downsize from my current home, and I want my next move to be my last.

If you want your next move to be your last, an all-inclusive retirement community – also known as a continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) – is a great option to consider. Here is what you should know and some tips to consider.

What are CCRCs? CCRCs are distinct from other types of senior accommodations because they provide a comprehensive range of housing, services and care options available in one convenient location. While the appearance and services of CCRCs can vary greatly, most provide apartments or sometimes single-family homes for active independent seniors.

CCRC Features: CCRCs offer onsite assisted living for seniors who require help with daily living tasks like bathing, dressing or going to the bathroom as well as nursing home care for residents when their health declines. CCRCs also provide a variety of resort-style amenities and services that include community dining halls, exercise facilities, housekeeping and transportation as well as social and recreational activities.

CCRC Costs: The national average entrance fee for CCRCs is approximately $320,000, but these fees can range from less than $100,000 to more than $1 million. In addition to the entrance fee, there are ongoing monthly fees that generally range from $2,000 to $5,000 for singles ($3,000 to $6,000 for couples) depending on the facility, services and the contract options chosen.

With more than 2,000 CCRCs in operation throughout the U.S, finding a facility that fits your lifestyle, needs and budget will require some legwork. Here are some steps that can help you proceed:

Make a list: To find CCRCs, various websites maintain databases that will match you to a community based on your preferences. Once you have located a few, contact each community to inquire about vacancies, pricing and the availability of services wanted.

Take a tour: Many CCRCs encourage potential residents to stay overnight and have a few meals in their dining hall. During your visit, notice the upkeep of the facility and talk to the current residents to see how they like living there. Also, take a tour of the assisted living and nursing facilities and learn how decisions are made to move residents from one level of care to another.

Do some research: While on your tour, find out who owns the CCRC and review a copy of their most recently audited financial statement. Another important statistic is their occupancy rate. Unless it is a newer community, occupancy below 80% can be a concern that the facility is having financial or management problems.

To investigate the CCRC’s long-term care services, contact your state long-term care ombudsman to inquire if the assisted living or skilled nursing care has a history of complaints or problems. You can also research quality of care on Medicare’s nursing home search tool at Medicare.gov/care-compare.

Understand the contract and fees: CCRCs generally offer three types of contracts. Life-care contracts, or Type A, have the highest entry fee but cover all levels of long-term care as needed. Modified contracts, or Type B, have lower entry fees but limit long-term care services. Fee-for-service contracts, or Type C, offer the lowest entrance fees but require you to pay extra for long-term care if you need it.

Before signing a contract, you should understand how annual price increases will occur. Other important topics to review are how much of your entry fee is refundable if you move or die and what happens if you outlive your financial resources. To help you sort through these issues, consult with your financial advisor or lawyer before signing any documents.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published April 19, 2024
Print
Email
Subsribe to RSS Feed

Previous Articles

Health Travel Tips for Travelers

Best Cell Phones for Seniors

Updating Medicare and Social Security When You Move

Who Should Be Screened for Lung Cancer?

Burial Benefits for Veterans

scriptsknown
  • Bequests
    Bequests
    Joe and Anna have been faithful supporters of our organization. They believe it is important to help further our mission.
    More
  • Using a Beneficiary Designation to Make a Gift to Charity
    Using a Beneficiary Designation to Make a Gift to Charity
    Joanne and her late husband Hal had been longtime supporters of our organization. Recently, Joanne's children encouraged...
    More
  • Fixed Income for Retirement
    Fixed Income for Retirement
    After working for decades as a pediatrician in a small town, Patricia is ready to retire.
    More
  • Tax-Free Sale
    Tax-Free Sale
    Howard and Lynn were both age 55 when they purchased some vacant land a few miles outside of town. They thought real estate would be a good investment that could be sold later for a profit.
    More
  • Capital Gains Tax Bypassed
    Capital Gains Tax Bypassed
    Peter and Gail were nearing retirement. Over the years, with the help of their financial advisor, they made solid investments in securities and built a sizable portfolio.
    More
  • Peace of Mind Gift Annuity
    Peace of Mind Gift Annuity
    Many years ago, Clara bought a home. Since she was very pleased with her home, she bought stock in the company that built the home.
    More
  • Endowment Gift
    Endowment Gift
    Pat and Shelly were recently married. They both had been dedicated volunteers at their favorite charity for many years.
    More
  • Sale and Unitrust
    Sale and Unitrust
    Gene and Carol purchased stock in a small medical service company several years ago. The company has done well.
    More
  • The Retirement Unitrust
    The Retirement Unitrust
    Mary grew up on a farm. When her parents passed away, she and her husband Bill inherited the farm.
    More
  • Property Turns Into Income
    Property Turns Into Income
    Miranda lived in the family home where she and her spouse had raised their three children. After her spouse passed away, Miranda found it increasingly difficult to care for her property.
    More
  • Flexible Deferred Gift Annuity
    Flexible Deferred Gift Annuity
    Luis is a 54-year-old executive at a large healthcare company. He purchased company stock during years when the stock price was low, and now the stock has grown substantially in value.
    More
  • Part Gift and Part Sale
    Part Gift and Part Sale
    Susan and Kevin bought a vacant lot along Lake Michigan many years ago. They had planned to build a second home so that their family could spend their summers along the lake.
    More
  • Current Gifts
    Current Gifts
    As is the case with many families, there are times each year when Jim and Sharon focus their attention on gift giving.
    More
  • Gift of a Bank Account When No Longer Needed (POD)
    Gift of a Bank Account When No Longer Needed (POD)
    Keith has been a faithful supporter of The Marfan Foundation and makes regular gifts to support our work.
    More
  • Transferable on Death (TOD) Gifts
    Transferable on Death (TOD) Gifts
    Harold and Jeanne married after meeting at an event The Marfan Foundation held for our donors. They wanted to leave a legacy gift...
    More
  • A Bequest to Further Good Work
    A Bequest to Further Good Work
    Nancy and David were dedicated volunteers. Over the years, they had seen many individuals helped by the good work of their favorite charity.
    More
  • Deferred Gift Annuity
    Deferred Gift Annuity
    Several years ago, Larry and Allison invested $30,000 in what they believed to be an attractive stock.
    More
  • What Will You Do with Your Unspent Retirement Savings?
    What Will You Do with Your Unspent Retirement Savings?
    Michael and Kelly were retired engineers with two adult children. They owned a home, some stocks, and IRAs.
    More
  • Gift Annuity for Real Estate
    Gift Annuity for Real Estate
    Jonathan purchased his home many years ago for $80,000. The home is now worth $420,000. Jonathan wants to sell his home and buy a condo for $130,000.
    More
  • A Bequest to Save Taxes
    A Bequest to Save Taxes
    Thomas was a widower who had a great love for our organization. As an individual who had directly benefited from our work, Thomas wanted to thank us with a gift from his estate.
    More
  • Leading for the Future
    Leading for the Future
    Luke and Cynthia spent many years volunteering and supporting their favorite charity. They wanted to give back in a way that would help fulfill its mission.
    More
  • Give it Twice Trust
    Give it Twice Trust
    While visiting her favorite charity's website, June came across the idea of a give it twice trust. She contacted the charity for more information.
    More
  • Providing for Our Children's Future
    Providing for Our Children's Future
    Ron and Kathy worked for many years building their nest egg for retirement.
    More
  • Bequest of Insurance
    Bequest of Insurance
    Marla and Wayne purchased a life insurance policy many years ago to create security for their children's future.
    More
  • Testamentary Charitable Remainder Unitrust: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
    Testamentary Charitable Remainder Unitrust: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
    We have all heard the saying "You can't have your cake and eat it too." This phrase describes a situation where we want two good things at the same time when that isn't possible.
    More