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Comparing Costs. Affording a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

You’re retired and ready to spend more time doing things that bring you joy instead home maintenance, yard work and the never-ending cooking and cleaning.

Although a CCRC (i.e. life-plan community) would give you these opportunities and more, can you afford it? There’s one way to find out; compare a community’s monthly costs against your expenses living at home. A life-plan community may be more within reach than you think.

The Real Cost Comparison

Most people assume a life-plan community costs more than living at home. That could be the case if you’re only comparing the community’s monthly cost against a monthly mortgage.

However, your mortgage is not your only monthly expense. There’s food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes and entertainment. It’s crucial to add these into your comparison because they’re already included in the community’s monthly cost.

Use the following worksheet to help you compare.

Monthly Expenses  Home Expenses  Senior Living Costs 
Mortgage    N/A 
Property tax and insurance    Included 
Home maintenance and repairs    Included 
Lawn care and yard maintenance    Included 
Housekeeping    May be included 
Apartment utilities (i.e. electricity, gas, water, trash removal, etc.)    Included 
24-hour security    Included 
Transportation (i.e. insurance, gas, registration, repairs)    Included 
Dining    Included 
Social and entertainment    Included 
Exercise and wellness    Included 
24-hour emergency alert system    Included 
Total monthly expenses     

The Value of a CCRC (i.e. life-plan community)

Even if your comparison shows a life-plan community may cost more, the positive impact on your quality of life is a value that often can’t be matched at home.

Consider the following benefits:

  • A maintenance-free lifestyle filled with amenities – maintenance, transportation and security services as well as multiple dining venues, concierge services, pool, library, dog park and walking trails
  • A focus on wellbeing – fitness centers; classrooms for yoga, tai chi and other wellness classes; tennis courts; croquet courts; salon and spa; and nutritious menu items using fresh, locally-grown ingredients
  • A means to stay connected and fulfilled – social activities, trips, classes, clubs and opportunities to serve, teach or share your experiences with others

If you’re only considering a community’s monthly fee against your mortgage, you’re not getting the full picture that will lead to making an informed decision. You need to consider both tangible costs and intangible benefits.