“It is SO much more expensive to live in a community than here in my own home. My home is paid for and I do not really have many bills here. It does not make sense to pay those monthly fees.”
This is the perception of most seniors as they begin looking at options for their future. At first glance, this makes sense. Comparing your living options side by side, though, will reveal cost differences between them.
Take into consideration what some of your monthly budgets may include:
- Real estate taxes
- Basic cable and/or internet services
In community living, these items are included. Let’s dig a little deeper into what else to consider.
Figuring in the Unexpected
As our lives change, it becomes challenging to manage all that comes with maintaining a house. We most often begin to call on professionals and family members to help with maintenance and upkeep issues.
“Oh, my, now I have to replace the hot water heater!” Or, “Oh, no, the roof is leaking!” And, “I guess it’s time to repair the driveway.” These unexpected situations are expensive and are often overlooked when comparing living options. In a community setting, the cost of maintaining your home is no longer an issue because the staff is there to handle upkeep for you.
The extra costs at home, along with the normal day to day costs, can add up significantly. But, when you factor in the amenities and lifestyle opportunities that are included in a community setting, the cost differential between staying in your home and community living dramatically decreases.
Counting the Intangibles
As someone said about community living, “We didn’t change how we live, just where we live.” It’s so true. Community living offers amenities such as:
- Transportation services to medical and personal appointments
- Wellness classes
- Lifelong learning classes
- Volunteer opportunities
- Social and cultural events
- Security system
These are all things you would need to pay for if you were living in your home. But, many if not all, are included within a community living environment. Most importantly, a community offers a life full of connection, belonging and independence. This is truly “priceless”!
My encouragement is to research available options by visiting different communities and obtaining full details. This is the only way to understand more clearly the benefits/limitations of options should your health status change.
Finally, armed with this knowledge, you can implement a plan that will meet your emotional needs and provide a sound financial plan as well. And, you will be in control of this decision-making process instead of shifting this responsibility to your loved ones.
Still have questions? Let’s talk!