As you think about your retirement future, or if you are helping a loved one make a decision, you need a clear idea of what expenses will be involved when moving to senior living. At St. Mark Village, we want to be of help, so we have put together some tips on what to expect as you plan this next chapter.
Moving to senior living: fees, types of communities, and more
• Think about the type of community you are considering.
Some communities require an entrance fee (which can be substantial) and a monthly service fee. Usually some or all of this fee is refunded to you or your estate, depending upon the type of contract you have with the community
Some communities are rental only, and you’ll probably pay an admission or community fee that covers move-in and preparation of your new residence. You will also pay a monthly fee which covers rent as well as services and common amenities that are designed to make life carefree and fulfilling. As you explore your options for moving to senior living, be sure to find out in advance which services require an extra fee.
• Ask about rent increases.
As you might expect, the expenses that a senior living community covers can rise each year. This may result in an increase in monthly rent. As part of your research on the cost of moving to senior living, ask how often a rent increase typically occurs, as well as the average amount of the increase. Also be sure to learn how families are notified of such increases.
• Consider the value of a continuum of care.
A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), life plan community, or life care community such as St. Mark Village offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. This arrangement allows residents to access a higher level of care and stay close to their support system when a change is needed.
In addition, at St. Mark Village, you have the Life Care Promise—if you come into our community through Independent Living, you will receive the care you need for as long as you need it, even if your financial situation should change. This gives you and your family a plan that offers seamless access to future care options, something both you and your family can appreciate, as well as financial security. It is definitely an option you should consider as you do your research on the costs of moving to senior living.
Download our free guide, Choosing the Right Senior Living Community.
• Find out about tax implications.
Before making your decision, it’s a good idea to consult with your accountant, financial advisor or elder law attorney to determine what expenses might offer you tax advantages.
For residents of St. Mark Village, the IRS recognizes a percentage of both the admission fee and the monthly service fee as a pre-paid medical expense deduction. Each year residents are provided with a letter outlining the calculated percentages allowable for deductions. Further explanation and assistance is provided by our knowledgeable finance team.
• Don’t forget the actual move itself.
Decide if you want to use professional movers. If so, get a few quotes for comparison. Start thinking about downsizing so you are moving less (remember you are starting over fresh; consider the value of living lighter!) Remember, movers tend to price by weight, so plan that estate sale early. The season in which you move also affects the price—winter moves, especially during the holidays—tend to be less expensive.
If you are moving a loved one into assisted living or memory care, you will only be moving a few things, so you might be able to enlist volunteers and do it yourself. If so, be sure to include the cost of pizza afterwards!
Remember the value of moving to senior living.
As you consider expenses, keep in mind the enormous benefits that the right senior living community can offer you or a loved one: lifelong wellness, peace of mind, companionship and entertainment, freedom from worries, and so much more. At St. Mark Village, we invite you to start living the good life today!