Understanding the Expenses Related to Moving to Senior Living

Jul 21, 2022
moving to senior living

Moving to senior living is a great way to shed all of the responsibilities of owning a home and free up more time for just enjoying life. But like any move, moving to senior living has costs both upfront and ongoing. When considering moving to senior living keep in mind the following potential costs.

Cost of housing – One of the biggest cost-related aspects of moving to senior living is the size of the new home. Most senior living communities offer a range that can include stand-alone homes, condominiums, and studio, or one- or two-bedroom apartments. In general, the costs of each are defined by the square footage and there may also be a fee for a second person living in the home. Be sure to find out what the choices are, and how much each cost before moving to senior living. For good examples check out what the housing options are at Ganton’s Countryside.

Entrance fees – Before moving to senior living be sure to ask about entrance fees. Also known as endowment fees or move-in fees, entrance fees are usually assessed at move-in and may be small but can also range into the thousands of dollars, even up to $1,000,000 in continuing care communities (aka (life plan communities) where the resident is essentially paying upfront for the care they may need in the future. These fees may or may not be refundable so it’s a good idea to consult with a financial advisor in advance. To help seniors make informed decisions about whether to choose a CCRC or not, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities has prepared the “Consumer Guide to Understanding Financial Performance and Reporting in Continuing Care Retirement Communities.”

Meal plans – Since senior living communities now offer excellent dining choices it’s important to learn the costs involved, if any. In many cases, the cost of meals is included in the monthly fee and generally provides three meals each day. In some independent living communities, the plan includes two meals with an extra fee for a third meal. Before moving to senior living, it is also a good idea to find out if other dining choices are available, such as bistros or cafes, and whether or not there are ala carte costs associated with them.

Level of care – Moving to senior living also means choosing the right level of care needed to stay safe and healthy, and the more care is needed the more it will cost. Many senior living communities offer independent living with no care, assisted living with daily assistance and memory care with 24/7 assistance in a very secure environment. CCRCs offer all those as well as skilled nursing and long-term care where residents can also receive medical care. Of course, the costs of care are also different in different places so it may be worth considering other locations before moving to senior living. For a representative look at how the costs of assisted living stack up in Michigan, read our blog “Michigan Assisted Living: Cost Breakdown, Factors & Analysis.”

Costs of amenities – Many seniors look forward to moving to senior living for all the amenities that are offered on-site. Amenities like exercise centers and classes, arts and crafts, movies and communal spaces like libraries, pools, and movie theaters are usually included in the monthly cost. However, others like on-site hair salons and barber shops, grocery services and off-site trips often have a fee attached. Some communities also charge extra for transportation services while others include it in the package.  Before moving to senior living, find out what to expect from top-tier communities in our blog, “Top Qualities of the Best Retirement Communities in Michigan.”

Moving costs – When tallying the costs of moving to senior living don’t forget the costs of actually moving. Moving locally can be easy and costs can be curbed by getting family help and renting a truck for a day. Moving longer distances will be more costly and require estimates and research. The amount you move and the time it will take to load and unload also impact the cost when hiring a mover, but the move.org article, “The Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of 2022,” can help compare movers and overall costs.

Ganton’s Countryside offers a range of luxury lifestyle choices for seniors looking forward to moving to senior living. For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

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