The Cost of Living in a Retirement Community

When you decide to trade in your single-family house for a retirement community, you won’t lack for options to chose from; there are retirement communities (which include senior apartments and 55+ retirement communities), independent living communities or continuing care communities. Yet what will likely be the deciding factors are the number of services you wish to receive and the monthly rate you wish to pay.

To help you decide which community will fit within your budget, we have gathered monthly rates for several community types.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities are the priciest retirement community option available due to their offering residents healthcare services for life. These communities often require an entrance fee that can range from $40,000 to $365,000. Oftentimes the amount of the entrance fee will affect the monthly rate a resident can expect to pay. At many of these communities the entrance fee is refundable, either to your estate upon your death or when you choose to move away.

New residents may have the option of purchasing a free-standing cottage or ┬árenting an apartment, and the size of the floor plan selected affects the monthly rate. Monthly rates can range from $653 to $4,200. Included in this monthly rate are a variety of services included housekeeping, transportation and dining. Utilities are included, but cable, Internet and telephone are often the resident’s responsibility.

Independent Living Communities

Just as the cost of real estate varies by geographic area, independent living costs also vary nationwide. Unlike assisted living and nursing home costs which are published annually by Genworth Financial, there is very little published cost information available on independent living. To help you budget for joining an independent living community, SeniorHomes.com has compiled pricing* for each state.

StateMonthly AverageMonthly MinimumMonthly Maximum
Alabama$2,303$1,395$3,455
Arkansas$2,030$1,149$3,500
Arizona$2,382$1,049$4,558
California$2,844$1,100$8,400
Colorado$2,286$1,145$4,060
Connecticut$3,490$1,424$5,200
Delaware$2,864$698$4,300
Florida$2,545$1,174$4,700
Georgia$2,463$1,100$3,995
Hawaii$2,564$2,195$3,099
Iowa$2,247$924$3,770
Idaho$1,880$900$2,700
Illinois$1,859$499$3,800
Indiana$2,135$899$5,400
Kansas$2,038$795$3,516
Kentucky$2,435$1,580$3,393
Louisiana$1,804$1,024$2,249
Massachusetts$4,002$1,649$6,375
Maryland$3,964$1,334$9,050
Maine$2,587$1,974$3,224
Michigan$2,190$637$3,844
Minnesota$1,679$899$3,050
Missouri$2,087$899$2,975
Mississippi$1,920$1,725$2,074
Montana$2,002$1,199$3,250
North Carolina$2,267$1,424$4,015
North Dakota$3,250$3,250$3,250
Nebraska$2,281$1,174$2,950
New Hampshire$3,537$2,599$5,700
New Jersey$3,371$2,000$5,355
New Mexico$2,325$1,249$4,768
Nevada$2,295$1,449$3,795
New York$3,895$956$6,605
Ohio$2,450$937$4,200
Oklahoma$1,865$1,149$2,580
Oregon$2,042$1,049$3,555
Pennsylvania$2,690$1,590$5,249
Rhode Island$3,383$2,500$4,295
South Carolina$2,180$1,124$3,380
South Dakota$1,399$1,399$1,399
Tennessee$1,972$999$3,090
Texas$2,225$700$4,745
Utah$1,806$969$2,526
Virginia$2,181$795$3,800
Vermont$2,715$2,400$2,995
Washington$2,288$827$3,500
Wisconsin$2,034$928$3,775
West Virginia$2,050$2,050$2,050
Wyoming$2,072$1,349$2,795

*SeniorHomes.com 2015

The states with the most expensive median monthly independent living costs are:

  1. Massachusetts - $4,002
  2. Maryland - $3,964
  3. New York - $3,895
  4. New Hampshire - $3,537
  5. Connecticut - $3,490

The states with the least expensive median monthly independent living costs are:

  1. South Dakota - $1,399
  2. Minnesota - $1,679
  3. Louisiana - $1,804
  4. Utah - $1,806
  5. Illinois - $1,859

55+ Retirement Communities

When joining these communities, new residents will purchase a free-standing home. Depending upon whether the community is still being developed or has been established for some time will determine whether customization of the home’s designer details is possible.

The purchase price of the homes varies depending upon the state and the community’s location. For example, Trilogy in Redmond, Washington, offers homes that cost $400,000 to $1,000,000. Residents can also expect to pay home owner’s association dues that will cover maintenance of the community grounds and community amenities.