When it comes to planning for retirement, one of the biggest issues faced is deciding where to live. Staying at home might be an option, but can become unsafe or inconvenient over time. Many seniors of all ages and lifestyles look to retirement facilities to fulfill their need for comfortable, secure living through their golden years.
Over the years, retirement facilities have become vibrant communities tailored to suit the changing needs of their residents. While some are full-time assisted care facilities for seniors in need of support, others are senior-run communities that allow for independent living. With thousands of facilities around the country, the level of care, freedom and style of housing can be chosen to suit any need.
What Benefits Do Retirement Facilities Have?
The most significant benefit to retirement facilities, no matter what type, is support. Whether the support comes from a community of other seniors living active lifestyles, or from trained staff members available around the clock to help with basic needs and medical attention, no senior needs to feel uncertain during their retirement.
Many facilities don't stop at basic care, they also plan events, book day trips and sponsor local entertainment for their residents. Facilities are typically well-located within urban areas to allow easy access to sights, parks and public transportation.
Even in less regimented facilities, such as senior housing communities, maintenance is available 24/7 to do home upkeep and handle landscaping services. This allows for residents to live in a home-like environment without the associated labor and hassle.
What Are the Downsides to Living in Retirement Facilities?
Like any organized community, most retirement facilities have certain restrictions and rules for residents and their families. Facilities are often prohibitive of roommates' ages and relations. While an assisted living facility may only allow for a senior and their spouse to live together, another senior housing community may allow for other family members, provided they are aged 18 years or older.
Communities may have certain appearance guidelines for their properties, such as restricting paint colors, decorations and outdoor furnishings. Certain monthly or annual fees can apply in addition to rent or mortgage costs. While many services can be offered as an inclusive package, some may require extra fees or membership to use.
When researching local retirement facilities, ask to see any reading material available about a particular facility’s regulations. It is also wise to speak with current residents to learn about the overall quality of the housing, staff and value of a desired community before choosing one.
What Are the Costs of Living in Retirement Facilities?
As varied as retirement facilities can be, their prices are just as wide ranging. Factors that contribute to overall cost include:
- Style of housing
- Frequency and intensity of care
- Number of staff available
- Services and activities provided
While facilities are available for nearly any budget, balancing the cost with the amount of care needed should be carefully considered.
Independent-style communities can be the most inexpensive over time, often only requiring the initial purchase or rental of an associated property. Prices follow local real estate, ranging from $15,000 to $450,000 and up depending on property values and type of home.
In contrast, assisted living facilities have monthly fees that apply to property rental and staff, which cost on average between $1,500 and $5,000 per month. Prices vary greatly by location and facility, so it is best to research several options before deciding.
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Written by senior housing staff writer.