How Life Plan Communities Can Offer You Financial Security
Life Plan Communities, a Secure Option for Retirement Living.
This is the moment you’ve been working and saving for your whole life: retirement. But after you say goodbye to your regular paycheck, what’s the best way to protect and preserve your nest egg, while also doing the things you imagined doing when you were working? You could stay in your home, but did you dream of doing home maintenance or having to search for trustworthy people to work around your house? Probably not.
The maintenance-free lifestyle of a Life Plan Community (also known as a continuing care retirement community or CCRC) could be an excellent option. But how do Life Plan Communities work and why do they charge an entrance fee? What is the cost of senior living communities? How does a Life Plan Community provide financial security?
What is a Life Plan Community?
A Life Plan Community charges an entrance fee along with a monthly fee. Your entrance fee is usually comparable to the price of homes in your area and depends on the size of residence you choose and the number of people living there. Plus, part of your entrance fee could be refundable. Typical refund options include 90%, 75%, 50% and 0%.
Your monthly service fee covers your utilities, provides you with dining options, and gives you access to a variety of services and amenities including fitness and art classes, clubs, educational speakers and trips to museums, galleries and theaters. Your monthly fee should be similar to what you’re currently paying now for things like home upkeep, utilities, taxes, food and socializing.
Life Plan Communities also offer several levels of living on their campus, providing you with the peace of mind of having care nearby, if you ever need it. The levels of living at a Life Plan Communities can include:
Independent Living: If you’re healthy and active today, you’ll have the freedom and independence to do the things you love to do.
Assisted Living: If your health changes and you or a loved one needs help with activities of daily living (ADLs) like cleaning, getting dressed, cooking for and feeding yourself, eating, grooming and more.
Memory Care: This level of care offers a safe, secure, homelike environment for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or memory problems.
Skilled Nursing and Short- and Long-term Rehabilitation: If you need help with recovery after a major surgery or serious illness and need more round-the-clock assistance.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of seniors 65+ will need some type of long-term care. You could be in the 30% that won’t, but what about your spouse? With a full continuum of care, Life Plan Communities can be great for couples. Then, if you or your loved one needs a higher level of care, they can move to another part of the community that’s usually within walking distance. If you choose a Life Plan Community with LifeCare®, you’ll have the financial security of knowing your monthly fee will remain about the same no matter what level of care you need. Financial planning for seniors should take into account the potential cost of future care.
More Benefits of Life Plan Communities
Besides having residence options, only writing one check for all your services and amenities, and having a full continuum of care available, other Life Plan Community benefits include:
Wellness/fitness programs: You can customize a wellness plan to match your abilities to help you meet your fitness goals.
Transportation services: Communities offer scheduled transportation for grocery shopping, doctor appointments and other errands. They’ll also drive you to and from community-sponsored events.
Safety and security: This normally includes a 24-hour emergency response system, locked common areas, security cameras and fire alarms.
A sense of community/belonging: Living among other active seniors from different backgrounds can help create new friendships and give you a feeling of home.
Peace of mind: You and your family can rest assured knowing you have a caring, highly trained staff looking out for you.
Social opportunities: Life Plan Communities have activity calendars filled with opportunities to socialize that can include movie nights, game nights, field trips and more.
Healthy meal options: If you have special dietary needs, you can meet with a nutritionist and discuss menu options that will work for you.
Tax savings: A portion of your monthly service fees are could be tax-deductible because you’re prepaying for your medical expenses. Talk with your tax adviser for all the details.