Whether you’re looking into senior living communities for yourself or for a parent, cost may be your primary concern. As you begin your research, you may find yourself in a state of sticker shock at the overall financial commitment. And while you need to give ample consideration to the cost before making a decision, the surprising fact is that it may not be much more than living at home. In many cases it can even be less. Consider these five ways moving into a retirement community can save you money.
Trade in Housing Costs for a New Lifestyle
One of the main costs we face in life is a home mortgage, and more than ever retirees today are carrying a mortgage into their seventies and beyond. With increases in living and health insurance expenses, it’s taking people longer to pay their mortgages off, leaving less money in their pockets to enjoy life. Whether or not you carry a mortgage each month, there is still a high price to pay for home ownership. Necessary expenses are iminent such as ever-increasing taxes, insurance, and homeowners’ association dues. Factor in monthly bills for utilities, cable or satellite TV, lawn care, groceries, and security fees and the costs can really add up.
While these are just the monthly costs you’ll face, in addition it’s estimated that you can expect to pay between 1 and 3 percent of the home’s initial costs for annual maintenance. For those with a mortgage of 200,000, that’s between $2,000 – $6,000 in necessary upkeep. When you choose senior living, you’re making an investment in an optimal lifestyle and making a conscious choice to put health and happiness over home ownership. That’s a return so great, it’s hard to put a price tag on.
Eliminate Financial Worry Over the Unexpected
Many large expenses that come along with home ownership can be daunting and can come without warning. When you’re considering your options, keep in mind the future costs of major items, such as roof or heating and cooling system replacement. These major home systems can cost thousands of dollars, due in lump sums and without payment options. Even if these items aren’t in need of immediate attention, they will need to be replaced at some point in the future. Making the decision to move while the systems of your home are functioning properly can mean a substantial savings in the long run.
Unforeseen home repairs aren’t the only thing to worry about if you are planning to age at home. Down the road you may need to consider modifications for safety and convenience as well. About one in four seniors age 65 and over is at risk of falling each year, and one in five falls leads to serious injury. To accommodate your changing physical needs, renovations to bathrooms, doorways, and stairs may need be necessary. When you choose senior living, you’re eliminating the financial and mental burden that comes along with home ownership. Costs become predictable and time you spent on your home is now freed up to do the things that you truly enjoy.
Enjoy the Convenience and Savings on Transportation
Whether you own a car or rely on others, transportation can become burdensome with age. Owning a car costs you a monthly payment, auto insurance, gas, annual licensing fees, maintenance, and repairs. If you or your loved one is unable to drive, then the burden and expenses can fall on family members, or you end up paying for transportation services. Between weekly errands for groceries, doctor’s appointments, and social events, transportation can be overwhelming, costly, and inconvenient. Unless a trip is essential, many times a senior will opt out of activities, causing them to spend even more time alone at home. Senior living communities help eliminate transportation expenses and inconveniences, while at the same time help individuals to enjoy a more active lifestyle.
Invest in Your Social Life
In an effort to save money in some area, retirees tend to avoid spending money on things that can be considered nonessentials, such as social activities. Instead of enjoying their retirement years by going to restaurants, movies, and other life enriching activities, many seniors choose to stay at home. While the intentions are good, the result is missing out on socializing with others and staying active, which can lead to isolation, loneliness, and depression. Many of the social aspects seniors seek are covered in a community’s monthly costs. By eliminating the stress of spending any additional money, retirees are much more likely to get out and enjoy themselves, leading to a much more active and well rounded lifestyle.
Afford the Convenience of Health and Wellness Services
As we age, it is inevitable that the time will come when we have health concerns that need to be addressed, minor or major. As medical service costs continue to rise, many seniors find that they can’t afford even the most basic needs because of the financial commitments of living in their home.
A retirement community offers the freedom of unexpected living expenses, which allows the resident to focus their resources on health and wellness services that will improve their quality of life. Health and happiness go hand-in-hand, and the peace of mind that comes from having the ability to get the help they need, when they need it, gives those who choose community living one less thing to worry about. Retirement community living is an investment in your lifestyle and it’s worth it to make the shift sooner than later so you can truly enjoy it.
A Change for the Better
It’s important to keep in mind that retirement living is not meant to be a lateral move from home ownership, but a choice most people make to enhance the overall quality of their lives. It’s a lifestyle change. You may be surprised that the actual difference between keeping your home vs. moving to a community is minimal, and taking into account all expenses, senior living can actually be a more affordable option.
Life at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina, goes beyond retirement living. By focusing on improving every aspect of our residents’ lives, we create Optimal Living. We aim to make every resident feel welcomed, provide them with opportunities to build friendships, and help them find a niche where they belong. Experience the new retirement at Cambridge Village of Apex, North Carolina. Contact us to schedule a tour of our senior living community or give us a call today (919) 363-2080.