Whether you’re starting to think about retirement planning or you have actively begun to research different senior living communities, the first thing most people ask is, “How much will it cost?” We get it! You just want to know what you will pay, what you can afford and what you will get in return. This guide will give you a clear understanding of the various costs inherent in moving into a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC), what it does not include and what financial benefits you can receive as well.
The Entrance Fee
In a Life Plan Community (another name for a CCRC) like Generations at Shalom Park, residents will typically be required to pay an entrance fee and a monthly fee. The entrance fee locks in your choice of residence and ensures your access to the full continuum of healthcare services. Depending on your specific contract, the entrance fee may be highly refundable, meaning it can be returned to you or your successors when you leave or pass on. The entrance fee can also serve to reduce the amount of your monthly fee.
Entrance fees for senior living communities vary greatly and, in North Carolina, can run between $150,000 and $1 million. The amount of your entrance fee depends on the location and size of the residence you’ve chosen and may also provide a certain amount of coverage toward your future healthcare. Many seniors fund the entrance fee to a Life Plan Community or CCRC with proceeds from the sale of their current homes.
The Monthly Fee
The monthly fee covers the cost of utilities and all the services and amenities offered to residents, from housekeeping and groundskeeping, to meal plans and fitness programs. Fees can vary but usually are between $2,500 and $5,500 per month in North Carolina. Monthly fees are affected by the type of residence you’ve chosen, the contract you’ve signed and the amenities that are available. The monthly fee also covers your access to the “continuum of healthcare,” which, simply put, is the several levels of care offered on one campus.
In many cases, the monthly fee in a Life Plan Community compares favorably to the monthly expenses of living in one’s present home — especially when you factor in homeowner’s insurance, utility bills, property taxes, home and lawn maintenance — in short, all the headaches of homeownership. At Generations at Shalom Park, our dedicated Life Plan Counselors will carefully walk you through a side-by-side comparison of monthly expenses to help you make an informed decision.
What Is NOT Covered
Sales Counselors are well trained to help you understand what your existing health insurance plan and any supplemental insurance cover. Supplemental insurance may include Medicare, veterans benefits and long-term care insurance. These may help cover the following list of healthcare items that are generally not covered by Life Plan Communities:
- Doctors’ visits
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical equipment
- Mental health services
While tax laws are constantly evolving and always subject to interpretation, current IRS guidelines allow residents of Life Plan Communities to deduct the portion of their fees that pertains to healthcare. We encourage you to consult with your tax adviser for additional information.
The Value of Choosing the Right Life Plan Community
When considering a move to a Life Plan Community or CCRC, it’s important to understand not just affordability but also value. It’s interesting to note that Dictionary.com defines price as “the amount of money or its equivalent for which anything is bought, sold or offered for sale.” Cost is defined not only as “the price paid to acquire something” but also as “sacrifice, loss or penalty.” And value is defined as what you believe a product or service is worth.
The price of moving into a Life Plan Community can seem reasonable when compared to the cost of not having a retirement plan at all. For the price of the refundable deposit and monthly fee, the costs potentially alleviated are:
- Isolation and loneliness
- Lack of daily emotional and physical support
- Feelings of being a burden to family and friends
- Being separated from a spouse if one’s physical or emotional state changes
- Being tied to daily chores that are no longer manageable
- Being at risk for falls at home
- Inability to take medications on time and eat well and regularly
Many residents find the true value of choosing the right community includes:
- Knowing they have a secure plan in place for their futures
- Being cared for and respected among like-minded friends and neighbors
- Living a healthier lifestyle
- Giving family and friends peace of mind for the present and future
- Staying close to their spouses if physical or emotional changes occur
- Feeling and being safe
- Having unlimited choices of social, spiritual, intellectual and physical pursuits
Coming to SouthPark in 2024, Generations at Shalom Park is a new vision in active independent living that is Jewish in spirit, making it open to all. To learn more or to discuss your financial options, call 704-532-5400 or visit generationsatshalompark.com.