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Retirement Home: Cost and Service Guide

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Retirement Home: Cost and Service Guide

A retirement home is a private facility that offers seniors care and support. These facilities typically have amenities and services that cater to the needs of seniors, including meal preparation, housekeeping, medical care and social activities. Here’s a breakdown of the services, amenities and cost of retirement homes.

A financial advisor can help you save for the care that you may eventually need in retirement.

Services Provided by Retirement Homes

Retirement homes offer many services to meet the needs of their residents. Some of the common services they provide include:

  • Accommodations: Retirement homes provide a place for residents to stay. Depending on the type of facility, this could be anything from a room to a large apartment.
  • Housekeeping and maintenance: This might include services like laundry, cleaning and maintenance of the retirement facility.
  • Dining: Retirement homes usually offer dining to their residents. Meals may be provided in a communal setting or the residents’ rooms.
  • Medical care: There is often on-site medical staff available to care for retirement home residents. Staff members may assist with things like medication and monitoring of medical conditions.
  • Social activities: Retirement homes often have social activities for residents. There might be games, outings and events that can help residents feel happier and more connected to their communities.
  • Transportation: Retirement homes sometimes offer transportation services for residents, including shuttle buses or other transportation services. Residents often use these services when going to and from social activities.

Costs of Retirement Homes

Retirement Home: Cost and Service Guide

There are many types of retirement homes, and thus the costs can vary widely. For example, there are independent living facilities, home care, assisted living homes and nursing homes.

There are also different payment models, including rental-based and ownership-based. As their names suggest, the former usually requires a monthly payment, while the latter requires a lump-sum payment to purchase a property. However, even if residents own their property, they often pay monthly for certain services.

Here are the national median costs for three types of care, according to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey:

  • Assisted living: $4,500 per month/$54,000 per year
  • Semi-private nursing home room: $7,908 per month/$94,900 per year
  • Private nursing home room: $9,034 per month/$108,405 per year

Other things can also influence the cost of retirement communities. Location, type of accommodation, level of care and amenities available can all impact the cost. For instance, the average cost of a private room in a nursing home in Hawaii is $14,113 per month. A similar room in Arkansas, however, costs an average of $6,692 per month, according to Genworth.

Similarly, homes with more luxurious amenities, such as swimming pools or private suites, may be more expensive.

In addition, there might be other costs for certain services and amenities. Transportation services are one example of a convenience that could make a retirement home more expensive. The cost of retirement homes can indeed be high in some cases. However, keep in mind that some residents need more assistance than others, which greatly influences the cost.

Choosing the Right Retirement Home

Retirement Home: Cost and Service Guide

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a retirement home. Making that decision is easier if you keep the right criteria in mind, starting with your individual needs.

For example, do you need specialized care that requires a certain type of facility? If so, that will quickly narrow down your choices. Or perhaps you have mobility issues that mean you need certain features to be available. All these factors should go into your decision.

There is also the issue of cost. Retirement homes can be expensive, so setting a budget and finding retirement homes within your financial means is important. Consider factors such as upfront costs, monthly fees and additional fees for services or amenities. If a particular retirement home is too expensive, you can consider other facilities or investigate financial assistance from Medicaid to cover the costs. If you are unsure of your budget, try using a retirement calculator.

Also, consider location. For instance, do you want to live in the mountains or on a beach getaway? But also, is the facility close to family, friends and medical facilities? Is it a safe and accessible area? All these questions will heavily influence your decision.

Bottom Line

Retirement homes come in all shapes and sizes, from independent living to in-home care. They provide their residents a wide range of services, including medical care, social activities and dining. Before deciding, consider all these things as well as your budget. Before making your final decision, ask questions about the services and amenities provided, the qualifications of the staff and the availability of medical care. These questions will keep you informed and help you ultimately make the best decision.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • A financial advisor can guide you through major financial decisions, like determining your investing strategy. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Deciding how to invest can be a challenge, especially when you don’t know how much your money will grow over time. SmartAsset’s investment calculator can help you estimate how much your money will grow to help you decide which type of investment is right for you.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/Halfpoint, ©iStock.com/Charday Penn, ©iStock.com/Drazen Zigic

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