Your family home is too big to care for. Maybe you’re facing a costly repair job. Or maybe you’d prefer to be taking a cruise than mowing the lawn (again).
When traditional homeownership is no longer practical or desirable, it may be time to think about a lower-maintenance alternative such as a retirement community. Consider these factors as you make your decision.
Comparing the costs.
A helpful, and sometimes eye-opening, exercise is to compare your current expenses with the costs of senior living. Beyond paying for the basics in your home, you’ll quickly see that you’re also paying for a full range of upkeep, care and services related to homeownership—costs that are typically wrapped into monthly fees at a senior living community. These can include:
- Association fees
- Home maintenance
- Cable TV
- Cleaning and housekeeping
- Home repairs
- Alarm system and security services
- Yard upkeep and snow removal
- Transportation or parking
As you list your expenses, remember to add in foreseeable outlays, such as replacing an inefficient furnace or repainting your home’s exterior.
Another expense associated with owning your own home that you can leave behind? Groceries! Most senior living and assisted living communities offer meal plans that let you skip shopping for, preparing, and cooking food.
Selling your home.
Maybe you’ve been thinking of moving but are hesitant about the task—and expense—of selling your home.
The staff members at senior living communities have helped many of their residents through this process. They likely can recommend senior relocation managers, movers and realtors to help you with the sale. And if you’re worried about your house not selling quickly, you could opt to get a bridge loan to help cover expenses while your home is on the market.
Adding up the intangibles.
Moving to a senior living community may bring about two other financial benefits that you hadn’t considered.
One is predictability. Because many of your living expenses are already factored into the monthly fee, you may be able to reallocate the remainder of your homeowner budget to other areas, such as investments or savings.
The other benefit is the value of time. Moving to a senior living community can free up time for you to enjoy travel, hobbies and social activities.
Talk to your financial planner or the residency counselor at the Life Care Services-managed community nearest you to learn more about your options.