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Retirement Home Options: Rent vs. Long-Term Commitment

Retirement_Home_Options_RentingvsCCRCNow that your dad is ready to move to a senior living community, countless decisions await. One of the first, however, is a big one: Should he rent a retirement residence on a monthly basis or secure one with an upfront fee?

Consider these points to find a solution that works for your parent.

Choosing to Rent

Senior living rentals can include traditional apartments, townhomes, and detached houses on a senior living campus, giving your parent plenty of choices in residences. Rental communities may offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care—but typically will not offer skilled nursing care.

Points to consider:

  • Rental properties don’t require large upfront fees. Your parent won’t have to come up with a significant down payment or community buy-in fee before he moves in. This can help preserve his retirement nest egg.
  • Renting relieves your parent of the biggest burden of homeownership: maintenance. Many rental communities offer on-site maintenance as part of the monthly fees. This can give your father peace of mind, plus save him money if an appliance needs repairs or a leak appears.
  • Understand what’s covered in the rental fee and what programs or services may be priced separately. For example, a residency agreement may include one full meal each day within the monthly fee—so if your father enjoys extra meals here and there, he may have additional charges.
  • Depending on the residency agreement, your parent may or may not be able to make changes to his apartment—such as painting the walls a different color or redoing the landscaping around a patio. The agreement also may clarify questions about pets, overnight guests, the use of outdoor grills, and other things, so be sure your parent understands the parameters of the lease.
  • Renting offers your parent flexibility: Should he ever choose to move, it may be relatively fast and easy to do so.

Choosing to Invest

Choosing a residence in a Life Plan Community—also known as Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC—offers long-term peace of mind for many people. The campuses offer independent living, skilled nursing, and other care levels that can accommodate changes in health, so your parent can age in place.

Points to consider:

  • While the entrance fees associated with this option can tie up more of your parent’s assets, he is planning for a full continuum of care that often relieves burden from family members.
  • Access to many of the community’s on-site resources is included in the residency agreement. Beyond the basics such as housekeeping or maintenance, your parent may be able to take part in a variety of programs, activities, and certain health care services on the facility campus.
  • Typically, your father can choose to decorate and use his residence as he wishes, though he will have to follow the community’s overall guidelines.

Still mulling over the options? Talk with the senior living experts at Life Care Services for information and assistance as your family makes its decision.

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