There are limitless options for today’s retirees on where to spend their retirement years. Narrowing the choices requires research, time, and a working understanding of what you want your retirement years to look like. As you begin evaluating your senior living options, you are likely to run across two common types: Life Care communities and rental communities. Both offer different advantages and disadvantages that we will explore here to help you make the best decision for yourself.
Understanding the Difference Between Life Care and Rental Communities
Senior living rental communities are exactly that: communities where residents rent units based upon a lease with a monthly fee. Life Care communities often include an entrance fee as well as monthly fees but offer the promise of long-term care should your healthcare needs change. Life Care communities also typically offer a wider range of services and amenities, and tend to be the preferred choice for those seeking a long-term living option with predictable monthly costs.
Why Choose Life Care?
While a Life Care community typically requires an entrance fee (which may be partially refundable to the resident’s estate), and a rental community does not, this doesn’t mean a rental option is cheaper in the long-term. In fact, 70% of older adults will need a high level of long-term support and services, and in most cases Medicare does not cover long-term care costs. And costs keep rising.
One recent study estimates that a 55-year-old couple retiring in 2022 can expect to spend nearly one million dollars in medical expenses if costs continue to rise just two percent per year (healthcare costs rose 14.5 percent in 2022 alone).
While the initial costs for a Life Care community are higher than a rental community, Life Care communities may actually be more affordable in the long run. Life Care communities are specifically designed to offer you predictable monthly costs throughout your residence there, whereas at rental communities you will have to pay current market rates for care.
Additionally, it’s important to consider what is included with your monthly costs. While monthly costs at a rental community may be lower than a Life Care community, take a closer look at what’s included in that fee for any communities you are considering.
Living in a Life Care community has been likened to being on a cruise every day, or spending one’s retirement in a resort-like environment where every need is met. At Life Care communities like Claridge Court, you have access to a plethora of amenities that help prioritize your physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing year-round. Take note of which amenities are most important to you, and factor these into how you weigh the costs and benefits of each choice.
Comfort and Stability
The nature of rental communities means you may have more frequent resident turnover as resident needs change. One of the biggest advantages of a Life Care community is the stability over time. Residents are making a long-term decision when choosing this specific community. Socializing is an important part of life, and can help combat the negative effects of loneliness that many seniors face. The stability of a Life Care community where residents are thinking long-term can make it easier to forge and maintain new relationships.
The most attractive benefit that leads seniors to choose Life Care communities over senior rental communities is the benefit of knowing that their long-term care needs are already accounted for. By providing access to any level of healthcare you may need for as long as you need it over time at a stabilized cost, Life Care communities can offer a unique peace of mind. Be sure to evaluate your Life Care community contract options to choose terms that are right for you.
Explore Life Care Options at Claridge Court
At Claridge Court, we offer country club style amenities with all the charm of Kansas City living. Enjoy a lavish meal at one of our on-site dining venues, pursue your health goals in our fitness studio, make an appointment at the beauty salon, spend time exploring new worlds in our library, or simply take the time to savor a life free of long-term care concerns. If you want to learn more about the Life Care options available at Claridge Court, schedule a tour today.