Can I afford to move into a full-service retirement community?
When anyone becomes enthusiastic about the full benefits of living in a retirement community, the most common question is, “But, can I afford it?”
While some people make the mistake of immediately assuming they cannot afford the retirement-community lifestyle, it’s in your interest to do the actual calculation. You may be surprised with what you discover.
Compare your current costs with those of a retirement community.
How do your current living expenses compare with the projected outlay for a local retirement community? You can take a few simple steps to find out.
First, gather your figures and put them down on paper. This will help you distinguish facts from assumptions.
Make a list of your income (wages, pension, social security, interest, etc.) and assets (equity in your home, car, savings, retirement funds, other investments, etc.)
Calculate your current expenses—the cost of maintaining your home, plus other living expenses that might be included in a retirement community’s service package.
You can use this sample worksheet to detail your current monthly expenditures. Simply print the form, then contact a Touchmark Retirement Counselor to discuss the monthly service plans we offer.
Visit local retirement communities to find out what they offer.
Any retirement community you are considering should offer flexible financing options and be able to customize your housing and services package so you are not paying for more than you need or want. It’s important that you know exactly what you are getting for your money in order to make a fair comparison with your current expenses.
Typical financing options include:
Month-to-month rental agreements
Life estate options, which may preserve or increase your estate’s value over time
Be sure to include a community’s built-in, value-added benefits.
As you consider the services and amenities included in the cost of a new home and lifestyle, also pay attention to those benefits that do not have a price tag, such as greater independence, peace of mind, easier access to everything you may need, and more time to enjoy a full life with friends and family.
Because your next move is such an important one, it’s always wise to enlist professional guidance from your financial advisors, local Realtor®, and anyone who specializes in retirement counseling. They can offer creative solutions you may not have thought about.
When you actually compare the costs and benefits of staying where you are with the projected costs and benefits of living in the retirement community of your choice, you may find you have many more options than you originally assumed.