Currently, around one million Americans live in some type of senior living community, and that number is expected to double by the year 2030. Many of these people seeking affordable senior care move to senior living communities to avoid sacrificing their lifestyles in exchange for paying the bills. Additionally, there is a growing recognition of the value of social interaction and companionship in maintaining mental acuity and well-being. This is a hidden and yet substantial cost benefit of seniors housing.
So how does the cost of Juniper Communities compare to the cost of remaining at home?
What is the value of your home today? Is your mortgage paid off? If not, what is your monthly payment?
According to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau analysis of 2010 census data, at least 30% of Americans over the age of 65 had a mortgage, compared with 20% in 2001.
While it varies wildly across the US, every month the average homeowner spends about $800/month on monthly mortgage or rental payments. This does not include the cost of condo or HOA dues!
This includes expenses such as home maintenance costs, utilities, property taxes and insurance, housekeeping supplies or services, and emergency alarm systems.
A Place for Mom estimates that the monthly out of pocket expenses for a senior living in a home with a value of $150,000 is about $1100. For a home with a value of $500,000 these combined expenses total about $3000!
Are your friends and family helping? Home health care is an expensive option for care and service. Consider including the monthly cost of transportation, lodging and other incidentals in your calculations.
In most parts of the country, home health care costs about $20 per hour and many companies have a 2 – 3 hour minimum. Consider that expense times a factor of 4-7 days of regular caregiver visits! Even at just 3 hours per day, 30 days per month, this adds up quickly to a total of $1800.
And imagine if you or your loved one need 12 or even 24 hour a day care.
Most people forget about their monthly entertainment budgets when calculating cost of living. But don’t fall into that trap! This is your third act, your time to thrive and learn and grow.
Don’t forget to include the cost of that pottery class you love, the dance troupe you just joined or Sunday brunches with the girls. A number of resources suggest that most seniors spend around $250 per month on these costs.
Land lines, internet, and cable TV can really add up! Living on your own means paying independently for these services every month. For many this so-called “triple play” can exceed $250 per month.
Trips to the doctor and the grocery store really add up, too. One study estimates seniors’ average monthly transportation cost at $715.
Don’t forget the cost of food, vitamins and critical dietary needs! And unfortunately the healthier you eat, the more you’ll spend. For most seniors, the cost of three meals per day at home is nearly $500 per month!