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How Much Does it Cost to Move to a Senior Living Community?

Couple sitting in rocking chairs discussing the cost of senior livingMoving to a senior living community can simplify your life in a number of ways — and your finances are no exception. In many communities, you pay one fee that encompasses a range of benefits and services you may be accustomed to paying for separately. Such all-in-one payment plans can be a boon to your pocketbook.

As you prepare for a move to a Concord continuing care retirement community, like Havenwood Heritage Heights, it’s important to understand what expenses you can expect. While all communities are different and your exact expenses most certainly will vary, here’s a general breakdown of the most common costs when moving to a retirement community.

Marketing, upgrading and selling your home

Depending on your financial situation, you may need to sell your home before moving to a senior living community. Selling your home can involve a variety of costs depending on the age and condition of the property. Physical upgrades, marketing costs, buyer incentives and fees to Realtors and lawyers are among the costs you may pay to sell your primary residence.

Entrance fee

Most continuing care retirement communities require an entrance fee, which can vary in its amount and terms depending on the community. Many seniors use the proceeds of their home sale to cover the entrance fee, which may be wholly or partially refundable. Entrance fees also can vary depending on other factors, including the type of long-term care plan you choose as you age.

Dining and meal plans

Dining plans vary among different senior living communities. Many communities offer plans that provide you with a certain number of meals per month; in many cases, you can choose among several plans. Other communities may charge a set dollar amount per month that you can apply toward meals, groceries or get-togethers with family and friends.

Monthly fees

Most senior living communities charge a monthly fee that covers a number of services. The types and extent of services covered varies by community along with the amount of the fees. In a maintenance-free community like Havenwood Heritage Heights, the monthly fee covers all landscaping, building maintenance, snow removal, use of various amenities, some transportation and activities, and other services. Some additional services are available for an extra, minimal fee.


In some communities, all utilities — including water and sewer, electric, gas, phone and cable — are included in the monthly service fee. In others, some utilities are included while residents pay for others. For instance, depending on the community you choose, you may pay for phone service in your residence and premium cable channels.

Extra services

Most communities charge fees for additional, optional services such as housekeeping and laundry. Some communities also charge additional fees for “caretaker” services if you are away for an extended time. Such fees may cover taking care of your refrigerated and frozen foods should the power go out, checking on pets and plants, and walking through once or twice a day to thwart burglars. Other communities include some or all of these oversight services in the monthly service fee.

Special activities

While most communities include a standard calendar of activities in the monthly fee, some classes and other special events may require an additional fee. For instance, an art class that uses specific materials or that requires an instructor from outside the community may charge an extra fee to cover costs.

Long-term care

Continuing-care retirement communities provide various levels of care — typically including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and sometimes memory care — at different cost levels. Your costs typically will rise as you transition from independent living to higher levels of care, but some communities’ financial plans are structured such that costs do not rise or rise minimally. Short-term medical care also may be available from an in-community clinic staffed by a doctor or nurse; some costs may be included in your monthly fees, and Medicare may cover others.

As you consider a move, understand your likely costs

Most people say moving to a continuing care retirement community was the best decision they ever made — and that they wish they’d done it sooner. To ensure that you make the best decision, be sure to get the full picture of costs you can expect during your move and once you become a resident.

To learn more about Havenwood Heritage Heights and how we make retirement community living affordable for our residents, contact us today.


By Mike Wall


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