How Much Does Senior Living Really Cost?
As you explore the possibility of senior living, one of the first questions you’ll want to be answered is “how much will it cost?” It’s a good and fair question, but it’s also a bit more complicated than that. Several factors impact what you’ll pay. In this article, we’ll break the cost of senior living by taking an in-depth look at some of the most common expenses.
What are Your Living Options?
It’s worth mentioning that there are other senior living options outside of a retirement community. Before we explore the costs of senior living, let’s look at the options available as one considers long-term care:
- Continue living at home
- Move in with a loved one
- Have loved one move in with you
- Hire a live-in caregiver
- Hire a part-time caregiver or home health care agency
How Does Your Current Lifestyle Compare to the Cost of Senior Living?
In order to get a feeling of the significance of senior living costs, we first need to get a rough estimate of your current lifestyle costs. So, what are the monthly costs of living at home if you don’t need extra help?
Based on a $200k home in Metro Milwaukee area:
- Maintenance – $500
- Home Owner’s Insurance – $50
- Property Taxes – $400
- Food – $250 per person
- Utilities (gas, electric, telephone) – $150
- Water/Sewer – $75
- Sanitation – $10
- Outdoor Maintenance (Lawn, Snow, Landscaping) – $75
That’s $1,510 (not including mortgage). If you assume another $1000 for a mortgage, you’re up to $2,510. While this number assumes good health, it’s surprising how quickly things can add up. Once you see that number, you might realize that the cost of senior living might not be that far off from the cost of your current lifestyle. But the costs don’t stop adding up there. What other unexpected or optional costs are we not considering?
- Home renovation – A wheelchair ramp, walk-in shower/bath, and raised toilet or converting stairs to an elevator.
- Caregiver or Home Health Care – Approximately $42,600/yr for 44 hours of service/week (6 hrs/day) which averages to $3,500/month. What if the weather prohibits them from coming?
- Transportation – Car (payments, insurance and/or maintenance) or senior taxi services.
- Socialization & entertainment
- Security – an alarm or pendant costs $100/mo for 24/hr
Did you know that most of these costs listed above are included in your cost of living in a senior living community? It’s part of the reason why so many seniors love maintenance-free living. It not only frees up more time to pursue passions, but it also cuts down on expenses you might be currently paying.
Additional Costs to Consider
If you decide to stay in your home, it’s important to recognize that our homes don’t always increase or hold steady in value.
- Neighborhood is a factor
- Condition of your home is a factor
- Real estate market is a factor
Your health is your biggest asset, not your home – make your home work for you instead of against you.
How Much Does Senior Living Cost?
We’ve determined that the costs of living at home, depending on one’s health, is between $1,500 and $6,700 a month. So, what are the costs of senior living?
- Independent Living – $1-4k
- Assisted Living – $5-6k
- Skilled Nursing – $10k
Utilities, security, maintenance of living at home are included! Plus at least one meal a day. Supportive living services are available and allow you to stay independent longer. When it comes down to the numbers, the cost of senior living is actually more affordable than you may have thought. It can be surprising that once you take everything into account, senior living costs are often close to your current lifestyle.
Affordable, abundant living which brings peace of mind is a reality. Dare to compare the costs yourself! It’s easy to get started. Our staff at Luther Manor would be happy to help you determine your senior living costs. Contact us today to learn more.