The Hidden Costs of Aging in Place

Apr 16, 2024

“I’ve lived here for 30 years. No other place will feel like home.”

Retirement communities are too expensive. It’s cheaper to stay home.”

These are normal thoughts while deciding whether to age in place or move to a retirement community. While the sticker price of living in a retirement community can be a shock at first, in many cases, it can be cheaper than staying home.

Maintenance and Modification of Your Home

Any home requires routine maintenance to keep it in the best shape. That includes housekeeping, lawn maintenance, indoor maintenance and repairs.

 Older man landscaping his home in the springAs you age, these tasks can get harder and even dangerous for you to complete without any assistance. The upkeep and repairs of homes can also be very costly, especially for bigger jobs such as a new roof or furnace replacement.

Depending on the layout of your home, you may need to make modifications, especially if your mobility starts to decline. This could require small installations such as grab bars, rails and non-slip rugs.

It could also require bigger modifications such as widening hallways, installing walk-in showers or lowering cabinets. Depending on the installations needed and the size of the home, these modifications can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.

Home Health Care Costs

In your early retirement years, you may not need as much help to do day-to-day tasks. However, between 50 and 70 percent of older adults will need some sort of assistance after the age of 65.

Your needs will determine how many hours a caregiver will be needed. For instance, if you need a caregiver six hours per day, the national average cost is $3,800 per month. Compare that to the national average cost of living in an assisted living community which is $3,700. Of course, the more care you need, both rates will go up.

Also, when considering the costs of home assistance, you may need to pay for other services that home health care normally doesn’t provide. These services could include accounting, housekeeping and lawn maintenance.

Family Caregiver Stress

Even if you have a willing family member to provide assistance for free, this can still come at a high price, not only financially, but also physically and emotionally.

Most family member caregivers are unpaid. A caregiver’s duties mean time away from their career, which can make a dent in their finances. It also jeopardizes any chance they may have for promotions in their field, as they are spending more time caregiving than being at work.

Physical stress is common with family caregivers. Caregiving can take many hours. Add those hours on top of their full-time job and taking care of a family, and it’s a recipe for burnout and exhaustion.

This leads us into emotional stress that caregiving could cause. Being responsible for an older adult’s care can make it difficult for family caregivers to juggle all of their other responsibilities. Some caregivers can develop anxiety and depression, which can make it hard for them to provide proper care.

Have It All In A Lifecare Community

Get the healthcare you need, all maintenance and repairs covered and an added bonus of vibrant community living in a Lifecare community such as The Admiral at the Lake.

At The Admiral, you pay a one-time entrance fee and monthly service fees for lifetime priority access to assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care if you should ever need them, all at no additional cost.

If you are looking for another reason to save money by moving to a Lifecare community, there are tax benefits that you wouldn’t get by staying at home. If you are a new resident in independent living, you could itemize your taxes and deduct a portion of your entrance fee and monthly fees as medical expenses, as they could be seen as pre-payment for future medical care. Be sure to check with your accountant or financial advisor ensure that you qualify.

Learn more in our blog – Tax Benefits of Life Plan Communities You May Not Know About >>>

Even if you feel staying at home is the right option for you, it’s always best practice to research of all of your options before making a final decision. Do you want to know how Lifecare costs compared to your current living situation?

Get an overview of Lifecare and CCRC (continuing care retirement community) contract options, an example of The Admiral’s pricing spreadsheet, a cost comparison sheet and more by downloading our free guide.