It’s no surprise that the majority of people over age 65 prefer to live at home. One of the key reasons is the perception that staying home is less expensive. With worries of outliving savings, many believe senior living communities are financially out of reach. What may surprise you, however, is that’s often not the case. Let’s take a look at the cost of senior living versus aging at home.
4 Things to Consider when Comparing Options
Is your home increasing or decreasing in value?
If you live in a thriving neighborhood, you may have the opportunity to sell and take the cash value out of your home to invest in stocks, bonds and annuities that can grow in value.
If your home is decreasing in value, selling now may help you avoid a loss.
Cost of Outsourcing Services
Outsourcing help with day-to-day tasks is a common solution for those living at home, but the cost may be more than you realize especially if it’s needed long term. Personal care, meal preparation and housekeeping typically cost an approximately $20 per hour. In addition, yard maintenance can range from $130 – 400 per month.
If you need assistance with transportation and don’t live near bus or subway lines, options like Uber or Lyft are cheaper than taxis but may still cost $13 per trip on average.
Safety and Security Investments
With falls being a top health risk for seniors, it’s important to ensure your home is as safe as possible with grab bars which can cost up to $300. If you use mobility devices you may need to make your home more accessible. Installing wheelchair ramps can cost between $1,000 to as much as $15,000 and widening a doorway can range between $500 and $1,000 if there are no structural issues.
An emergency response system can be a lifeline for seniors, particularly if you live alone. This wearable call button puts you in touch with a dispatcher to contact the appropriate first responder and/or a friend or family member in the event emergency help is needed. Costs for these systems can range from $19 to $79 per month on average.
If you’re on oxygen or dialysis, it’s also a good idea to have a backup generator in the event of a power outage. Costs can range from $380 for a portable generator to up to $14,500 for a whole-house unit.
Even if your mortgage is paid off, be careful not to overlook expenses such as of food, utilities, property taxes, insurance and entertainment. These all factor into your total cost of living at home and must be considered for a true apples to apples comparison to senior living.
In addition to the dollar amount, make sure to factor in the value of the positive impact on your quality of life. Isolation and depression are common among seniors living at home, particularly when living alone, and can negatively impact your overall health and well-being.
The Value of Senior Living
The cost of a senior living community can vary by geographic location as well as level of care with the average monthly cost for a private, one bedroom in assisted living of $4,000.
But that cost comes with a tremendous value: peace of mind. The lifestyle in senior living is worry-free. There are no unexpected expenses, no chores or maintenance as these communities offer housekeeping, laundry services, restaurant-style dining and even transportation included in the monthly fee. What’s more they are designed specifically for seniors with safety features as standard.
It’s an environment that truly fosters independence, even more so than at home with just the right amount of daily support and a full calendar of social and enrichment opportunities. All on sprawling campuses with lush green landscaping, beautifully decorated interiors and a host of amenities.
There are also options to help offset the cost of senior living such as the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit, long-term care insurance and even life insurance conversion.
For more information, download our Staying Home vs. Moving to Senior Living Guide (including a Cost Comparison Worksheet) or schedule a tour of a community near you today!