Understanding the Expenses of Moving to Senior Living


When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



The cost of senior living is arguably one of the biggest factors when deciding whether you or a loved one will move. And while average costs are helpful, admittedly- it’s not always easy to decipher the specific expenses that may or may not impact your budget when moving to senior living. But we can help. From the rent to the fees to add-on costs, here’s how to better understand the expenses in senior living.

A Look at Average Costs

It can be helpful to think of senior living as similar to a continuum in which as care needs increase so does the average cost. As such there are typically four types of senior living, each supporting different wants and needs.

  • Active Adult Living – A truly independent lifestyle in age-defined communities where residents must be 55 and older. This type of senior living frees you of the stress of home maintenance and yard chores so you can get more out of retirement. Communities are purpose-built for ease of living and the right blend of activities and privacy. A variety of services, amenities, and housing options are also included. Published data on average cost varies, but you can typically expect to spend $3,000 or more a month.
  • Independent Living – Ideal for seniors who can still live independently. This type of senior living is focused on convenience and active living with home upkeep, cooking, and cleaning that is taken care of for you in addition to a range of amenities as well as social and enrichment opportunities to enjoy. Published data on the average cost of independent living varies greatly, but you can typically expect it to be between $2,000 to $4,000 a month.
  • Assisted Living – This type of senior living helps with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and medication management and onsite medical care. These communities also feature a convenient, active, and social lifestyle with home upkeep, cooking, and housekeeping provided in addition to a range of amenities and social and enrichment opportunities to enjoy. The average monthly cost for a private, one-bedroom is $4,500 according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
  • Memory Care – Just for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, memory care offers 24-hour support in a secure, nurturing environment with specially trained staff. Residents have the comfort of a structured daily schedule, plus enrichment activities, fitness, and social opportunities to help them thrive. Published data on the average monthly cost for memory care also varies greatly, but you can usually expect a range between $2,000 to $7,000 a month.

Expenses To Expect When Moving to Senior Living

Now that you know the average cost of each type of senior living, let’s take a closer look at what makes up those numbers.

  • Base Rent –This is the flat monthly cost for the community, which typically includes rent, utilities, cable, meals, life-enrichment activities, and housekeeping. Some may also include other services like scheduled group transportation; this may also be known as the base fee in some senior living communities
  • Upfront Fees – These fees may also be known as entry fees or buy-in fees- in the senior living communities that require them, they are in addition to your base rent. Most communities that charge these fees offer multiple levels of care and consider them a down payment for higher levels of care you may need down the road. But keep in mind this one-time cost can run into the six figures. On the other hand, some communities offer a pricing model that does not require a buy-in, so to speak. However, they may still have upfront fees such as a security deposit or first and last month’s rent.
  • Add-On Costs – Depending on your wants and needs, you may incur additional expenses such as personal care or private transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Other expenses you may choose could include outings, beauty/barbershop charges, concierge services, and pet fees.

It’s also important to note that there are solutions to help you stretch your budget further when moving to senior living. One often-overlooked option is the Veterans Aid & Attendance benefit for qualified wartime veterans or their surviving spouses. You might also consider long-term care insurance, a life insurance conversion, or perhaps a reverse mortgage.

For more information, download our Choosing a Senior Living Community Guide today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.

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