If you are knocking on the doors of retirement or if you are already there, you might be wondering, are apartments meant for seniors cheaper or less expensive as compared to normal housing? The short answer is that yes, senior apartments are cheaper than comparable normal housing. But a lot goes into choosing a seniors’ apartment.
Senior living communities are usually age-restricted; there are apartments for people aged 55 and older as well as for people aged 62 and older. The rent for a senior living community may include community services such as recreational programs, transportation services, and meals served in a common dining area.
What Are Senior Apartments or Congregate Care Housing?
Senior apartment buildings are nothing but independent living communities; they won’t allow any tenants who age under 55 to stay here in this community.
This does not mean that your grandkids or young kids cannot visit you for a while. Also, exceptions can be made if a resident over the age of 55 has a spouse who has not turned 55. But for the most part, senior apartments are meant for senior adults of 55 years and above.
The thought of going away from the place where they have lived for many years and shifting to a new living community is difficult.
However, there is definitely a bright side to this arrangement.
What you might not realize is that moving into a senior apartment building may help you save a good deal of both time and money. And in your retirement years, each and every penny counts as you face unexpected situations along the way, and you need to take stock of your financial situation ever so often.
This is where an affordable senior housing arrangement comes into the picture.
Senior apartments seem to be cheaper in comparison with other options as they reduce living expenses. To know, why they are cheaper read below:
Senior apartments let you live alone, they downsize the responsibilities, and are not near as expensive or intrusive living options for seniors which give personalized assistance.
The aim of senior apartments and other independent living communities is to provide seniors a more independent option for when their house becomes more of a burden than it does a symbol of freedom.
Maintaining Your Own House Can Be Expensive
Owning a property may be seen as a symbol of pride for many, but the truth is that as we get older, regular maintenance and inspection of the property is not always going to be feasible.
Many seniors have regretted the decision of staying at a large private party after having to spend a load of money on hired help to do all necessary household chores for them, from cleaning the inside of their house to gardening.
It just does not stop at household chores. On top of the cleaning and maintenance expenses, you might need the support of a nurse, even if it is part-time. This is yet another expense that you have to take care of with your retirement savings.
The crux is that even though you’ve paid off your mortgage, the property is always going to be in need of constant maintenance and is never going to be totally free.
Property Taxes Does Not Cease and Often Increases
Even if you own the presently occupied property, you may have to give property tax that keeps increasing steadily.
In essence, even though you do not use the whole property you own, you will have to pay the tax for the whole property.
You Can Get Apartments That Provide Maintenance and Amenities for a Standard Fee
Yes, the living fee we pay for a month will include maintenance and amenities that the apartment needs.
This means that you might be paying less to maintain an apartment than you would be to maintain a house even if the house was your own and you don’t have to pay any mortgage on it.
Considering these reasons and many more, apartment living is often seen as ideal for seniors who can still live alone but want to downsize, because of personal or monetary reasons.
Reduced Medical Costs
On top of all the advantages that we talked about, you also get the benefit of easier and cheaper access to part-time nurses in a retirement home.
If you are someone who is in good health and capable to stay alone independently but need slight assistance, then you can get this for cheap rate taking the help of part-time nurse who have a working relationship with the apartment complex you stay at.
Also, the easier and more relaxed living in a senior apartment when compared to a nursing home or assisted living community can provide many added benefits for your health. This could mean you might not need to pay as much for medical assistance in the long run.
Senior Apartments come with Handicap Accessibility Features At No Additional Fees
Many seniors who can still live independently have lost the ability to transport themselves easily. Without the assistance of a wheelchair or a walker in order, they cannot get around, even in their own house.
Senior apartments offer this feature while traditional residences may not.
Now, on the other hand, seniors who choose to stay at home typically need to pay construction fees to have entrances and ramps that are handicap-accessible.
Imagine the kind of money and time you will need to put in to set up such an arrangement. And after this tedious task, the truth is that, for many seniors, they are not sure how much longer they are going to be around to use them.
Senior apartments will have all of these amenities included in their buildings, meaning you will have all the access you need without having to pay extra for it or to have it installed.
Availability of Transportation Facilities
Senior apartments mostly offer transportation for recreational activities. The management has an on-property handicap-accessible vehicle for the purpose which residents in the senior living can use. They can get out without having to rely on a family member for lifting them in and out of a wheelchair.
In case transportation is not offered, it is highly likely that they are at least closer to a bus with a wheelchair lift than your old house was.
These are just some of the many small things that come together to make senior living a cheaper living option than an assisted living facility or nursing home care for many seniors.
Senior Apartments Can Offer Free Recreational and Community Features
A lot of senior apartments also offer activities and other community features that could save you a good deal of money on both recreation and travel.
Many seniors who are living at home feel trapped and wish to get outside and see the world.
Low income seniors will simply find it hard to indulge in these, and many others who can afford it will still have to pay great sums of money just to be in a place where people are around, such as splurging on a cruise ticket or a luxury retreat.
Instead of splurging to go on a cruise, you can save your money and utilize the community features of the senior apartment building you stay at. In the senior apartments, you will always be a good deal closer to many like-minded people with similar interests and similar needs.
Senior Apartments May Be a Better Deal Than Retirement Homes
Not only are senior apartments cheaper than living independently in a traditional residence for most seniors, but they come at good deal coming cheap than assisted-living communities or retirement homes.
If you are looking for an option other than present residence but don’t like full time retirement home living, then senior apartments are the best options coming at a cheaper price.
If medical care is not constantly needed, then assisted-living facility or retirement home is of no use as it is loss of money.
Though seniors might get duped saying that they have people around their age, but senior apartments are always a better option.
Cost of Retirement Homes and Assisted-Living Facilities Can Be High
With retirement homes and assisted-living facilities, you are paying more for medical care and amenities than you are for your actual personal space.
If you are going to utilise all the amenities given by assisted-living facilities and retirement homes then it is better to choose them, if not opt for a senior apartment.
You Don’t Have to Pay for What You Don’t Need
On top of providing medical care, most retirement homes assisted living facility, or other senior housing options will provide you all of your meals, take care of all of your non-medical needs, and also maintain your living quarters, similar to a maid at a hotel. This, however, comes at a price.
For many seniors, this level of care may be totally unnecessary. It is also heavy on the wallet.
Senior apartments offer a network of support in their communities, from neighbors to staff. To sum it up, choosing to live in a senior apartment might be cheaper, but it has its cons as well.
It is up to you to evaluate both pros and cons and make an informed decision.