Senior Living Choices

We have been considering some sort of Senior Living.
Something to make life easier.

We visited one place that was quite nice. It claimed to be “Non-Profit”.

It was very expensive… big buy-in and similar high monthly.
they explained that it was essentially a lifetime deal… Independent to Nursing Home and once you are in, you are in… even if you can no longer pay. I gather the high buy in, 75% refundable protects them.

They want a financial statement… no idea what is minimum assets required for entrance.
It would be awful if we found we did not like it there.
You would lose 25% of the buy in that depending on Unit size can exceed $500,000.
Finally, are those who can pay subsidizing those who can no longer pay.

They were very upfront about the offering.
We met a few residents who seemed happy there.

We are more inclined to go with a similar quality place with a low/no buy in and a substantially lower monthly even though a time may come when senior and Assisted living no longer serves all our needs… and means moving elsewhere

What does Clark think?

It sounds great but it reminded me of buying an annuity and we know what Clark things of these.

The place has been around 20 years and has a good reputation, so no concern about that.

How easy is it to check their financial stability? and is it accurate? and how is it guaranteed?

That is not my concern. I am confident they can fulfill their promises.

My Question is whether it is a reasonable deal.
Does this make sense?

Am I buying an annuity? We are in a position where it is far more likely we would be subsidizing rather than being subsidized.

We are looking at a similar quality alternative with no buy-in (just a security deposit)and about half the monthly… but only goes to assisted living… then if needed we or one of us would have to move… probably to a nursing home. If we are dissatisfied… moving is not a big problem.

why not stay at home or get a lower cost home…and buy some LTC insurance if you ever need extended care in your home or assisted living or nursing home. Of couse you would have to health qualify, but its an option for some.


Here’s what comes to my mind off of the top of my head…

If you have LTC insurance already, and if you make a substantial payment to buy-in to this facility where you get all of these services sort-of pre-paid, and you can’t get turned away even if you can no longer pay… then basically you are “double-long-term-care-insuring” yourself. You’re stepping in with cash to pre-buy LTC services before you ever have a chance to make an LTC claim and get an LTC payout. Do you get what I’m saying? And, you don’t get any credit or refund from the LTC insurer, you’d just be doing them a big favor.

It would be like paying stiff monthly premia for health insurance, but then opting to pre-paying for medical services and drugs out-of-pocket.

Now if you DON’T have LTC insurance already, then maybe this is way to fill that gap. As for our family, we have LTC already, so this does not make sense for us.

I would be concerned about the inflation rate of the on-going payments. Inflation is the thief. Can you ask the organization how much their payments have increase in the past 5 and 3 years? (basically since COVID).

Non-profits don’t have profits or shareholders or dividend payments, but every organization, family, or individual has to live within their cash flow budget. If would look at their financial statements and look for months or quarters with NEGATIVE cash flows. As a non-profit, their finances are public.

I would absolutely have an elder law attorney review the contracts with you as part of your due diligence.

Yes, if your experience is “better than average” at that place, you’re absolutely subsidizing other people. Question is - is that wrong or undesirable? Who’s to say? Because in a heartbeat you could go from better than average to worse than average. That has been our sad experience, healthy to aggressive cancer in months. Maybe it gives you a lot of security. If it helps you sleep at night… good for you.

Personally, I would not like that lack of flexibility. After my wife’s cancer journey is over, I might want to travel and live in different places, with the time I have left on the earth.

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That would be a deal breaker for me, particularly the “once in, you are in”

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Also who decides you need a higher level of care? Management doesn’t always make good decisions

You sign a lot of rights away when you go to one of these CCRCs. On the flip side you could have an awesome assisted living only to have a god awful Medicaid nursing home later on.

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That is what we want to do.
But we have had some Maintenance issues that we would rather avoid even though we are capable of paying for it.

My son, pointed out that the money would be better spent on our house than the high cost of the Buy in/Monthly.
I think he is right but if we have another problem, all bets are off.

We have an appointment with another place… doing our homework. We doubt we will make a move for at least 6 months… hopefully much longer.

We like the house and far more space than any Senior Living can provide.

Thank You for your input. My son is quite sharp and his advice and now yours have given us pause,

Yes those places are so expensive that you could bulldoze a fully functioning home to put a small ranch house on the property and you’d still be ahead

I’m being tongue and cheek but if you can find a vacant lot of land and build a small house, it could be more practical than an independent living condo with an expensive buy in. You could pay a person to clean your house and if it’s small enough perfect for a teenager to get some extra cash

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Many thanks. I have followed this thread closely, going on 83 with several health issues. At first rush, senior living is attractive until crunching the numbers.

I could easily afford house cleaning and p/t nurse help and still remain in my fully owned home.

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Yes my grandma was 81 when she moved into her built home. She will be 105 in 19 days

Whether you get to stay in that home is if you can remain safe in that home such as keeping your mind

My parents would have been far better off choosing an assisted living facility rather than choosing to stay in their own home. Moving into a place that YOU decide will fit your desires, when you are still able enough to make friendships and enjoy the ammenities is far better than being put in places that don’t make you happy.

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Hi Robert,

I have done a little more research that may be helpful.
As you know most offer Senior Living, Assisted Living and Memory care.

The ones with the high Buy in are called

  • Lifeplan
  • Lifecare or
  • CCRC… Continuing care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs or life plan communities, are a long-term care option for older people who want to stay in the same place through different phases of the aging process.

I did not fully appreciate the difference when I visited the CCRC facility… they tried to explain but I was not understanding… it seemed like a ripoff or an Annuity.
Made me wonder how Covid improved their bottom line. :grinning:

It did not even feature full meals. Instead it gave a food allowance and you ordered off a menu with prices. The allowance would cover about average 1 meal a day.

The facilities are licensed by the state. The local health department tells these facilities what they must do, can and can not do. Inspections are routinely performed by state licensing authorities and by the local health department.

Covid had a negative impact on their bottom line. As they had to do more cleaning and sanitizing and testing of staff. Dining room capacity was cut in half requiring two seatings (joked that the first seating was given the early bird special price) Residents were tested when a staff member tested positive. Residents were isolated when staff tested positive and they had contact with that staff person. Agencies were used to provide staff when regular staff were out with covid.

There are good things about living in a retirement community. Your meals are provided, your apartment is cleaned, activities are arranged. For an added cost your meds will be handled and delivered, laundry done, bed made, and other amenities are available.

Although it is important, I would not place much weight on financials. If they have a lot of assets, will they still care for you? A buddy of mine had his mother in those homes for a long time. She kept moving from 1 place to another because they did not do as advertised. Most will not. This care for life model is from the past. When nursing homes or senior home flood or have to deal with pandemics, how does your big deposit help. You almost have to rely on word of mouth or reputation of the institution.

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My daughter and son-in-law have been trying to convince me to move from Connecticut to Atlanta since my husband died in June. They told me that there are beautiful senior living resorts in the town where they live in Northern Fulton County that are rentals.

I see my Mother and Mother in law both struggle with this whole entire issue of getting out of their houses, monetizing them, and moving on. I know it’s tough but I’m motivated to try to do it when I’m a bit younger… Have a lock and leave lifestyle, take an Uber to the airport and travel the world not screwing around with lawn AC roof property taxes painting insurance etc. Easy to say I suppose. After my wife passes from her not curable cancer, what do I do with her orange cat? He isn’t bonded to me, but to her. I like him but sometimes he behaves badly.

I have always heard that after losing a spouse, you shouldnt make permanent decisions for at least a year.

When I lost my husband 8 1/2 years ago, I was bombarded with letters, postcards, and phone calls from realtors urging me to sell my house. It made me very angry. Thinking about the disrespect and lack of compassion still does. I’m still in my home, where we raised our children, and have no plan to leave anytime soon. Someday the day might come, but not now.

Think about making an extended visit of two or three months to visit near your daughter. See whether you like the area, and might want to live there, or even just to visit seasonally. Make this kind of decision on your timeline; not anyone else’s.

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That is so true…!
Grief counselor at the hospice where my wife died said the same thing and provided examples. She was sooooo right!

I shudder at the decisions I almost made…

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