November 20, 2018
Life plan communities or continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are a popular retirement living choice among older adults who live fully, or mostly, independently today but desire to live in a setting whereby long-term care services are available if needed in the future. Choosing the right community is an important, complex decision process.
Here are four key aspects of the process:
There are a number of different types of residency agreements available. The vast majority of life plan communities require an entry fee and monthly fees. These fees are impacted by factors such as the size of the home or apartment, location, available services, and other amenities at the community. The fees are also based, in part, on what you will pay for assisted living and healthcare services when needed.
Some residency agreements state that your monthly fees will remain relatively level over the course of your lifetime, except for inflationary increases, regardless of whether you are living independently or require care. Other residency agreements may require a smaller entry fee and possibly even lower monthly fees, but if you ever require care services your monthly fees will increase to reflect the market cost of care at that time. Yet, there are other agreements that are essentially a blend of these two.
In addition to the types of residency agreements available, many communities also offer refundable entry fee agreements. These agreements essentially reimburse a portion of the entry fee to the resident if they move from the community or to their estate. The tradeoff: Entry fees are almost always higher for a refundable entry fee agreement and may be contingent on the resale of your residence.
Financial Stability of Life Plan Community
The financial stability of a life plan community will determine if it is in a position to fulfill its long-term commitment to provide housing and health care to residents for life. Do your research to learn about the community’s occupancy ratio, history of operations, financial ratios, and the experience and expertise of its management. You may want to consider consulting with a financial or tax professional for additional guidance when it comes to retirement planning.
Location, culture, programs, and other services and amenities should align with your personal preferences. After all, this is where you are going to live, and you want to feel happy there. Consider whether the lifestyle offered will help you thrive in mind, body, and spirit.
It’s wise for you to stay a night or two in a guest suite to get a sense of what it’s like to live there. Observe whether residents seem involved in the community and respected by staff. Are activities mainly driven by residents and staff? This can indicate the vitality of the resident base, or lack thereof. Is there up-to-date technology, including WiFi in common areas and in the residences? Also, our meals only available at scheduled times or are there flexible meal time and menus?
Although most people are attracted to life plan communities by the independent living features, the ultimate reason for considering this type of retirement community and paying an entry fee is the peace of mind that comes with having priority access to healthcare. Here are some key questions to ask:
- Does the community appear to take pride in the care that is available to residents?
- What sets the community’s care facility apart from other providers?
- If there is a record of complaints against life plan community, can you review it? If skilled nursing care is offered in a Medicare-certified facility (versus private pay only), consult the CMS-star rating on Medicare.gov.
- Has the healthcare facility received any special awards or special recognition for quality of care?
- Ask about staff turnover in the healthcare facility. A high turnover rate may indicate an unhappy staff, which could translate into poor care delivery.
Beyond staying in your home, contemporary senior living options are plentiful and certainly worlds away from those available in the past. Beatitudes Campus, located in North Central Phoenix, is a prime example of this. Our Arizona-based community offers vibrant, exciting opportunities for building new friendships and seeking new adventures. All of our services and amenities are geared toward your health, happiness, and peace of mind. Planning ahead can help give confidence and reduce stress with future endeavors. That is why it is so important to consider a life plan community for aging well. Beatitudes Campus is happy to provide solutions for your future. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary Retirement Planning Guide today. This planning tool will guide you through some considerations to look at before you choose what’s right for you.
Call us at (602) 353-7109 to request a guide or simply fill out a contact form. Leave a message stating you would like to request a Retirement Planning Guide! A residency counselor will reach out to you regarding next steps. There is no time like the present to start planning for the future.
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.