When evaluating whether a Life Care community is the right place to live as you age, you’ll want to explore two primary questions: “How much will a Life Care community cost, particularly compared to my current home or a different retirement option?” and “How much value will moving to a Life Care community provide for my family and me?” To give you the context you’ll need to fully evaluate these questions, here is a breakdown of the value which Life Care communities offer, and how to determine the costs of moving to a Life Care community such as Ventana by Buckner.
The Full Value of a Life Plan Community
There is a long list of emotional, practical, and financial reasons why moving to a luxury senior living community makes sense for many people. In the case of a Life Care community like Ventana, those reasons are even more apparent. As our Executive Director, Rick Pruett, writes in his article, “Executive Insights: Why Choose Life Care?” the value of a Life Care community can be broken down into five distinct categories:
- Financial Security
Community means having the ability to live in a vibrant, social neighborhood and freeing yourself from the burdens of home ownership. Care means securing a guaranteed place for life—no matter what medical expenses arise—and taking advantage of advanced care options like Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing. Family means being able to stay in close proximity to your partner—even if you require different levels of care—and ensuring that your children and loved ones don’t have to bear the physical and financial stresses of caregiving. Financial Security means leaving your legacy intact, thanks to cost containment and a 90% refundable entrance deposit. And Lifestyle means benefitting from extensive amenities and services like fitness centers, pools, theaters, fine dining and high-value programming. Each of these factors, on its own, contributes significant value to seniors as they age. Considered all together, these fives differentiators give Life Care community members a chance to thrive, taking confidence in the knowledge that they have made the best choices for themselves and those they love. [mssc]
Evaluating the Costs of Staying at Home vs. Moving
When deciding whether to stay at home or to move—and when choosing between a Life Care community and other senior living arrangements—it’s difficult, but not impossible, to compare the associated costs and return on investment (ROI). To calculate what your costs would be at a Life Care community:
- Write down the entrance deposit amount associated with the apartment of your choice
- Subtract the percentage of the entrance deposit that will be refunded to you or your estate when your contract concludes (at Ventana, plans are 90% refundable)
- Request an accounting of monthly fees associated with your desired apartment; this accounting should include everything that falls under those monthly fees, such as rent, taxes, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, maintenance, entertainment, meals, and numerous other expenses
- Determine the average costs of Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing by researching communities in the surrounding area that charge monthly fees for those services
- See if the community provides 24-hour professional care for life and compare the cost-effectiveness of this round-the-clock care relative to any existing, long-term care insurance policies you may have
Understanding these costs is important, and it is equally critical to account for the costs of not moving to a Life Care community. Given that 53% of retired seniors list out-of-control health care costs as one of their top retirement fears*—and considering that 15% of people turning 65 by 2019 will spend more than $250,000 on long-term care in their lifetimes**—the value of a Life Care community comes into perspective.
Calculating the Value
Factoring your upcoming maintenance costs and tax implications into your calculations will give you a better understanding of what it’ll cost you, over time, to remain in your current home. To make things simple, download Ventana’s helpful Financial Value Guide. The guide includes sections titled “Upcoming Maintenance Assessment” and “Calculate Your Current Expenses”—located on pages 11 and 13, respectively—aimed to help you quantify what your true costs of home ownership will be in the years ahead. Remember to also include tax benefits as part of your calculations. Not only will you no longer be paying high real estate taxes, but portions of your deposits and fees are eligible for deductions under current IRS guidelines.
The Ventana Difference
This Monthly Fee Comparison chart, also found on Page 14 of the Value Guide, shows how much you can save by choosing Ventana over other luxury senior living communities in Dallas. It’s easy to see why many people—after investigating other senior living options—decide that Ventana is the Dallas Life Care community for them. The value that Ventana provides, relative to its costs, makes it an excellent choice for anyone who is ready to leave the burdens of home ownership behind. Call us at 214-234-1035 to speak with a counselor to learn more. *Nationwide, Healthcare Costs in Retirement, 2012 **Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy