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senior-independent-living-costsAs you get older, you want to be able to enjoy those years, but you also need to face the reality that you may need a little assistance performing daily tasks. A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may be a great solution. CCRC provides a continuum of care, beginning with independent living and providing tailored support all the way through end-of-life care. Many people assume that independent living communities are too expensive, but you may be surprised because you don’t know how much independent senior living costs. You may also be surprised by how affordable some facilities such as Montgomery Place can be.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living communities are senior living communities that provide residents the flexibility of a healthy social and recreational life, with the convenience of services such as housekeeping and cooked meals. Admission to an independent living community is limited to only those older than 55 or 65 who require limited assistance.

Members of the independent living community are afforded the delicate balance of autonomy and convenience, unlike other types of senior living. For instance, nursing homes mainly focus on providing medical care or help with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing.

Types of Independent Living

As you search for your perfect retirement community, you will come across various independent living communities. These communities offer different levels of independence and convenience.

Senior Apartments

Of all independent living arrangements, senior apartments offer the most autonomy and some services. In senior apartments, you get an apartment with a serviced kitchen and bathroom, allowing you to maintain your privacy.

Residents of senior apartments share a common dining room, which encourages healthy socialization.

Retirement Homes

Although they are a type of independent living community, retirement homes offer varied living options for older adults, ranging from townhomes and apartments to stand-alone houses.

Retirement communities offer seniors independence while also providing convenient onsite services, such as:

  • Meals
  • Laundry
  • Recreation
  • Transportation, etc.

These additional services make retirement communities more expensive than senior apartments.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

These offer various senior living options, ranging from nursing home care to independent living, all within one community.

In these communities, you enjoy the flexibility of an active and social lifestyle with the comfort of readily available healthcare. Since continuing care retirement communities have nursing home care services, independent seniors have the convenience of having a permanent residence even when they become more dependent on caregivers.

Who Is a Good Fit for Independent Living?

With so many options, it can be challenging to determine which senior living arrangement is a good fit for you or your loved one.

The following seniors find independent living suitable for them:

  • Adults who don’t need assistance with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, and management of medication
  • Adults who enjoy their independent lifestyle and only want help with home maintenance and meal preparation
  • Seniors who live alone and would like to interact with other peers through cordial social and recreational activities
  • Retired adults who are ready to embrace a more laid-back and convenient lifestyle

Average Cost of Independent Living

Independent living facilities are all-inclusive, so instead of paying separate fees for different expenses, you can pay one lump sum every month. Costs vary widely depending upon how many services and amenities the community offers. While many independent living communities, like Montgomery Place, offer daily meals, housekeeping and laundry service, a wide variety of social activities, and staff members available 24/7, some offer even more amenities so you will pay more to live at those facilities.

If you’re wondering, “how much is senior living per month?” the answer may surprise you. Many communities offer base packages as low as $500 per month, and because these facilities are all-inclusive, the annual cost could be much cheaper than living on your own. However, you often have to pay an entrance fee to reserve your spot. This one-time cost varies drastically among senior living communities. If you choose to become a resident of a continuing care retirement community that will offer you different services as your needs become more extensive, this fee could be as much as $600,000. However, most facilities are more reasonably priced and have entrance started at as little as $1,800.

The Cost of Staying at Home or Moving to a Senior Community

At first, you may think that remaining in your traditional, family home throughout your retirement may be much more cost-efficient than moving to an independent living community like Montgomery Place. Many senior living facilities require a significant entrance fee, and staying at home allows you to avoid this cost. Montgomery Place offers leasing options, as well as partially refundable entrance fee-based leasing agreements. If you add up the costs of living on your own, you’ll find that the cost of senior living is comparable. Expenses from the following categories add up quickly.

  • Housing: Rent or mortgage is one of the most significant expenses of living on your own. The average cost of rent or mortgage payment varies widely across the nation, but you can expect to pay approximately $1,200 per month just to keep a roof over your head. If you’ve owned your home for many years, you may not have a mortgage payment, but you’ll still have to pay property and HOA fees.
  • Transportation: If you own a vehicle, you may have monthly payments that could be expensive. Even if the vehicle is already paid off, you’ll still have to pay for gas, maintenance, and repairs as needed.
  • Groceries: You have to eat. Cooking for yourself is more cost-efficient than eating out every day, but the cost of feeding yourself can be expensive. On average, it takes $250 per month to feed one person three meals a day. If you want to consume a healthy, nutritious diet full of whole foods and organic fruits and vegetables, you could end up spending even more.
  • Utilities: It costs money to keep the water running in your house and keep the lights on. You may also have to pay for trash removal or lawn care services each month.

What To Consider When Choosing an Independent Living Community

Before you settle for an independent living community, assess your options based on the following factors.

Social and Recreational Opportunities

Older adults who settle for an independent living want increased independence coupled with abundant social and recreational activities. They want to take part in hobbies and games with their peers.

Before choosing an independent living community, discover the social and recreational opportunities available. Ensure that the community offers a healthy combination of onsite and offsite activities to keep you or your loved one satisfactorily occupied.

Convenience Services and Amenities

The quality of services and amenities offered at an independent living community is a factor you should seriously consider. Find out how often the community conducts apartment cleaning, laundry, and other convenience services.

Before making a choice, you should also explore the entertainment and lifestyle amenities available. You should ensure your chosen community is appropriately serviced if you cannot live without a TV or theater room.

Dining Services

Few things are as important as food. Your dining experience contributes to your comfort and health. Find out whether your chosen option offers flexible meal plans suitable to your needs. Verify the number of meals offered and the expected mealtimes to know if your choice is a good fit.

Compare Actual Costs Before Deciding, Talk to Montgomery Place: Senior Living Community in Chicago Today

Whether you are looking into senior living options for yourself or a loved one, the independent living community at Montgomery Place is a great option for people looking for a place in Chicago, Illinois. We offer a wide variety of support services to help you live your best life while living as independently as possible.

If you would like more information on all Montgomery Place has to offer to see if our community is right for you, contact us today to schedule a tour.

Featured Image: Shutterstock /Yakobchuk Viacheslav