Independent Living: Cost vs. Value

May 14, 2024

How much will independent living cost me?” 

If this question is at the top of your list, you’re not alone. Cost is a primary decision-making factor for many seeking senior living options. A word of advice, though – always consider both the cost AND the value of what independent living can offer. Is what you’re receiving worth the cost required? 

Of course, that’s a question that only you can answer, but there are numerous individuals out there, including current residents and their family members, who would answer with a confident, “Yes!” 

Want to make a cost vs. value comparison between remaining in your current home and moving into an independent living community? Keep reading, and we’ll help you get started. 

Aging in place at home vs. independent living 

At first, you may think that staying at home is virtually cost-free compared to paying an entrance fee and/or monthly rent, but if you dig deeper, you’ll realize that there are actually significant costs, both financial costs and opportunity costs, that are involved when you opt to age in place at home. 

We’ve created a handy worksheet to help you compare your current expenses with the cost of senior living. Download “THE VALUE OF ABE’S GARDEN INDEPENDENT AND ASSISTED LIVING” here.  

Now, let’s compare, one cost category at a time: 

Room and board 

If you own your own home, it’s true that there is little cost to worry about, although you still have to pay property taxes and home insurance premiums. 

In an independent living community, you typically pay either an entrance fee or monthly rent. Keep in mind, however, that senior living residents frequently use the funds from selling their home to pay for these expenses. Plus, you’re not responsible for any property taxes. 

Meals and dining 

When you remain at home, it’s up to you to prepare your own meals. This includes going to the grocery store, keeping your pantry stocked, cooking the ingredients, and then cleaning up afterwards. You may opt for take-out or dining out, but doing this often can add up quickly. 

Independent living residents, on the other hand, enjoy three meals a day, every day, covered by their entrance fee or monthly rent. No grocery shopping, prep or cleanup necessary – just show up to the on-site dining area at mealtime and bon appetite. 

Download our free Guide to Independent Living .

Maintenance and upkeep 

Depending on your current living arrangements, you may have to contend with maintenance and upkeep. That means if something breaks, you’re responsible for fixing it (or paying someone else to). Mowing the lawn, landscaping upkeep and removing snow and ice in the winter are all regular tasks you may have as well. 

But when you live in an independent living community, maintenance and upkeep become things of the past. All year round, you can depend on your community to take care of all yardwork, snow removal, and property maintenance (inside and outside). 

Miscellaneous costs 

Living on your own can incur lots of miscellaneous costs, some of which are necessities and some of which may be optional. For example, paying utilities is essential to keep the lights on, water running, and your living area heated and cooled. Other categories such as transportation, entertainment and leisure activities can vary. 

Independent living costs actually include many of these miscellaneous costs, built into your entrance fee or monthly rent. That means fewer bills for you to keep track of, and more time for you to enjoy the things you love most. 

Peace of mind 

Perhaps the most significant factor in independent living value is the peace of mind you and your family receive when you choose senior living. No longer do you have to worry about living alone or what will happen when and if you need more care. It’s something you can’t put a price tag on, and honestly, the main reason many residents are so glad they made the choice to move when they did. 

Want more facts on independent living? 

Download this free resource, “Just the Facts: Your Guide to Independent Living,” to learn more about what you can expect when you choose independent living. Contact us to schedule a tour and see Abe’s Garden for yourself! 

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