Should you stay or should you go? Weighing the costs of senior living
Thinking about selling your home and moving into a senior living community? The decision is a big one, which is why it's so important to make sure it's an informed one. If you feel like you have more questions than answers at this point, that's OK! Holiday Retirement has lots of tools and resources that can help you navigate the decision-making process.
Where to begin?
A great place to start is Holiday's Retirement Cost of Living Calculator. This easy-to-use online tool allows you to compare your current everyday living and home maintenance expenses with the cost of living at a Holiday Retirement community in your area.
For the most accurate comparison using this tool, you'll need the following seven documents to determine your current expenses:
- Rent or mortgage statement: A home can be an asset or liability as you age. If you have a mortgage, you can check with your lender to determine when your home will be paid off. If you rent, consider the possibility of cost increases that may happen in the future.
- Renter’s or homeowner’s insurance: Most lenders and leasing companies require coverage to protect your home in case of damage. Locate your most recent bill to add this expense to the "aging in place" column.
- Taxes: Are your taxes too high? If you’re a homeowner, this is an important number to have when you compare costs. Find a copy of your last tax statement to get an accurate picture of your home's expenses.
- Home maintenance costs: From gutter cleaning and driveway sealing, to planning for the future by making the first floor of your home walker- and wheelchair-accessible, these costs can add up! Make sure you list them each to get a proper representation of home improvement costs.
- Utility bills: As a best practice, gather a few months of water, heating and electric bills to get an average that accounts for changes in seasons.
- Security alarm/home security invoices: If you utilize any home security services, be sure to dig up your monthly statement and add this cost to the list.
- Homeowners association fees: If you live in a development, you may be required to pay a monthly or yearly homeowner's association (HOA) fee. Contact your HOA to see whether these costs are expected to rise significantly each year.
Don't forget to collect receipts or bills for the following expenses that might not immediately come to mind but can have a big impact on your wallet:
- Groceries and dining
- 24-hour emergency aid
- Entertainment, internet and cable
- Fitness membership
- Travel accommodations
After you finish entering in your expenses in the Retirement Cost of Living Calculator, download Holiday's free e-book, "7 Unexpected Financial Benefits of Living in a Senior Community," for even more resources on determining if senior living options suit your lifestyle.
Keep in mind, it's important to weigh all the financial and social factors before making your decision about senior living. If you determine that making a move to a retirement community is a good option for you, it's time to explore the ideal senior lifestyle. There are lots of things to consider, like what size community is best for your lifestyle, and what types of amenities you prefer.
Once you've explored your options, schedule a visit at communities nearby and get an understanding of what daily life is like for residents. With more than 300 Holiday communities around the country, you're sure to find a great fit!