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Comparing Costs of Living at Home or Senior Living Community

senior man raising glass of orange juice for cheers

Comparing Costs of Living at Home with Senior Living Community Costs

You’re not alone if you think there’s no place like home as you age. In fact, a new AARP Home and Community Preferences survey shows that 77 percent of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term. If you’ve paid off your mortgage like millions of seniors, or you’re getting close to paying it off, you may feel even more strongly that aging in your own home is an economical solution. However, the cost of living in your own home as you age can be steep.

The reality is, even if you pay a low monthly mortgage or no mortgage at all, you’re shelling out plenty more for everything from home maintenance to taxes and utilities. And that’s just a portion of the expenses associated with aging in place. Is there a more cost-effective living option for enjoying your senior years? A senior living community like Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach, Virginia, could be the solution for you. It’s not only a wise way to control your budget, it’s a resort-like atmosphere that active seniors love.

Follow along as we compare the costs of remaining at home with making the move to a senior living community and decide for yourself.

Will the Expenses Keep on Coming … or Not?

While it’s true that a mortgage is typically your largest monthly expense, the upkeep of your home is a never-ending expense, as are tax bills and utility
bills – not to mention the cost of making sure your home is “age-proof,” and the expense of hiring a home health care aide if you should ever need one.

Let’s compare some of the key costs involved if you choose to age in place with making the move to a senior living community:

Maintaining Your Own Home vs. Senior Living Community Costs

Aging in place: Your home isn’t getting any younger either. There will always be mechanical breakdowns and replacements to contend with – and even small tasks like cleaning gutters or changing light bulbs in a high ceiling fan will likely require hiring a professional as you age. Then there’s lawn and yard care, snow removal, exterior repainting/repairing, and hiring a maid service to clean and perhaps do laundry and change bed linens for starters. The home maintenance to-do list never ends, nor do the associated costs.

Senior living community: Right away, you can toss your to-do list. In a senior community like Atlantic Shores, your cost of living can drop significantly since the staff takes care of the entire list above – at no additional charge to you. All services are ongoing, and should you have an unexpected repair or replacement need, simply pick up the phone to arrange to have it fixed.

Homeowner Taxes/Utilities vs. Senior Living Community Costs

Aging in place: Homeowners can’t escape the onslaught of bills for property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, monthly utilities, TV/internet, security systems, etc. What’s more, some of these bill amounts are variable, so it’s often difficult to predict your expenses from month to month.
Senior living community: When you rent an independent living apartment, you’re freed from homeowner tax burdens. What’s more, in senior living communities like Atlantic Shores, your utility expenses, TV/internet bills, and other monthly costs are all included in your monthly fee – no more bills of this kind to worry about ever again. Plus, residents have the option to own, rent or arrange a different plan that fits their budget. They have flexibility to pay for services, amenities and receive levels of senior living care according to their preferences.

Modifying Your Home for Safety and Access vs. Senior Living Community Costs

Aging in place: It’s rare that the family home is designed to accommodate the needs of older adults. The bathroom is often the most common pain point, with its tight spaces and safety hazards. Doorways can also present issues if they aren’t wide enough for walkers or wheelchairs. Stairs are another problem. Homes can be retrofitted for safety and special needs, but that comes at a steep cost. In fact, Bankrate estimates you could spend as much as $50,000 to remodel your entire home or make significant structural changes for added safety, wheelchair access, etc.

Senior living community: Apartments and common areas in a senior living community are specifically designed to address the changing needs of residents. Wide doorways, safety bars, non-slip surfaces, and single-floor units are among the features you can expect, along with elevators, ramps, hallway rails and more. Residents will tell you that worry-free living is the best kind of lifestyle.

Food, Fun and Membership Costs vs. Senior Living Community Costs

Aging in place: When retirees make a list of anticipated expenses, they quickly realize that groceries, entertainment, Uber rides, and fitness club memberships add up to a big chunk of change. Cuts may need to be made and social and fitness activities are often the first to be eliminated. Losing these aspects of life isn’t just disappointing, it can lead to increased health risks like depression, heart disease and more.

Senior living community: There’s hardly enough room in this article to describe the wealth of amenities and benefits offered to residents in a retirement community. Typically, there are several dining venues and options available (and included in the monthly fee), along with opportunities to socialize, enjoy entertainment, experience culture, stay active and be creative. A vital, energized lifestyle is the hallmark of the best senior living communities.

Current and Future Health Care Costs vs. Senior Living Community Costs

Aging in place: You may be in the peak of health now, but changes happen, and your cost of living can skyrocket. If you ever need help managing a medical condition and/or handling activities of daily living like getting dressed, making meals, bathing, etc, you may need to hire part-time in-home care which can cost an average of $16 per hour to $27 per hour, depending on location, according to Genworth. For an eight-hour day of home care, that will typically total over $4,100 per month.

Senior living community: In a senior living community like Atlantic Shores, robust health care is available to all residents. It is among the retirement communities known as a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community). This is an ideal option for seniors who want to stay in one place as they age, with all of the potential care available that they may require if their health needs change. Along with independent living, CCRCs typically offer assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, as well as a 24/7 wellness clinic. That said, it’s important to ask what options are available and discuss which healthcare services are included in your monthly fees.

Want to calculate your own cost comparison? Start here.

Choose to Live Beautifully – and Worry-Free

Imagine living close to the beach on 100+ picturesque acres with everything you need to live well today and throughout your life. That’s what you can enjoy as a resident of Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach.

To see what your life could be like, mark your calendar for May 14, 2022, and be our guest for Atlantic Shores’ Annual Spring Garden Event. From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., browse our beautiful grounds, shop for crafts and homemade goods, and enjoy delicious food and drinks, serenaded by live music. You’ll also have a chance to meet and talk with residents to see what you’re missing!

If you’d like to reach out to us directly, complete our contact form or call (757) 275-8705. We look forward to meeting you.