It’s probably no surprise that 76 percent of adults age 50 and over want to stay in their homes as they age. However, only 59 percent say they anticipate that actually happening.
Although it might seem easier, less stressful, and less expensive to remain at home, there’s a lot to consider as you make this choice. Learn more about the real costs of aging at home versus moving to a retirement community.
The Pros and Cons of Aging in Place
At first blush, aging at home seems like a no-brainer. You don’t have to move; you can stay in familiar surroundings; you don’t have to pay a deposit or fees.
But aging in place isn’t without costs. Have you considered how much you spend on each of these things per month - and how they add up?
- Rent or mortgage
- Home and lawn maintenance
- Property taxes
- Recreation and social activities
The numbers can vary widely depending on where you live and your lifestyle, but as you look at this list, you’ll start to get a sense of your overall costs.
Now, factor in additional costs you might need as you age. These could include making changes or renovations to your home. And consider that you’ll likely need help with some activities of daily living and with taking care of your home, so you’ll want to hire a home health aide or housekeeping service.
Genworth Financial reports that home health aide services cost $4,195 per month in 2018, while homemaker services were $3,813 per month.*
The Costs of Retirement Communities
Now, think about the benefits of moving to a retirement community.
- Home maintenance is provided.
- There’s no cooking or cleaning (if you select these services, depending on your community)
- Taxes and utilities are paid for you.
- Transportation is often provided for running errands or going to appointments.
- Recreational activities are available.
- You’ll be living around other like-minded neighbors.
- You can rest assured that help is there if you need it.
- If you choose a continuing care retirement community, your health care needs will be taken care of for the rest of your life.
How much does it cost? Independent living costs vary widely depending on location, service offered, lifestyle, and much more. You could pay anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 per month, depending on these factors.
And if you need additional services, like help bathing, getting dressed, or taking medication, Genworth’s study put monthly assisted living costs at $3,475 per month*.
Is Retirement Living Worth It?
At this point, you may be wondering if moving to a retirement community is worth the money. One way to compare aging in place versus moving is to think of the overall lifetime value of your investment.
You might save money in the short-term as you stay at home, but what if you have to move later? Or what if you need to make extensive changes to your home so it can accommodate you?
If you feel more comfortable staying in a familiar location, think about how you’d feel if you had to make a quick decision - or a loved one needed to do it for you - if your health changed in the future. One benefit of moving to a retirement community when you’re younger is that you’ll be making the decision yourself, on your own terms.
Regardless of your choice, it’s a very personal decision that might take a long time - months or years - to determine. There’s no black and white answer, and there’s probably no need to rush. Take your time and make the decision that’s right for you.
Next Steps: Dive Deeper into Your Costs
Are you curious about comparing the costs of aging in place and moving to a retirement community? We've put together a helpful worksheet so you can see your real costs of living at home vs. at a retirement community like the Esquiline.
Download the free worksheet today and start comparing your options.