Why Are Senior Apartments Cheaper?
June 23, 2021Retirement Communities
For many seniors, the prospect of moving out of the home they've lived in for most of their lives and moving into a senior living community instead may feel like surrendering to a fight that they aren't ready to surrender.
However, those same seniors might not realize that moving into a senior apartment building may be able to save them a good deal of both time and money, something they might not have a lot of, as they transition further into their retirement years.
If you're curious about why senior apartments oftentimes turn out to be cheaper living options for seniors than living either alone or in an assisted-care facility, read on to find out.
A good deal of retirees may find that senior apartments are cheaper than other living options because they do not require upkeep and they minimize living expenses. As well, they can be cheaper than retirement homes and assisted-living facilities that offer in-home care while still providing some easy and convenient access to care should an emergency arise.
Senior apartments allow you to live independently within your means, downsizing your responsibilities while also not being anywhere near as intrusive or expensive as senior living options that offer more personalized assistance.
Senior apartment buildings are independent living communities that typically disallow any tenants that are under the age of 55. Some exceptions can be made should a resident over the age of 55 have a spouse that is under 55 but, for the most part, senior apartments are meant for seniors.
The aim of senior apartments and other independent living communities is to provide seniors a more independent option for when their house becomes more of a burden than it does a symbol of freedom.
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Maintaining a House Can Be Expensive
Although owning property can be seen as a symbol of pride for many, maintaining upkeep on a property is not always going to be feasible for those that are getting on in their years. Many seniors fall into a trap of paying a whole host of hired help to do all necessary household chores for them, from cleaning the inside of their house to gardening. On top of this, it is common for seniors to have part-time nurses that they have to pay for on top of everything else. Even once you've paid off your mortgage, property is a thing that is always going to be in need of constant maintenance; living on your own property is never going to be free.
Property Taxes Never Go Away and Often Get Worse
As well, even if you own the property you are currently occupying outright, you are still being forced to pay property taxes. These property taxes could be steadily increasing as you get on in years. With property taxes, you essentially never stop paying for the property you are currently occupying, regardless of how much of that property you are actually using. If you are a senior living independently in a house, chances are that you are paying for a good deal of property that you aren't even putting to good use.
Downsizing Can Save You Time and Money
Most seniors find that the house they've spent most of their lives in is too big for them in their increasing years. Once the children grow up and move out, or even if you never had any children to begin with, the average household can provide a good deal more room than the average senior needs. But even if you aren't using all of the room in your house, you're still having to pay for it, whether through rent, mortgage, property taxes, or simply through upkeep and cleaning.
Apartments Provide Maintenance and Amenities for a Standard Fee
For all these reasons and more, apartment living is often seen as ideal for seniors who can still live independently but wish to downsize, either for monetary or personal reasons. Although apartments require a monthly living fee, this fee includes all upkeep and maintenance that the apartment will require, meaning you might be paying less to maintain an apartment than you would be to maintain a house, even if you owned the house outright.
Happy and Healthy Living Means Fewer Medical Costs
On top of this, many senior apartments offer easier and cheaper access to part-time nurses, meaning that, if you're healthy enough to live independently yet still need a small amount of assistance, you may be able to get it for cheaper by using a part-time nurse that has a working relationship with your senior apartment complex. As well, the easier and more relaxed living that senior apartments can provide may, in turn, provide many cursory benefits for your health. This could mean you might not need to pay as much for medical assistance in the long run.
Senior Apartments Offer Handicap Accessibility Without Additional Fees
Another thing that senior apartments offer that your traditional residence may not is handicap access. Many seniors who can still live independently have lost the ability to transport themselves easily. They may need the assistance of a wheelchair or a walker in order to get around, even in their own house.
In these situations, seniors who wish to stay at home typically have to pay construction fees to have handicap-accessible ramps and entrances added to their current place of residence. This may seem like a daunting commitment for many seniors who are not sure how much longer they are going to be around to use them. Senior apartments will have all of these amenities included in their buildings, meaning you will have all the access you need without having to pay extra for it or to have it installed.
As well, senior apartments oftentimes offer transportation for recreational activities with on-property handicap-accessible vehicles. This can allow seniors to get out and see the world without having to have a wheelchair lift installed in their own car or the car of a family member. If transportation is not offered by the senior apartments directly, chances are that they are at least closer to a bus with a wheelchair lift than your old house was. These are just some of the many small things that come together to make senior living a cheaper living option than others for many seniors.
Senior Apartments Can Offer Free Recreational and Community Features
Many senior apartments also offer activities and other community features that could save you a good deal of money on both recreation and travel. Many seniors who are living at home feel trapped and wish to get outside and see the world. Oftentimes, people in this position will pay great sums of money just to be in a place where people are around, such as splurging on a cruise ticket or a luxury retreat.
While luxury isn't always a bad thing, sometimes all you really need is to get out and be around people like you. Instead of splurging to go on a cruise, you can save your money and utilize the community features of your senior apartment building. At senior apartments, you will always be a good deal closer to many like-minded people with similar interests and similar needs.
Senior Apartments May Be a Better Deal Than Retirement Homes
Not only are senior apartments cheaper than living independently in a traditional residence for most seniors, but they are also a good deal cheaper than retirement homes and other assisted-living communities. Many seniors might not realize that there are multiple levels of senior living communities and that not all of them entail living in the same space as other residents and being watched over 24/7 by a nurse.
For seniors who would like to find a better option than their current independent residence yet don't want to commit fully to retirement home living, senior apartments offer a great middle-of-the-road option that is also a great deal cheaper. If you don't need constant medical care, paying for a retirement home or assisted-living facility is a waste of money. While some seniors may be duped into it just so that they can be around people their own age, senior apartments provide a much better option.
Retirement Homes and Assisted-Living Facilities Can Be Expensive
With retirement homes and assisted-living facilities, you are paying more for medical care and amenities than you are for your actual personal space. Given that healthcare can get so expensive, it's no surprise their is a massive overhead for retirement homes and assisted-living facilities. Unless you intend to utilize all the amenities that retirement homes and assisted-living facilities offer, your money would be better spent in a senior apartment.
Don't Pay for What You Don't Need
On top of providing medical care, most retirement homes and assisted-living facilities will provide you all of your meals, take care of all of your non-medical needs, and also maintain your living quarters, similar to a maid at a hotel. This is not free. For many seniors, this level of care may be intrusive, and not at all what they were looking for when they made the decision to move out of their independent residence.
Seniors are often talked into moving into a retirement home or assisted-living facility by a family member who may or may not be aware of the alternative that senior apartments present. Senior apartments offer a network of support in their communities, from neighbors to staff. However, the greatly reduced impact of said support means a far more reasonable price in comparison to retirement homes and assisted-living facilities.
About THE AUTHOR
With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.Read more about David Bolton
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