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Senior Living Options: Buying versus Renting

Choosing to move into a senior living community is an important decision. There’s a lot to consider once you determine it’s time to find your new home. 

First, there’s location. Do you want to stay in town or relocate to a neighboring city? Will you move closer to family? Or set off for a new adventure in a place you’ve always dreamed of living?

You also need to ask yourself questions about the activities you enjoy, as well as your current (and future) health considerations. Your new community should be able to meet your physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs.  

Next, it comes down to a decision to rent or buy-in to a senior living community. There are a few options, depending on your position.

Rental and Purchase Options

You have three choices when choosing your new home. Your options include:

Rental Communities

These are apartment home communities for independent seniors. Some offer services for dining, housekeeping and in-home care, but do not provide for the advanced needs of aging in place. Renting can be a good choice if you don’t want a long-term obligation. However, be prepared to relocate if/when you need assisted living services or onsite healthcare resources.

Owner Communities

These condominium or villa communities are just what they sound like. You buy your unit and enjoy the security of homeownership. Owner communities charge maintenance and homeowner’s association fees for external upkeep. You will need to budget for any indoor repair or renovation costs that come with your purchase. Ownership makes sense if you want to build equity with a saleable asset. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

CCRC’s are an all-in-one, long-term lifestyle solution, also called Life Plan Communities.  These communities support safe and healthy aging by providing a full continuum of care. Residents who choose a CCRC, or Life Plan Community, can find comfort in knowing their future needs will be met in the same location. CCRCs use two main financial options – an entry fee with a reduced monthly fee, or a higher monthly fee with no entry fee. A portion of the entry fee is refundable to the resident or their estate once the resident leaves the community and their unit is re-occupied, preserving funds for the resident’s estate. 

Aberdeen Heights is an entry-fee based CCRC offering independent and assisted living, along with memory care and long-term nursing care. Our residents enjoy active lives in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with the security of knowing there is a plan in place for whenever their needs change.

What is Right for You?

While only you know that answer for sure, the financial experts at Kiplinger offer some guidance around the costs of senior living buy-in versus monthly rent outlays. 

Stability is a driving factor for many seniors who are planning their next steps. Moving once is difficult enough. Moving two or three times can be both costly and emotionally exhausting. It’s important to take your time with the life-changing decision to buy or rent in a senior living community.

Talk to friends who have moved. Meet with your financial advisor. Visit communities in the area where you’d like to live. And, most of all, trust your good judgement and natural instincts. You are the best barometer of what is right for your future. Use our 4-minute assessment, "Is now the right time for senior living?," to check your readiness to make a move.

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