If you’re nearing retirement or are already there, you’ve hopefully broached questions about your next phase of life with your spouse, family, or at least yourself! Or perhaps you’re well into your senior years but having anxiety about what’s next for you, struggling with living alone. Independent living gives residents convenient access to dining, medical care, entertainment, and more, with the freedom of self-sufficiency.
While this may sound ideal, can you afford it? How much does independent living cost? Let’s explore this and the many benefits of lifelong independent living in a life-plan community.
What Are the Average Living Costs of Seniors?
Before making the leap to independent living, many seniors should consider the cost of living in their current residence. These can include:
- Property taxes – even if you already own your home and are mortgage free, you are paying property taxes, which are several thousand dollars each year.
- Rent – if you sold your home and are living in an apartment, you avoid property taxes but pay rent, likely between $1,000 – $2,000 monthly for an average-sized space.
- Utilities – unless it’s included in your rent, you’re also paying utilities for your home. Electricity costs have increased by 73% in Pennsylvania in the past two years.
- Food & groceries – whether you prepare your own food or eat out a lot, the average American spends $200-$300 monthly on groceries. Dining at restaurants would likely increase this cost.
- Transportation – unless you live in an urban area with adequate public transportation or walkability, you’re likely paying for a car, car insurance, gas, or some combination of these expenses.
- Healthcare – if you’re over 65 and qualify for Medicare, you are still paying for deductibles, portions of prescriptions, and temporary hospitalizations for emergencies or surgical needs.
- Entertainment – retirees often seek social connections and ways to stay active. Budgets can vary greatly for this, but it’s likely you’re spending money on travel and entertainment.
As you evaluate your expenses, you may find you’re coming close to the state average cost of living, nearly $50,000 a year, with housing likely being your top expenditure. When you break this down to a monthly cost, you’re looking at just over $4,000 a month, plus the energy and time to manage your budget, pay your bills and get where you need to go.
How do these costs compare with the cost of independent living?
What is the Average Cost of Independent Living?
Depending on the state you live in and what type of amenities you seek, independent living costs can vary greatly, from $1,500 to $10,000 monthly.
In Pennsylvania, independent living costs $3,555 each month on average. What’s covered by these costs? Typically, this includes housing, utilities, meals, transportation, a vigorous calendar of activities and events, and even some healthcare services. When you compare this to home ownership or rent, you can see how independent living community costs are actually more in range than you may have expected. Plus, at communities like Meadowood, the amenities list is quite extensive, typically offering you way more to do and experience that you otherwise would, like:
- An award-winning wellness program with access to fitness centers, pools, personalized training, and diverse programming
- Several dining venues
- Woodworking and ceramics studio
- Dog park
- On-site salon
- Walking trails
While there are fees to enter most independent living communities, there are added benefits to choosing independent living within a life-plan community or continuing care retirement community (CCRC), like Meadowood – the ability to age in place and peace of mind.
When you enter independent living at Meadowood, you can access tiered lifestyle and healthcare options on one campus, including independent living, personal care, memory care, and skilled nursing. Save yourself and your loved ones the hardship of pursuing other living situations when you are in a dire situation and at the mercy of whatever fees or facilities with current availability. Here, you can transition when you need to.
How Much Does Independent Living Cost at Meadowood?
Meadowood is proud to offer multiple residential living options to fit your lifestyle!
If you’re used to living in a large, spacious home and are looking for that experience, you can rightsize your independent living in one of Meadowood’s carriage homes, with up to 2,780 sq. ft.
Meadowood’s most affordable option is our one-bedroom Berkshire apartments, with 722 sq. ft. of luxurious, customizable space and access to all things Meadowood. This option makes independent living available to those on a budget, starting at around $2,800 per month.
Worried you’ll run out of money? Meadowood is also a nonprofit, so once you qualify for our community financially and medically, if you outpace your retirement fund through no fault of your own, we offer a Benevolence Fund process that allows us to keep you in our community.
To learn more about Meadowood and the costs of entering independent living within our beautiful 135-acre life plan community, please request a brochure or schedule an in-person visit with one of our counselors.