Senior independent living communities are among the nicest places to spend retirement, and many people believe that level of luxury comes with a pretty hefty price tag. In reality, however, the costs of each, when comparing the costs apples to apples, might surprise many. Here’s a step-by-step guide to comparing the costs of living at home versus living in independent living.
The cost of living at home
Start with the current home and make a list. If it isn’t paid for, what is the annual mortgage amount? What are the annual taxes and insurance costs? Now look at the costs of anticipated repairs such as a new roof, necessary upkeep like new carpet or flooring, and the costs of ongoing maintenance and upkeep such as replacing a water heater or other major appliance.
Next, tally up the costs of utilities (gas, water, electric), cable and/or Internet, food (groceries and eating at restaurants), entertainment (movies, gym memberships, or court rentals), housekeeping, and any other regular out-of-pocket costs incurred every month.
Also keep in mind that the home may need changes to make it safe as time goes on. Such aspects as upstairs bedrooms, bathrooms with walk-in showers, doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs, and other accessibility concerns should not be discounted, but rather estimated and added into the overall costs.
Add up this list and you will see that the cost of living in the family home is quite a bit more than just the mortgage and taxes. For a deeper look at how much it really costs to live at home, the whereyoulivematters.org blog “The Surprising Costs of Living at Home,” is a great resource.
The cost of independent living
Now look at independent living communities in the desired location and make a list of the costs. Some have different plans for different types of housing, services and amenities like meal plans. Independent living at Sonrisa is designed to be a complete package providing a beautiful spacious studio, one- or two-bedroom apartment with 9-foot ceilings, quartz countertops, full kitchens with stainless steel appliances, full-size washers and dryers, and walk-in showers. Also included in the apartment rent are all utilities, Internet and basic cable, weekly housekeeping and linen service, and two chef-prepared meals each day.
Each apartment also includes access to communal spaces that are found throughout the independent living community, indoors and outdoors. For example, Sonrisa’s spacious lobby, dining room, courtyard, and beautifully landscaped gardens are available for all to share. And of course, it’s all maintenance free for residents! Now spend a little time comparing the costs of each. Then continue reading for more that will tip the scales in favor of independent living.
Since independent living communities are very intent on provided residents with all the amenities of home and more, the monthly fee at Sonrisa also includes an array of daily activities like cooking and exercise classes, arts and crafts, a movie theater, a full resort-style swimming pool, a state-of-the art fitness center, and a yoga and dance studio.
For those who enjoy a little competitive play, the pickleball court, horseshoe pit, and bocce ball court are also part of the package, as is the putting green. Also unlike at home, Sonrisa offers residents an onsite hair salon and barbershop, a day spa, a Bistro Café, and for pet owners, a dog park and indoor dog washing station. Another very valuable asset is the emergency alert system that provides a sense of safety and security 24/7, 365 to each resident in our independent living community.
The importance of community
Aside from the visual beauty and sophistication of Sonrisa, our independent living community is a warm and welcoming place where seniors quickly feel right at home. We work hard to create a sense of family and know that many of our residents have forged lifelong friendships simply because they live here.
Most of all, residents and staff alike share the goal of making the most of life, enjoying the camaraderie of good friends, and living in a beautiful place. It is this wonderful sense of community that we want to share with other seniors seeking peace, security, and a fun and active lifestyle during their retirement.