Top 5 Mistakes Made When Choosing a Retirement Community

Key Takeaways

  • Moving a loved one to a continuing care community involves complex financial, emotional and support decisions.
  • Many families overlook the facility’s culture and cost structure, as well as their own cash flow, need for proximity and timing.
  • Before transitioning to a continuing care community, do a thorough financial review and consult closely with the next generation(s) of caregivers in your family.

*** Our complimentary second opinion service can help you with these considerations and provide peace of mind.

One of the most difficult decisions for families is whether to move a loved one to a continuing care retirement community. It involves boomers as well as their parents because there are myriad financial, emotional and support issues.

We’ve found there are five common mistakes that families make during this difficult transition time:

  1. Failing to understand the culture. They often don’t take the opportunity to do an overnight visit at a facility, have a meal there, meet the other residents and see if like-minded friendships can be developed. Does the facility have villas or cottages? What are the apartments like?
  2. Not understanding the cost structure. Typically, there may be monthly fees and add-on charges. There is a lump-sum down payment for an apartment, a villa or a cottage. There are additional fees for skilled nursing care or assisted care. It’s important to understand exactly how a facility’s cost structure works from Day One.
  3. Failing to do a financial review. Based on a facility’s cost structure, you need to review your family’s cash flow and assets to determine which type of facility and care you can afford–and how that compares to the cost of aging at home.
  4. Moving too far away. No matter how good the facility, you don’t want a loved one to feel isolated from their friends, family and social networks. It can be very expensive (and lonely).
  5. Moving too late. Many continuing care retirement communities will not take you if your health has deteriorated–if you’re in the first stages of Alzheimer’s, for example. Facilities are looking for healthy residents up front, recognizing that eventually they may deteriorate and move on to the other parts of the community where advanced care is provided.

There are really two key takeaways here.

  1. Discuss this potential move with the caregivers of the next generation. It tends to be baby boomers helping in this transition process, as well as estate issues once the loved one passes on.
  2. Do a thorough financial review. It’s essential to run through the numbers carefully to make sure the family’s cash flow isn’t going to be unduly stressed by moving a loved one to a continuing care retirement community. You want them to continue enjoying life whether aging at home or living within a retirement community. This is where you should consult with your trusted advisor or us. We’re happy to walk you through the process.

Until next time, enjoy. Gary
800-480-7913 |

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