(BPT) - A person’s golden years may be some of the best years of their life, living each day to the fullest by doing what they love, from pursuing hobbies to spending time with their families and beyond. Thinking about senior living may seem like a distant concern, but it's an important conversation to have now so you and your family are ready for the future.
Your may not feel ready to make the move, especially if you’re still physically and mentally healthy. However, setting yourself up for quality care in the future is important, especially as health care costs continue to skyrocket. According to a CNBC report, health care costs for retirees are expected to increase more than 5% every year through 2026.
In these instances, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) can be beneficial for both your personal and financial health.
What is a CCRC?
A CCRC, otherwise known as a life plan community, is a smart long-term option for seniors. CCRCs have different housing levels where seniors initially live independently and can transition to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility if needed, all at significantly reduced costs compared to the market.
What are the benefits of living in a CCRC?
Here are a few important ones:
A sense of community
Many seniors thrive on social connections, but in some cases they may live far away from friends or loved ones, be recently divorced or widowed, or have physical limitations that can lead to isolation. Meeting new friends at a CCRC is easy, as they provide many social activities, including mixers, clubs and, in some cases, organized travel. These activities can help seniors get out and meet others while still having a private home space to themselves.
Like a full-package resort, seniors who join CCRCs can get a full swath of benefits. This can allow them to age with ease and joy, especially if they don't have loved ones nearby. Housing, health care, dining, fitness, and other amenities are all part of the CCRC package.
While CCRCs can be costly, many offer ways for seniors and their families to reduce those costs, such as Life Care contracts. While they’re expensive upfront, life care contracts can make a world of difference. If you end up needing assisted living or another level of care, a Life Care contract prevents your health care costs from increasing with that transition, which can save thousands of dollars over the years.
“Many people don't realize that receiving higher levels of care in a CCRC usually means increasing monthly costs to some degree,” says Mary Clements, chief financial officer of Searstone Retirement Community in Cary, North Carolina. "With a Life Care contract, you lock in a monthly fee that never changes, no matter what care you need and how long you need it."
Life care contracts can also help seniors qualify for tax deduction fees since Life Care is recognized as a charge for prepayment for future health services.
Peace of mind for seniors and families
According to the AARP, one in five Americans provide unpaid care for elderly loved ones, which can result in severe burnout for caregivers. CCRCs provide families with peace of mind for the future, knowing their loved ones will be taken care of no matter how their health changes over the years. CCRCs bridge the gap between independence and around-the-clock care by allowing for a smoother transition with the proper care on-hand.
Finding the right balance
Planning for senior living can be daunting, especially when you consider the cost. But having social, emotional and medical support doesn't have to be out of reach. Check out searstone.com/life-care/ to learn more about Life Care and how it may benefit you — now and in the future.