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Senior Living Community Options

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Communities with buy-in fees might not be the best option.

Financial obligation is always a big unknown when it’s time to consider new living options for your aging parents. If your parents don’t have long-term care insurance, it can be tricky to determine the best way to pay for a senior housing community. Oftentimes, even long-term care policies do not cover all the costs. The type and extent of care needed, location, amenities and a variety of other factors play a part in determining how much it will cost. However, one way to mitigate part of the financial commitment is to find a community that doesn’t charge buy-in fees.

What are Buy-in Fees?

Buy-in fees are generally substantial and can be as high as several hundred thousand dollars. In some senior developments the fees are intended to ensure a pool of money to provide care to the residents. In many cases, paying means you. The fees are sometimes not even entirely refundable, so should your parents decide to make a change, they might lose part of the money and have to wait until the owner of the community is able to find a new occupant for the unit they are vacating before getting any money back. Furthermore, even with this buy-in fee, your parents would still be charged monthly fees that are comparable to the price of other communities.

There Are Better Options Available

So, what are your options? The best choices available are rental programs that are based on monthly rent only with no buy-in fees. These options still charge residents a one-time community fee similar to a homeowners’ fee that covers the cost of maintenance, but it is nominal compared to the price of buy-in communities. Typically, these communities offer month-to-month rental programs, giving your parents the chance to opt out of their agreement with proper notice. The rental agreements can still be for a specified amount of time, much like a lease to rent an apartment. These no-buy-in communities still offer uncompromising service at a variety of levels of care.

Making the Right Choice is Important

With any choice of this magnitude, due diligence is always the most important consideration to keep in mind. This earnestness — first and foremost — should apply to finding the right type of living experience for your parents. Finding exceptional services to meet their individual needs, as well as an environment conducive to their lifestyle should be the first focus.