A Continuing Care Retirement Community, also referred to as a Life Plan Community, offers several levels of housing and services, such as independent living homes, assisted living apartments, rehabilitation & therapy services, skilled nursing and long term care, all within one campus setting.
The emphasis of the CCRC model is to enable residents to avoid having to move, except to another level of care within the community, if their needs change.
Most Continuing Care Retirement Communities are designed for individuals to move into independent living homes while they are healthy and active. As needs change, there are additional levels of service available. This is a motivating factor for individuals knowing that future care is in place, providing a sense of security and peace of mind.
Typically CCRC’s offer independent, assisted and nursing levels of service but options and living arrangements will vary among communities so it is beneficial to inquire about the service levels are offered.
All Continuing Care Retirement Communities are not financially structured in the same way; there are several contract options available. The main differences are the entrance fee, an initial deposit paid when becoming a resident of the community, monthly fees and in the payment structure for future health care services.
An entrance fee at a CCRC is a deposit that allows access to the continuum of services, whether you need assisted living, rehabilitation, or skilled nursing care, and long term care in the future. Some communities offer an entrance fee option that is partially refundable.
A monthly fee will generally cover the community services, amenities, and conveniences gained from the moment you move in. These may include on-site fitness and aquatic centers, programs and lectures, dining options, housekeeping, home maintenance, etc.
To live in a CCRC you will need to meet an age requirement, submit an application and be approved for residency, based on several factors.
A financial application may be required to ensure that you have the means to meet the Entrance Fee (if applicable) and monthly fees. A health and wellness evaluation is typically completed to ensure you've chosen a level of living that complements your lifestyle.
The application process may include:
Financial software programs may be used to determine precise affordability based on your age, monthly income, home value, liquid assets, expenses, etc.
The contract is an agreement between the resident and CCRC and spells out, at a minimum:
Because CCRCs provide a full range of health care services, the IRS may consider a portion of the entrance fee or monthly fee as a qualifying medical expense that may be a tax deduction.
When reviewing your contract options ask about eligible deductions and consult your tax advisor. You can also visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website to see about applicable tax deductions.
Health insurance can be used in qualifying situations as outlined in the terms of your policy, and within the appropriate licensed care setting within the community.
Long-term care insurance may be used towards certain expenses in a CCRC. Exact benefits will depend on the terms of the policy as well as the care setting.
Choosing a not-for-profit or for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community comes down to personal preference but there are differences worth noting.
Many not-for-profit CCRCs are supported by faith based organizations. While you may not have to be a member of that specific faith, these CCRC’s will be driven by a set of values and stated principles.
For-profit CCRCs are accountable to shareholders and investors who are focused on generating revenue. Not-for-profit CCRCs answer to a board of directors made up of professionals, community members and often times residents. All realized profits are continually reinvested in the CCRC.
Many Continuing Care Retirement Communities today are vibrant campuses that provide a range of housing options, services, amenities and opportunities for personal growth, while also securing your future care.
By choosing maintenance-free living, daily chores are replaced with the things you love to do. Creating more time for volunteering, cultural events, personal projects, traveling and socializing with friends and family.
The CCRC you select should be one that embraces the lifestyle you want now and into the future.