Continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, give retirees the ability to age in one spot, moving from independent living to assisted living and eventually skilled nursing care. These types of facilities are convenient and, in some cases, luxurious. However, some older Americans may overlook the fine print and research they need to do before committing to a facility.
CNBC’s recent article, “Do your homework before moving into a retirement community,” explains that retirees can frequently pay more than $100,000 as an initial deposit and signing on for additional monthly payments that may change over time, as their need for care increases.
Consider the following, before you decide to live in a continuing care retirement community.
Check out the amenities. The high-demand amenities include fitness centers on-site and multiple dining venues, with cafes and bistros. However, you should also look at their assisted living and nursing care departments before deciding.
Find out about the occupancy level. Lower than 90% occupancy could suggest an issue with being able to fill certain units with new residents. The inability to maintain a high occupancy level could be a sign of problems. Examine the details and work through them with your accountant. This includes the key financial reports from your continuing care center, such as its audited financial statements, data on monthly service fee increases, financial ratios and reserves.
Ask to see their financial info. When continuing care centers have financial troubles, there’s no guarantee that a resident will get his or her money back. It’s common in that case, for another provider to buy out a struggling facility. That may result in a change in services and fees.
CCRCs are regulated by the states where they’re located. Therefore, the level to which regulators scrutinize these communities will vary. Prospective residents should contact the state agency that oversees CCRCs.
Find out what’s included with the monthly fee and what’s extra, as well as whether the monthly cost will change, if you need assisted living or skilled nursing care and what amenities are part of that package.