The senior housing industry is changing - and that’s good news for older adults. Thanks to industry-wide oversupply, more Americans have access to luxury senior housing. That could mean better amenities, more comprehensive healthcare, and more options for retirees. However, the cost of senior living varies significantly. To take advantage of market conditions, you’ll need to do some research. Online resources can help you compare costs and find high-quality living spaces at affordable rates.
According to the National Investment Center, 6.8 percent of the US population were aged 75 years or older as of 2019. That’s roughly 22.6 million people. By 2025, that number is expected to increase to 28.6 million, and by 2030, it’s expected to grow to 34.5 million. This huge increase means that more older adults than ever will need senior living options.
However, companies are addressing the need by opening up more types of senior living communities, and some analysts believe that the current supply exceeds the demand. In certain locations, older adults may be able to find luxury living for a lower monthly cost, particularly over the next several years.
Pricing is important, because senior living is often expensive. Independent facilities can cost between $1,500 to $4,000 per month, while assisted living facilities come with an even bigger price tag of $3,500 to $10,500 per month.
Costs vary depending on many factors, such as the general rising cost of living, growing care needs that are covered in assisted living spaces, and available amenities. Prices can also vary significantly from one city to the next.
While finding affordable living may seem difficult, research can help. The current market favors residents, and many housing companies need to fill spaces - if you’re willing to look closely at several senior living options, you can gain a better understanding of your local market.
By searching online, older adults and their families can gather information about nearby senior housing options. Remember to cast a wide net; a senior community in a suburb may offer better amenities at a lower cost than a housing complex in the city.
Keep your goals in mind while searching. Seniors have more housing options than ever before, including village-model communities, independent living, residential care homes, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), and skilled nursing facilities. Some options won’t work for every person, but through research, you’ll be able to build your knowledge of each option.
Some tips for searching:
Decide what level of care you need. As we mentioned earlier, assisted living spaces are more expensive on average compared to independent living options. Understand your specific care needs when beginning your search.
Talk to staff. Many senior living providers offer online chat, email, and other ways to contact their staff. These resources can help to address any questions that aren’t answered on the company’s website.
Take a tour. Websites can be great resources for seeing photos and gathering information, but as you get closer to your decision, schedule a few in-person tours. Tours provide an opportunity to speak with the staff and residents to get their perspective.
Consider all of the costs. Senior living costs might be expensive, but it can also be surprisingly affordable compared to the costs of aging in place (renting or owning a home). For some people, an assisted or independent living facility might be the cheapest long-term option. However, watch for hidden costs; find out exactly what’s included in the price. If certain amenities cost extra, make sure you’ll use them regularly before opting in.
Finally, ask a senior advisor for help. Senior advisors are an incredibly helpful resource when researching senior living options. Advisors can act as a well-informed, impartial guide for your decision.
Regardless of long-term trends, older adults and their families can manage their costs by searching for senior living options near them. Comparing options can help buyers avoid overpaying. Just as importantly, the right approach can help seniors find the communities that will provide them with the support that they need to enjoy their lives.
Modern senior living communities offer extensive amenities, and many offer affordable pricing to their residents. To find these options, look online, comparing at least 3-4 resources. By looking in your immediate area - and in the surrounding towns - you’ll get a better sense of how different communities operate.
Read carefully, looking for hidden costs or fees. By using the resources you find online, you can make a decision with peace of mind.