Exploring your senior living options.

When it comes to making a decision about where you’ll spend the rest of your retirement, it’s important you find the best retirement community for your lifestyle and your budget. But navigating all the different types of senior living communities can be very challenging. To help you more easily understand your choices, here’s an overview of all the retirement community options available.

“We have friends here, so the decision to move to Brandon Wilde was easy.” – Resident

Life Plan Communities

There are typically three Life Plan Community options: LifeCare®, modified LifeCare®, and fee-for-service. Each of these options offers a wide variety of services (maintenance, linen service, housekeeping, dining) and amenities (fitness area, pool, classes and clubs and socialization activities) as well as on-site access to care, including assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing.

While these three different types of communities have a lot of similarities, there are also quite a few differences.

LifeCare® community — this includes Brandon Wilde

  • They offer a wide variety of included services, amenities, wellness programs, dining and health care at a predictable monthly rate.
  • You have guaranteed access to a full continuum of quality on-site care, including assisted living, short- and long-term rehab, skilled nursing and memory care, at predictable monthly rates that are far below market rates.
  • A portion of your entrance fee is refundable back to you or your estate. (Brandon Wilde has an option that refunds 80% of your entrance fee.)

Modified LifeCare® community

  • A limited number of days of higher levels of care are included in your entrance fee. After you use up your covered health care days, you’ll pay market rate for any ongoing care.
  • The monthly fee you pay in any given month depends on the health care services you need, making it difficult to determine your monthly budget.

Fee-for-service community

  • This community type usually has the lowest entrance fee and monthly fees.
  • You have access to all the community’s services and amenities.
  • If health care services are needed, they’re provided at market rate, making it difficult to determine your monthly budget.

Rental communities

Rental communities are usually in a building or complex, and all apartment maintenance is generally handled by the management company.

  • There is no entrance fee.
  • Services like housekeeping, dining and amenities like a swimming pool and fitness areas could be included in your monthly rent or available for an additional fee.
  • Some communities have higher levels of care on-site. If you need a higher level of care and it’s not offered on-site, you could have to make another move.
  • You could have limited socialization opportunities, as the length of stay is much shorter and the population is more transient, because they aren’t as invested in the community.
  • If you use their on-site care, your monthly rent will go up to cover the cost.

Active adult communities

Active adult communities usually have a minimum age requirement (typically 55+) and can be a community of houses, duplexes or high-rise condos. The cost of this option is usually similar to the price of area homes.

  • Moving to a smaller house, townhome or condo is a great way to downsize while continuing homeownership.
  • This type of community may come with a maintenance fee to cover the costs of upkeep of your home, lawn and community areas.
  • The community may not offer socialization and wellness programs.
  • This choice doesn’t typically offer access to future health care. So in the event of a health crisis, couples could be split between their 55+ residence and a health care center. Or you both may even have to move.