The Average Cost of Retirement Homes

Retirement homes in the United States house thousands of senior citizens, offering daily care and comfort as they live out their lives. But the rent can be expensive, with the average cost of a retirement home affected by whether the facility is non-profit, which amenities it offers, the experience of its staff and whether the room is private.

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Retirement home
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The cost of a retirement home
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The cost of putting a loved one in a non-profit retirement home can run more than $32,000, according to a recent survey. The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging recommends that you take your loved one’s health needs into account before entering into a contract. Many homes offer different care packages, and if your loved one is in need of care that isn't included, it could result in extra costs.

Board and Care

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Board and care
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Also called residential-care facilities or homes for the aged, these facilities offer room, board and 24-hour staffing, along with help for daily living and instrumental activities related to independent living. These homes don’t usually offer medical care and are rarely regulated. That’s why the average cost is so reasonable. Costs range from $350 to $3,000 a month. People who qualify for Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid but have little else usually end up in these facilities.

Assisted-Living Facilities

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Assisted living
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Assisted-living facilities are a step up in nursing homes. They usually offer private rooms, recreation, and medical personnel onsite. Residents normally pay a rent, anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 a month, and usually pay for their own medical care. The average cost to live in an assisted-living facility is $2,969 a month, or nearly $36,000 per year, according to a MetLife survey.

Continuing-Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing-care retirement community
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A continuing-care retirement community offers everything seniors need under one roof, including a private room, exercise and specialized health care. The entry fee and the monthly fee (which is usually adjustable) covers everything, and the resident can stay there the rest of her life. Entry fees can run from $20,000 to $500,000. Monthly fees run from $200 to $3,200, averaging about $1,600.

If You Leave

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Be aware of possible penalties if your loved one leaves the home before the contract expires. Some contracts penalize families anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000 for breaking the contract early. Before signing the contract, consult an attorney to see whether an exit clause can be written into the contract to protect you and your loved one from an excessive payout. The attorney probably would charge $100 to $400 an hour.