Understanding the Cost of Moving to a Retirement Community

understanding costs

When you begin your research on moving to a retirement community, the costs might be confusing. At Senior Star, we’d like to help by offering some guidance on what to know so that you can feel confident understanding the costs of moving to a senior living retirement community, making comparisons, and ultimately selecting the right community for you and your family. 

Moving to a retirement community: understanding the costs.

Whether you are considering a move to senior living for yourself, or for a loved one, it’s helpful to understand the terms.

Monthly fees. Just doing a simple price comparison may not work, as one community’s monthly fee might include more services and amenities than another. That’s why it’s a good idea to get specific information on the pricing structure, and what is included, so you can determine exactly what you are paying for when deciding between communities. 

Base rent. In most retirement communities, monthly rent includes your residence, utilities, cable, meals, activities, and housekeeping. Other services may be available as well, just for an extra fee. Ask to see a list of these services and amenities with prices.

In addition, don’t forget that your monthly fee also includes things designed to make your life easier and more enjoyable, such as all maintenance and repairs, 24-hour security, social and entertainment opportunities, exercise and wellness, and a 24-hour emergency alert system. Just knowing you don’t have to climb any more ladders, worry about driving in bad weather, or clean the kitchen might be worth a great deal to you!

Extra fees. There are some things that could cost extra, such as having a pet. Special outings to area points of interest. Beauty/barber shop fees. Dining (be sure to ask which meals are included in the base rent). Personal care. As you do your research, be sure to ask about these and any others you can think of. 

One-time fees. Many communities have a one-time community fee that is paid upfront. This fee may or may not be refundable. Other possible fees are first and last month’s rent, or a pet deposit. Just be sure to ask in advance.

Rent increases. A retirement community has expenses, and those can rise every year. As a result, there can be a rent increase for residents. Find out how these are handled:  how often do they typically occur? What is the average rent increase? What is the policy for notifying families?

Moving to a retirement community: understanding the value.

It’s not all about dollars and cents. Choosing an exceptional retirement community like Senior Star is an investment in wellness and quite possibly, a longer, more fulfilling life. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you assess the expenses of moving to retirement living:  

  • Quality of life:  You’re giving yourself or your loved one the opportunity for a rich and fulfilling lifestyle, free from daily chores or worries in an environment designed for your comfort and safety. New friendships, new adventures, and new options for enhanced wellness will greet you each day. 
  • Peace of mind. As a resident, you are surrounded by people who know you and care about you, and are available 24/7 in an emergency. That can offer priceless reassurance for you and your family. Living in a comfortable environment specially designed for senior safety and wellbeing not only feels good, it’s good for your mental and physical health.
  • A friendly neighborhood. It’s easy to be inspired to live well when you are rubbing shoulders with those who share your goals. Moving to retirement living puts you in a warm and inviting atmosphere of your peers—people who are equally motivated to get the most out of each day. You can enjoy your privacy, while knowing someone is always close by.

At Senior Star, we created retirement living that gives you the freedom to live your life your way and leave the rest to us. We think that once you find out the many benefits of our lifestyle, moving to retirement living may be more within reach than you realize. 

We are passionate about serving seniors with excellence. Download our free guide Family Decision Toolkit for more in-depth and helpful information. Questions about retirement living? Contact us to learn more.


Click here to access our Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing