How Do You Pay for Senior Independent Living?

January 20, 2020

Once you retire, you shouldn’t have to compromise your lifestyle or your independence. Senior living communities can be a great option if you wish to live independently and remain engaged in your hobbies and interests, but no longer want to do the hard work of home maintenance. 

When deciding whether or not to move into an independent living apartment, you might experience some initial sticker shock. In Florida, independent living costs range from $1,174 to $4,700 a month, which may seem daunting. However, paying for independent living is likely more affordable than you think. 

What independent senior living costs should I plan for? 

Many senior living communities require a “buy-in” or entrance fee before moving. This initial fee can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars on top of normal monthly rent and service fees, making senior living seem unattainable. In addition to the entrance fees and monthly rent, most independent living communities require additional fees for amenities and activities.

In the Kobernick Independent Living apartments at Aviva, we offer monthly rentals with no entrance fee, as well as seasonal rentals for seniors who escape to sunny Florida for the winter months. Our aim is to help all seniors live life to the fullest without an undue burden to personal or family finances. 

As a nonprofit organization, we keep our fees low and our focus on delivering a superior living experience. Each of our floor plans offers unique amenities, and the monthly rent includes all activities, utilities, wifi, weekly housekeeping services, and one meal per day (with additional meals available at an extremely affordable rate).

4 ways to pay for senior independent living

An independent living community is an investment in your future, allowing you to retire exactly as you want to. When figuring out how to make this investment, you have several options: 

1. Personal Funds

Most people pay for independent living with personal or family funding. While it may seem like an expensive move, keep in mind that most people who move into independent living communities actually save money. Monthly rent and mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, and home upkeep are more expensive than you might think. When you add in expenses for entertainment, medical care, and transportation, chances are an independent living community will cost less overall. 

2. Annuity Payments

If you’ve worked for most of your life, chances are you’ve invested in a retirement fund of some sort. Retirement funds such as 401Ks, IRAs, and pensions can be rolled over into annuities, giving you predictable monthly disbursements rather than a lump sum. These payments can be easily used to cover monthly rent for your independent living apartment.

3. Social Security & Supplemental Security Income

Retirees who paid into social security while working are eligible for social security benefits starting at age 62. If you elect to retire later, your monthly social security benefits will increase. Starting at age 65, if your income meets certain requirements, you may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. To determine your benefits eligibility, visit your local Social Security Administration office or apply online

4. Insurance

In most cases, independent living is not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance. However, if you carry a long term care insurance policy, this may help to cover a portion of the expenses associated with moving into an independent living community, particularly any expenses related to daily living activities, housekeeping, and meal preparation. Contact your insurance carrier to determine what your policy coverage includes, and whether these benefits can be used toward an independent living apartment. 

What should I look for in an independent living residence? 

When looking for a senior community that fits your needs, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind other than cost. While the monthly payments are certainly a consideration, it’s also important to think about the value those monthly payments include. 

Consider what amenities are available that match your lifestyle. If you’re active and enjoy sports, exercise, golf, and swimming, you should look for a senior living community that offers these amenities. If you prefer to spend your evenings on the town, going to lectures, museums, and shows, look for a residence that offers transportation and group events. At Aviva, we offer a wide variety of activities and amenities for our residents, designed to keep you engaged in your hobbies and interests as you age. 

In addition to your current lifestyle, you need to consider how you want to age. Independent living is perfect for seniors who are healthy and active, while assisted living can offer support for those with ongoing medical needs or reduced physical ability. Aviva offers a full continuum of healthcare services—from memory care to skilled nursing and rehabilitation—with onsite doctors and the ability to move from independent living to assisted living if circumstances call for it.

You also want to consider the culture and climate where you choose to retire. Sarasota offers a warm, sunny climate year-round with a bustling arts community, plenty of shopping, and easy access to white-sand beaches on Florida’s gulf coast. With regular group outings and transportation, the Aviva Senior Life community lets each of our residents enjoy all that Sarasota has to offer, both with each other and with family. 

Independent Living at Aviva

The Kobernick Independent Living apartments at Aviva give seniors a high-value monthly rental in a community with excellent amenities, fine dining, and amazing activities. We always aim is to help seniors age on their own terms without an undue burden to personal or family finances.  To learn about the cost of living at Aviva and the value included in the monthly rent, give us a call at 941.225.8369 or shoot us an email at marketing@avivaseniorlife.org. Our senior living team is standing by to help you begin your Aviva journey!

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