Forbes: 8 Major CCRC Considerations

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) have been in the market for 70 years, but are rising in popularity among today’s retirees, writes Forbes in a recent article.

Today, there are nearly 2,000 continuing-care communities in the U.S., servicing more than 570,000 residents. More than 80% of CCRCs are nonprofits.

Forbes offers eight variables for those considering moving into a CCRC to evaluate: affordability; average age of current residents and their lifestyle; occupancy rate; the CCRC’s finances — existing debt; entrance fee conditions; cost of monthly fees and what they cover; opportunities for different levels of care for spouses; and the operating agency of the CCRC.

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“One of the advantages of CCRCs for couples is that they can continue living in the same place if, for instance, one needs skilled nursing care and the other is able to live independently,” Forbes says, noting that older Americans are eyeing CCRCs for the model’s ability to offer a continuum of care. “Couples can choose to live separately within the community, although they will likely incur higher fees to do so, or they can move as a couple to assisted living if necessary, one day.”

While one couple — the wife in her mid-50s and husband in his mid-60s — enjoyed traveling between their Cleveland, Ohio and Chicago, Ill. homes, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) caught their attention.

“They could continue to live in a house; wouldn’t have to worry about a lawn or home repairs and would never need to move again,” Forbes says. “[The] CCRC offered several levels of care so they could live independently and — if and when they needed it —move to an on-site, assisted living facility or nursing home.”

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When it comes to the most important deciding factor of which CCRC to choose, it’s all about promoting a positive image, Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge, tells Forbes.

“Reputation, reputation, reputation,” Minnix says. 

CCRCs carry high price tags, which can range from $30,000 to $1 million, plus a monthly fee which can range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on type of housing and level of care selected. 

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Depending on the contract, residents or their estates may receive a partial refund of the entrance fee if the resident moves out or dies, though it may take a year or more to receive the money.

If residents purchase an all-inclusive or life care plan, the fee covers housing and care as long as they remain in the development.

But CCRCs are more than just a cluster of facilities that cater to various medical and care requirements, they pride themselves on their wellness activities — many feature multiple dining options, recreational areas, shopping and other services.

“It’s like living at an all-inclusive resort for those who can afford it,” Forbes says. 

Read the full article here

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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