Top 10 States for Life Plan Communities

To find a robust selection of retirement communities, better head to Pennsylvania, Ohio or California.

That’s because of 1,954 life plan communities (also called continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs) scattered across the country, 197 are located in Pennsylvania, 150 in Ohio and 133 in California, according to a report from Chicago-based specialty investment bank Ziegler. The company defined life plan communities as having at least independent living and skilled nursing on the same campus, as well as being either an entry-fee or a rental community.

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The average size of these life plan communities is 288 units, representing total units across all levels of living. The size of the communities noted in the report range from fewer than 100 units to 750 or more units on the same campus.

The majority of life plan communities are sponsored by not-for-profit organizations at 79.1% of the nationwide total, according to the report. Of those, about 65% are sponsored by a faith-based organization, with the most common being Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian. Additionally, 62% of communities are sponsored by multi-site organizations as the result of upticks in affiliation activity over the last several years.

“We anticipate that there will be continued consolidation in the coming years,” the report states.

There are several factors involved when it comes to why certain states have more life plan communities than others, the reports indicates. Population and regulatory environments both play a role in how many communities are located in each state. And some states, like Pennsylvania, have been more receptive to the development of life plan communities, while others, such as Maryland and New York, have significant barriers in place to new community development.

Regardless, Ziegler predicts that life plan communities will remain an attractive investment moving forward.

“Ziegler believe that there will continue to be great demand for the service and lifestyle that life plan communities have to offer,” the report states. “A majority of life plan organizations continue to reinvest in their existing campuses and look to enhance offerings, whether it would be specialized memory support services or additional common areas that offer state-of-the-art wellness centers. …We anticipate that will continue for many more decades.”

Written by Kourtney Liepelt

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