It’s no mystery why seniors are gravitating toward independent living communities. They offer a low-maintenance, high-reward lifestyle with countless opportunities to pursue new interests, make new friends and find new ways to relax.
While attractive to many independent seniors, some may wonder how they’ll cover the cost of such a leisurely life.
Continue reading for seven financial tips that will help you make your way into an exceptional senior living community.
1. Understand the value of an independent living community.
“The cost of an independent living community must be understood in the context of its countless benefits,” says Patty Duran, Executive Director of The Contemporary. “As you learn more about what a community offers, you’ll realize your monthly fee guarantees much more than just senior housing.”
The Contemporary, for example, offers its residents resort-style community amenities that include:
- Rooftop pool and lounge
- State-of-the-art fitness center
- Salon and spa
- Health and wellness center
- Arts and crafts suite
- Theatre room
- Landscaped courtyard and walking paths
Services like housekeeping, linen and towel services, trash removal and transportation are all included. Residents also have access to preventative health care services through MedSquare® Place and in-home health therapies through The Key.
These senior care offerings – along with personalized wellness plans – keep residents as independent as they can be for as long as possible. This support has the potential to cut future care costs for residents.
Another aspect of community life that can’t go unnoticed is the social opportunities it offers residents. Staying engaged with others has proven to significantly benefit physical, mental, and cognitive health of seniors. The impact of this socialization is so profound that it could prevent or reduce the time spent in assisted living or a nursing home as you age.
2. Plan ahead, save, and invest.
In a perfect world, you could predict your future needs, understand the economic reality they’ll exist within, and set up financing for the lifestyle you want. Things aren’t that simple, though.
The next best strategy is to establish a working relationship with a financial advisor. They can help you evaluate your assets and investments and help you define your retirement goals. You’ll want to have regular meetings with them, especially as you get closer to retirement. They will help you maximize your savings and, when you’re ready, finance a move to your preferred independent living community.
3. Sell your home with a senior-focused real estate agent.
Most seniors finance their retirement primarily through the sale of their homes, so it’s important to find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of this type of transition.
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) can advise you regarding common circumstances seniors face. They’re trained on how to use pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts in real estate transactions. They also understand the pros and cons of reverse mortgages and are aware of scams and loan schemes that could adversely impact your retirement funds.
An SRES is also aware of available financial assistance you may have overlooked. They understand ways to maximize funding through the Medicaid program, life insurance, and long-term care insurance.
4. Consider a bridge loan.
A lesser-known financing option for seniors is a bridge loan. Depending on your situation, this might be a helpful tool as you transition into an independent living community.
A bridge loan is a short-term loan used to bridge the gap between selling your current home and paying for a senior living community. While terms vary, it’s common to borrow up to 80 percent of your home’s value. To determine what you can borrow, your lender will likely consider your debt-to-income ratio, home equity, credit score, and income.
5. Have an estate sale.
One advantage of downsizing is you can pare down and simplify your life. An estate sale can help you do that as well as make you some extra cash.
The amount of money you earn from an estate sale could cover a few months’ fees at an independent living community. It could also be used to offset transition costs or to boost your savings.
6. Take advantage of all applicable tax exemptions.
There are good reasons why so many seniors choose to retire in Florida. Of course, the weather and laid-back culture are desirable, but what’s more enticing, perhaps, are the outstanding tax incentives.
When you choose The Contemporary in vibrant Miami, you reap benefits like:
- Untaxed social security income
- No estate or inheritance taxes
- Untaxed withdrawals from retirement accounts
- No state income taxes
- No taxes on public and private pension income
Location matters when you’re choosing a retirement community. Tax incentives and exemptions differ depending on where you settle, and some aspects of tax law may be more beneficial to you than others. Consult with a tax professional for a full understanding of how the taxes in your state will impact your retirement.
7. Have candid conversations about your financial plan.
It can be uncomfortable to share the ins and outs of your financial situation with family members, but it’s often beneficial to talk openly about your plans. Open the books and share the vision you have for your retirement years with your loved ones.
When you’re transparent about your finances, goals, and excitement about this next stage, you and your loved ones can get on the same page. They may then feel invested in the direction you’re headed and be able to surround you with the kind of support you may need during this transition.
Discover the Value of The Contemporary
There are countless reasons to make The Contemporary your next home. Our Miami location offers award-winning attractions, an eclectic mix of cultures, and top-tier hospitals and care facilities. Within our rental community, you’ll enjoy an all-inclusive lifestyle with every meal included in your monthly fees.
Reach out today to secure your future home in our community.