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Choosing a Retirement Community

Last update on: Mar 15 2020

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are what many people think of as retirement communities. They provide a continuing level of care based on what you need at any time. They have independent living for those who can live on their own; assisted living for those who need some care; and nursing home facilities for those who need considerable care and assistance. How do you investigate a CCRC before deciding where to live? This post has a list of items you need to review when evaluating different facilities.

Study up on the financial contract options. Buying into a CCRC is more complicated than buying a house because you’re buying long term care insurance wrapped up with a place to live. With a Type A contract, your buy-in fee funds care should you need it while a Type B contract limits the numbers of days you can stay in assisted living or skilled nursing before add-on fees are assessed. Type C contracts are fee-for-service, so you pay full cost in the health center.  “You have to essentially be your own actuary and determine how much health care related services you and/or your spouse will need in future years,” says Carle. “You’re rolling the dice on some of it.”

Also, make sure you understand what part of the entry fee is refundable, under what conditions, and whether the refund includes accumulated interest. So sit down with an elder law attorney and your accountant to review the choices and the contract.

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