How To Tell If a Retirement Community Is Financially Sound

(Photo/LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash)

If you or your parents are contemplating a move to an assisted living or continuing care retirement community (CCRC), you’ll want to take a look at Glenn Ruffenach’s informative article in last week’s Wall Street Journal.

Ruffenach, who writes frequently on retirement issues, tackled a question on many people’s minds.  How can you make sure that the retirement community you are thinking of moving into is financially sound?

Ruffenach addresses two different types of communities. Some only charge monthly rental fees, meaning you have less at stake. Others demand large one-time entrance fees, which can run as high as $400,000 or more, according to the article. With so much money on the line, it’s even more critical to make sure in advance that the community you’re considering is well run and financially solvent.

Senior-living referral services like A Place for Mom help families by sharing information on how to evaluate assisted living facilities. Visit their site for links to each state’s assisted-living records and reports. Florida’s assisted living records and reports are rated “exceptional” by the referral service, which concludes that “Florida has one of the best websites” around for researching assisted living facilities.

The Takeaway: Almost every week, we talk to clients who are thinking of transitioning to some type of retirement community, or helping their parents or other family members make a similar move. No one wants to move twice, so we all do our best to make sure the new community is a good fit for both lifestyle and budget. Ask your financial advisor to help you weigh the pros and cons of moving to a retirement community, carefully evaluate how it may impact your finances and lifestyle, and understand – if a large entrance fee is involved – how the community safeguards your deposit and under what conditions you or your family may be entitled to a refund.

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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