Are your parents starting to think about ways to ditch the hassles of home ownership, yet preserve their independence and ensure access to future care options?
They might be ready to look into a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC.
“Continuing care retirement communities offer a resort-like setting and care when you need it,” write authors Pat Mertz Esswein and Sandra Block in the latest edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
CCRCs “provide independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care (or just independent living and skilled nursing) on the same campus, typically in exchange for a sizable up-front fee. The idea is that residents will have a place to live for the rest of their lives, with access to care as they need it,” writes Kiplinger’s.
CCRCs differ from assisted living or independent living facilities in a couple of ways. First, they usually offer a continuum of care options, ranging from the most independent (a detached villa, for example, with access to select meals and activities) to the most comprehensive (a memory-care unit or nursing facility).
They also usually require an upfront payment or “endowment” in addition to ongoing monthly charges.
CCRCs do have a lot to offer, says Kiplinger’s:
“To entice residents who might otherwise stay at home, CCRCs offer country-club amenities, including posh dining rooms, fitness facilities and plenty of activities. They also offer safety backups, such as monitoring systems that let security guards know whether a resident has fallen or is otherwise unable to move around the apartment.”
They’re clearly not for everyone, but do appeal to people who want to “age in place” and potentially access increasingly comprehensive levels of care without relocating beyond the CCRC campus.
We’ve written about CCRCs in the past. You can read about one of our clients, who made the move to a CCRC facility almost 8 years ago, and is glad she did. We’ve also provided links to useful articles and guides on choosing a CCRC.
So if you or a family member is doing research on care options, take a serious look at this latest Kiplinger’s article and especially the last paragraphs on “the fine print” of CCRC contracts, refunds, and tax deductions.