Life plan communities in Lancaster, PA—voted the best place in the US to retire—bring an abundance of additional activities, services, amenities, and companionship to residents that they would not have access to outside of the retirement community.
In our experience, living in a Life Plan Community brings a great deal of tangible and intangible value; a conclusion which each and every one of our thoughtful and discerning residents has realized through their own journey of research and planning. Still, when it comes to the cost of retirement, there are many misnomers that exist.
No matter where you are in your planning journey, this blog will help you understand the cost of retirement in a Life Plan Community, and help empower you to make the decisions that work best for you and your family.
Most Life Plan Communities operate with a financial plan that includes a one-time entrance fee and an ongoing monthly maintenance or service fee for each household. The entrance fee is typically not considered a healthcare expense, nor is it a real estate purchase; rather, it is a lump sum payment that gains the resident access to their new Apartment, Cottage, Villa or Carriage Home, as well as subsidizing the amenities and services provided by the community. In many cases, your entrance fee also includes sizable renovations to the Cottage, Villa, or Carriage home that you will be moving into – so as a value added item – consider that new kitchen and bathroom as icing on the cake!
There are four different Life Plan Communities contract types:
Type A – Life Care Contract – Similar to a long-term care insurance policy, this contract type includes the full continuum of care at a consistent cost.
Type B – Modified Fee for Service – This contract type includes limited healthcare coverage in addition to the residential living and amenities.
Type C- Fee for Service – this contract type does not include continuing health care costs and the resident will incur increased costs as services such as personal care or skilled nursing care are needed.
Type D – Rental – Some Life Plan Communities offer a rental option, but be sure to research what services are included, and if any services are excluded – such as access to the full continuum of care. You may find the monthly fee is higher in a rental option.
Entrance Fee Refunds:
Most Life Plan Community Contracts include the option for a refundable portion of the entrance fee. So, rather than viewing the entrance fee transaction as purchase and resale, you would view it as an entrance fee and a refund. Refund plans may vary from community to community. Homestead Village offers a 0% refund and a 60% refund – both of which amortize over a specific period of time so that if a resident departs sooner than expected, a calculated amount is refundable based on how long the resident lived within the community.
What refund plan is best? It is really up to each individual resident – but here are some thoughts to consider when selecting a refund plan:
We recommend talking with your financial advisor about which refund plan makes the most sense for you. A sales counselor at the Life Plan Community can also explain the nuances of their specific refund plans.
Does a Life Plan Community take over your assets? (Hint: NO!)
The misnomer that a retirement community will take over your assets, or “take all your money” is a fear that many people still verbalize. Reputable non-profit Life Plan Communities operate with sound business practices that include providing transparent billing practices, clearly outlining costs, and giving sample contracts and disclosure statements to all prospective and incoming residents. The incoming resident should know exactly what their costs will be, and will pay for their services through monthly billing statements. At no time would Homestead Village take over management of anyone’s assets or accounts, including real estate.
If in the rare occasion that someone would exhaust their financial resources, most non-profit Life Plan Communities commit to continuing to serve their residents regardless of cost through benevolent care funds and endowments. If you are exploring a community lifestyle, be sure to inquire about charitable care and access to the continuum of care if finances become limited.
We recommend comparing your current monthly expenses to your estimated monthly fees in a Life Plan Community. You may be surprised to see that you may actually spend less each month at a Life Plan Community.
Budget items to compare may include current or future expenses such as:
Emergency services and healthcare: If there is an emergency, who would you call? Homestead Village provides residents with peace of mind knowing that qualified and caring staff are available 24/7 to respond in case of an emergency. An emergency call pendant program and daily check in program are also available free of charge.
There are 13,000 individuals residing in retirement communities in Lancaster County, PA. Life Plan Communities are a popular choice for many reasons, and have only grown more popular over the years. In fact, most life plan communities in Lancaster, PA maintain full occupancy and operate with wait lists for future residency.
So why the interest?
Homestead Village prides itself on being an all-encompassing space for our residents. Live, play, volunteer, and THRIVE, here at Homestead. We present opportunities to give back to communities through activities such as crafting, woodworking, and on-campus hosted events. The cost of retirement is well worth the opportunities our life plan community provides. Check out the costs of our newest campus extension project—the luxury Townstead Apartments—and what’s included in that cost by visiting our Townstead page.
Every life plan community is different in what they offer to residents. Some retirement communities are more focused on the medical aspect of care and others are more lifestyle-oriented. However, every Life Plan Community should offer a wide range of services meant for resident care and growth in some capacity. The retirement community costs are based on a balanced budget that is derived from the average cost per resident to provide the care and services. Homestead Village has a minimum of four residents on the active, voting board of directors to help lead decision making about the annual budget and costs that may directly affect resident fees.
How do you determine whether the retirement community cost offered is worth it? As discussed before, Life Plan Community can seem expensive up front, so it’s important to consider all aspects and ensure amenities you enjoy are included in the price point, and evaluate the alternative – which is living in your home as your needs evolve into the future. Our recommendation is to consider the most important amenities to your lifestyle when looking at life plan communities in Lancaster, PA.
Homestead Village incorporates all of these factors into our programming to provide the highest quality services in Lancaster PA.
Your personal situation determines whether you would like to invest in a life plan community. How much can you afford, and what do you want out of your retirement community? Once our residents moved to Homestead Village, they commented that they wished they had done it sooner and didn’t put off the decision as long as they did.
Exploring nearby life plan communities can help you discover exciting new opportunities and options for your future. viewing online resident walk-throughs, and scheduling campus tours are your best ways to get the feel for a community before you consider investing.
You can schedule a tour with Homestead Village today. Experience the premier life plan community in Lancaster, PA. We offer beautiful homes, independent living, professional healthcare services, and a plethora of activities and volunteer opportunities. Determine whether our retirement community cost is right for you by walking through our beautiful campus and experiencing our uncompromising level of care. Schedule your on-campus tour of Homestead Village today.