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Retirement living: What does it cost?

Can I afford retirement living?

The truth is, there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this commonly asked question. Many people experience “sticker shock” when they first hear the cost of retirement living. For many, it’s hard to comprehend paying a monthly fee when you have worked so hard to become mortgage-free.

Often, people unfairly compare the costs of retirement living to the cost of living at home when things are going well. However, most begin to consider retirement living when they have a real need, be it for care, meals, safety or access to social activities.

As a homeowner, you know that living at home isn’t free and can come with a number of maintenance burdens. There are additional costs that you should consider when deciding if you can afford retirement living.

Breaking down homeownership costs.

Even if you have the advantage of living mortgage-free, you’ll likely still be paying for home insurance, property taxes and utilities (water, gas, electric, etc.). Aside from the basics, many are also paying for phone, internet, and cable, housekeeping, newspaper subscriptions, trash removal, updated furnishing and appliances, and more. If you’re renting, that’s an additional cost per month.

What also needs to be considered is the possible future cost of modifying your home to make it more accessible as you age. These costs may seem small at the start, like adding grab rails in the bathroom. But these changes can also include costlier modifications such as stairlifts and ramps, bathroom remodels, or house-wide modifications to increase wheelchair access.

Aging in place can also mean having to prepare for homecare costs. The average cost of in-home care providers varies from province to province, therefore it’s important to do your research based on possible needs and location.

Everyone’s different, so are the price tags.

The cost of retirement living differs in the same way that each person’s homeownership costs vary. At Seasons in particular, costs are dependent on location, suite size and level of care required.

As with the above, it’s difficult to get across the true value of living in a retirement community versus living on your own. This is why we encourage people to visit one of our communities and speak with a Leasing Manager or General Manager. Once we understand your particular needs, we can determine what the specific cost would be for you.

Keep in mind, when you move into a senior living community, homeownership costs like taxes, utilities and maintenance (repairs, lawn care, snow removal) are all included in your monthly service fee. In addition, meal plans, social activities and entertainment are all covered by your monthly payment.

Simply put, the monthly fee includes services that make everyday living easier. Also, when you choose retirement living, you’ll have direct access to care services and regular health assessments, should your needs change in the future.

Let’s look at the Cost of Living Comparisons:

We have provided a *Cost of Living Comparison chart for both Ontario and Alberta:

The purpose of these tools is to encourage people to consider the costs they are currently paying versus what it might cost to move into a retirement community.

Some people may disagree with the dollar amounts we have attributed to different expenses. We acknowledge that this is an imperfect science. Although we have consulted reliable sources for this information, the totals account for averages spent by Canadians per province, not only seniors “ready” for retirement living. Furthermore, costs will always change person to person and by region.

Prices shown are dollar figures that can’t accurately represent the value of retirement living. Many residents have told us that they wish they had moved into Seasons sooner: most commonly, because of the peace of mind in knowing that someone is always there should you need them.

Retirement living may be more affordable than you think.

For some people, all the costs of aging at home are worth it. If you would like to consider alternatives, spend some time researching your local senior living community before completely writing it off based on cost alone. When compared to the actual costs associated with homeownership, briefly outlined above, retirement living can be surprisingly reasonable. Once you carefully consider all of your options, retirement living at Seasons may be more affordable than you think.

Book a personal tour today and decide if Seasons is the right fit for you or a loved one.