How to Save Money Through Downsizing

Retirement is all about doing what you enjoy and downsizing is often the first step in that journey. And the longer you wait, the harder it may become. When it comes to downsizing your belongings, where do you start? As it turns out, there are some items that make for common downsizing obstacles. So here is our list of what you can downsize to save money:

Save Money Through Downsizing

Your Home

Downsizing from your home can result in loads of savings every year and can reduce your yearly expenses. The savings come from reduced property tax, insurance, maintenance, and utilities.

Your Debt

On average, Americans carry $6,194 in credit card debt. If you downsize your home, you can put some of your monthly savings toward paying off your debt and pay less interest going forward.


With the rise of “fast fashion” online, people today are buying more clothes than ever. The  average person is ditching about 81 pounds of clothing every year as of 2020. Due to this fact, it’s clear that closets all over America have room to shrink and stay that way. Though, donating would be far more beneficial than simply throwing clothes away.

Storage Units

If you are paying money each month for a storage unit, it might be time to go through them and see if you really need those items. After all, you won’t have more room to use them if you downsize anyway. Now is the time to think about condensing those items or even getting rid of them all together. 

Exercise Equipment

Exercise equipment can go unused for long periods of time while taking up a lot of space in your home. Programs, like SilverSneakrs, provide Medicare enrollees free access to over 15,000 fitness facilities nationwide.

Sell Collectables and Kitchenware

If you have a large collection of collectibles, or lots of kitchen gadgets that you haven’t used in the last year you can make a little money by selling them. 

Ready to begin downsizing? Here is the best FREE starter’s guide to beginning your downsizing journey. Click the icon below to download your FREE copy to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start.

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, independent living apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.

Smart Retiree Savings Tips Makes You a Savvy Senior

When it comes to your finances, no one wants to be caught off guard. Yet many retirees need to consider more than just their finances. That’s why we made this retiree checklist, so if you’re already retired what should you be doing? Here are your retiree savings tips:

Retiree Savings Tips

Don’t Set It and Forget It

When selecting investment plans, it may be tempting to “set it and forget it.” However, you should always be proactive when it comes to your retirement savings and re-adjusting may be necessary at some point. There is a great debate within the world of professional investors whether a target-date fund, or set it and forget it fund, is really the best option. The industry changes frequently and you should always be assessing your risk. 

Delay Drawing Social Security

When to take Social Security is dependent on your circumstances. Should you choose, you can start taking your benefits as early as 62 or you can wait to reach the full retirement age of 70. While there is no right or wrong way to claim your benefits, delaying Social Security can really pay off.

Move Somewhere with Lower Cost of Living

Choosing where you want to live during your retirement is just as much of a financial decision as it is a lifestyle one. People may want to move to a place with a lower cost of living as a strategy for saving more money in retirement. For some, making this decision is an easy one, but for others, it is fraught with emotion. The home that works for you in early retirement, may not work for you later down the road.

One thing people often consider is moving to their favorite vacation spot, though this requires some consideration. Many vacation spots are seasonal and may not be much fun in the off-season or fit with the rest of your lifestyle.


The big question on many retirees’ lips is; should I downsize my home? The answer depends on your circumstances. Some factors may include costs and potential health care issues. Appropriately weighing all the factors will help you decide.

  • Cost of Selling: Selling your home comes with some expenses. You may have to renovate or update your home to get the best price and don’t forget about the realtor’s commission. If you happen to make money in the sale, capital gains taxes could apply.
  • Cost of Moving: Don’t forget about the costs that come with moving, like closing costs, movers, and other unanticipated expenses.
  • Health Concerns: As you age, your health may become more of a concern. If you or your spouse have mobility issues, a two-story home may become too much of a burden or hindrance to mobility. If your home is one-story, are the doors and passageways wide enough to easily get through with walkers? 

For tips on how to downsize, check out this article

Move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Over the past few years, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC), otherwise known as Life Plan Communities, have become popular retirement options. A CCRC provides a continuum of care for its residents, which creates a sense of security and peace of mind. Offering an array of living options and supportive services, residents enjoy life on their own terms without the hassle of home maintenance or multiple monthly bills to manage,

Now that you read retiree savings tips, wondering what your future has to offer in your golden years? Learn about aging on your terms with your FREE Moving to a Senior Living Community: Make Decisions Your Way

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

7 Deadly Retirement Savings Sins of Baby Boomers

According to Boomer Expectations for Retirement (BER), current retirees might not be where they think they are in their retirement planning. Make sure you aren’t falling victim to these retirement savings sins.

Not Saving Enough

This may be the most obvious — and the most frightening — but it bears repeating. According to the BER, an astounding 23% of baby boomers have no retirement savings.

Draining Retirement Savings

We know life happens and there are unpredictable events that occur throughout your life. However, you should be very careful about dipping into your retirement savings. About 17% of new seniors save for retirement once but then spend the money. This happens either due to desperation or carelessness. Worse yet, it can be both.

Not Properly Calculating a Retirement Savings Goal

Not having a retirement savings goal makes it harder to save enough for retirement. Think about it; if you haven’t set a goal, how will you know how much you want to save? On average, only 25% of boomers have tried to run the numbers without a financial advisor. And of those with a financial advisor, only another 25% have set a monetary goal.

Underestimating Healthcare Costs

According to studies, a healthy couple in their mid-60s may need a budget between $300k-500k for their health care expenses. This includes insurance, copays, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Yet, most retirees are unaware of just how much healthcare can cost. According to the BER, less than 20% of boomers believe their healthcare costs will come to less than 20% of their retirement income. Additionally, more than 25% think it will be less than 10% of their retirement income. 

Ignoring Long-Term Care Costs

This one is particularly dangerous, yet nearly 70% of boomers are going to need some form of long-term care. What’s more, is the average cost is roughly $90k a year. And if you are banking on Medicare to pay, think again. Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care.

Mishandling the Retirement Date

Did you know that postponing retirement can have some major benefits? Some 29% of individuals aged 62 to 66 have decided to postpone their retirement. Additionally, an astonishing 33% of those aged 67 to 72 have done the same. However, others overestimate how long they’ll be able to work. About 31% of boomers believe they will be able to work past 70. Unfortunately, the BER tells us that fewer than 10% actually can.

Not Getting Affairs in Order

Roughly two-thirds of boomers have taken no steps in protecting themselves should they suffer a major health event or need memory care. They haven’t sat down and shared their wishes with  their family. Unfortunately, many people who have been through the process of unplanned life events can tell you, the chances of you waiting too long are pretty high if you don’t start planning today.

Worried about your future? Don’t leave the decision-making process to anyone else and harness the power of choice with your new eBook, Moving to a Senior Living Community: Make Decisions Your Way

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

5 Essential Retirement Documents

As you begin to plan for retirement it is easy to put most of your focus on your savings, and rightly so. However, funding your retirement involves more than simply saving enough money. An often overlooked necessity is the importance of obtaining and organizing certain documents. The following are five essential retirement documents you will need for a smooth transition.

Essential Retirement Documents

Original or Certified Birth Certificate

Though you can submit copies of many documents, your birth certificate is not one of them. To apply for retirement, you will need an original or certified copy of your birth certificate as a photocopy will not be accepted. Original documents are returned after filing.

Original Social Security Card or Record of Number

Your Social Security number is directly tied to how much you receive from your Social Security benefits. Your specific number has been used your entire working life to track the amount of money you have earned. This, in turn, determines your level of benefits in retirement. From there, your Social Security number will be used to track your benefits.

Proof of Citizenship

There are several documents the Social Security Administration will accept as proof of citizenship. These documents include a U.S. birth certificate, passport, or certification of citizenship. If you are a lawful non-citizen living in the U.S., you may present your Department of Homeland Security documents which may include I-551 (Green Card) or your DHS form I-94. Much like your birth certificate, the Social Security Administration will only take original or certified documents.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finance and Health Care

A durable power of attorney for finance is a legal document that authorizes a person of your choosing to manage your finances should you be unable.  

Similarly, a power of attorney for health care is a legal document that allows the person you choose to manage decisions (otherwise known as a decision-maker) regarding your health should you be unable. You can additionally include a directive that provides specific written instructions to your legal decision-maker to communicate your wishes.  

Tax Returns

Your life is meant to be easier in retirement, however, this doesn’t apply to your taxes. Many complications regarding your taxes come into play in retirement because your employer is no longer automatically withholding taxes from your paycheck, which can make paying your taxes tricky. You may owe taxes on your Social Security, pension, and annuity depending on your state. It is best to work closely with a trusted tax and finance professional to assist you with these complicated matters. Keep in mind, the IRS can look back up to three years for basic errors.

Obtaining, organizing, and understanding your essential retirement documents will help you make informed decisions as well as facilitate an easy transition to retirement.

Thinking about moving to a senior living community? Learn what your options are with our FREE eBook, What are My Senior Living Options.

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, independent living apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.

How to Know If It’s a Good Time to Sell Your House

Knowing when to sell your home to move to a senior living community can be tricky and time-consuming. This is especially true if you are uncertain about selling your home to begin with. But now might be the time to ask, is it time to sell your house?

Why Staying for the Memories Can Hurt You

If you are waiting to sell your home due to sentimental reasons, you could be hurting your finances. Selling your house at the wrong time can have direct consequences. Many hang on to their houses too long and miss the housing market peak when it happens. If you wait too long you can end up in financial trouble. Don’t let your memories prevent you from making a sound financial decision.

This isn’t to say it’s uncommon to get emotional about selling your home, especially if you are moving to a living senior living community. You spent a lot of time and massive efforts to make your home what it is and have made many memories in your home. However, saying goodbye at the right time is vital to you getting the best deal and sometimes emotions must be put aside to accomplish this goal. Instead, try to harness the feelings and memories you had while shopping for your new home and extend those to your new home.

But how do you know when it’s time to sell your home?

The Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Home

You’ve Seen Positive Selling Trends in Your Neighborhood

This is a no-brainer if you’ve been thinking about selling your home. If the housing market in your area has been trending up and you’ve already decided to sell, then now is the time to act. Though it does get tricky for gaining maximum value since you want to sell when the market peaks.

In a good market, homes will appreciate by approximately  3%. However, a “hot” market can appreciate much more. Basically,  you want to ride the wave for as long as possible and sell just before it breaks. This will depend almost entirely on your personal level of risk-taking or risk aversion. Be sure to take into consideration when the last peak occurred and how high the rates reached before breaking. This can give you an idea of how likely the market is to hit similar prices.

Home Maintenance Has Become Too Much of a Hassle

Americans notoriously wait too long to downsize or move to a senior living community that better meets their needs and desires for retired life. While you may think you are too young or healthy to move, the sooner you do it the sooner you’ll reap the benefits.

In addition, the more your house needs maintenance and the more you keep putting it off, the less your house will be worth when you do finally sell. The clock is already ticking and the time will come when the demands of maintenance are too burdensome to bear. It is better to plan ahead and be ready before the situation leaves you with fewer options.

You’re Ready to Be Proactive

As you get older, keeping up with maintaining your home will often fall to your relatives. Once you need more support from your family in general, you will likely need support in upkeep. If you are ready to be proactive about your support, you may be ready to consider other alternatives. A good plan will eliminate the need for your family to be burdened and allow you to focus better on healthier living and doing the things you want.

Is it Time to Sell Your House

The simple answer is maybe. If the market is in a good place and you feel like your home is becoming too much of a chore for you to keep up, then yes, it is time to sell your home. However, if the market is down you may want to wait. Though this can get tricky if you can’t keep up with the maintenance. It may end up costing you more, in the long run, to wait for the market to turn while letting your home fall into disrepair.

When in doubt, sit down and really hash out the benefits of selling while understanding that your sentimentality is valid, though it could hurt you. Be sure to think through your vision for the future and the lifestyle you want. If you want to explore your financial options, read this article about CCRC entrance fees.

Want some financial planning tips for your future? Check out our FREE eBook, 6 Money Planning Tips for Your Senior Living.

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.

CCRC Entrance Fees vs. Renting in Independent Lifestyles

Doing your due diligence to plan for your future is almost a full-time job — and you are supposed to be retired. But with people over 65 outnumbering people under 18 by 2030, the competition for community living is increasing every day. It is more important than ever for people 65 or older to develop their long term plans earlier. Though your retirement options are more plentiful, there are two main types when it comes to community living; a Continuing Care Retirement Community (commonly called a CCRC) and an Independent Lifestyle Community. Though there are many differences between these communities, one of the most significant is how you pay for them — CCRC entrance fees vs. renting.

Homeowners Associations vs. Independent Lifestyle Community

If you are looking to rent without an entrance fee, you are likely going to look at an independent lifestyle community. Like a condo community with homeowners association fees that cover basics like pool maintenance and the exterior of the home, but not your utilities or interior home.

For a complete comparison between a Homeowner’s community and an independent lifestyle community, check out this article. But the major difference to keep in mind is that Independent Lifestyle Communities have age restrictions and the amenities offered are designed to appeal to retirees with expenses covered under a single monthly fee.

Amenities of Independent Lifestyle

The amenities that independent lifestyle offers can vary from campus to campus. These communities are designed to unburden residents of mundane chores so they can live their best lives. Some of the burdens they help with are:

  • No maintenance or repairs
  • Housekeeping options
  • Lawn care and snow removal
  • Dining options
  • Social programs and events
  • Spiritual services
  • 24-hour security
  • Wellness programming

CCRC Entrance Fees

Though the entrance fee at a CCRC certainly adds a greater initial cost, there are a lot of perks that come with it. First of all, entrance fees for a CCRC are designed to help residents get the entire continuum of care they came for. Similarly, paying the entrance fee ensures that they will be able to remain in the community they have chosen with fewer worries and responsibilities. This works both for the security of individuals and the community at large since the people who live there plan to stay there.

Amenities of a CCRC

Much like in an independent lifestyle, the amenities offered by a CCRC can vary, though most will offer some basics. Also, much like independent living, moving to a CCRC community is all about security and peace of mind. 

Furthermore, many assisted living communities will offer the same benefits as an independent lifestyle community, plus some additional aid:

  • Personal support services
  • Laundry services
  • Assistance with daily self-care
  • Medication management
  • Health monitoring
  • Enrichment programs for social and active living

No matter which option you think is right for you, there is a Life Enriching Communities resource to help you at every step of the decision making process. Cover all your bases with our FREE eBook and discover What Are My Senior Living Options.

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.

8 Simple Money Saving Strategies to Help Your Finances 

We talk a lot about how to prepare for your future in terms of later life costs. But what can you do right now to jumpstart your savings this year or even this month? It turns out that there are loads of simple money saving strategies that can help you start squirreling away for the future you want. 

Categories for Money Saving Strategies


1. Eating

  • One easy way to save money on what you eat is to stop going out for lunch or dinner. Though the cost varies state to state, the average American spends $3,000 on dining out every year. That’s about $250 every month.
  • How often do you buy coffee at a coffee shop? Cutting out what seems like a minor daily expense can save you a lot of money. If you are spending $5 every weekday for a large pumpkin milkshake with coffee from a major cafe chain (we won’t say which one, but you all know which one we mean) that can cost you $100 every month.
  • In fact, if you replace water with some of those pricey beverages like cafe coffee and soft drinks, you can save some serious dough.

2. Grocery Shopping

  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry. This can lead to over-purchasing unnecessary items because when your appetite is piqued, everything looks good.
  • Keep an active shopping list. If you know your shopping list is up to date then you can cut down on buying things because you might need them. You can keep your shopping to things you know you will use.
  • Go generic instead of getting the brand names. Branded products are almost always more expensive than the grocery brand.
  • Try ordering your groceries online for delivery or pick-up. This way you will see your total before checkout and can stick to a budget. It also diminishes the likelihood of impulse purchases.


3. Automate Bills

  • Not only is having your bills automated a great relief of mental stress, but it can also save you money. With automated payments, your bills always get paid on time which means no more pesky late fees.
  • Going paperless can also save you a few dollars on monthly bills, so switching to online billing might be a good choice.

4. Cancel Things You don’t Use

  • Haven’t gone to the gym in the last two months? Cancel it. Don’t really read that magazine you subscribed to eight months ago? Cancel it. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we will start using the things we don’t, though if you are looking to save money it’s better just to let them go. 

5. Cut Down on Energy Costs

  • Get warm blankets. Not only are warm blankets just nice to have on hand, but it can also help you save on your heating costs. When you are all snuggled in at night under your warm blankets, you can turn the heat down to save on energy costs.
  • Line dry clothes instead of machine drying. This one depends more on your available space and whether you suffer from allergies — but line drying clothes can save on energy costs every week. An added benefit is your clothes last longer that way too, since they aren’t regularly exposed to high direct heat.
  • Unplug unused appliances to eliminate phantom electricity costs. When your appliances stay plugged in, they are still conducting a current of energy. Unplugging your microwave, alarm clock, toaster, and television when they aren’t being used can help cut costs every month.
  • If you have a little money to spend, you can get smart thermostats and lightbulbs to help cut out wasting electricity or keeping the heat on too high during the day.

Around the House

6. Borrow, Don’t Buy

  • Whether you are doing a fix or just a weekend project, if you can borrow an appliance or tool from someone don’t buy it. Especially if it is something you won’t use again.
  •  Renting equipment is also a good option. Want to give those old carpets a cleaning, rent a steam cleaner. Got a repair or home improvement project but don’t have the right tools? These can be rented as well.

7. Learn Simple Home Maintenance (within reason)

  • Replace air filters in heating ducts and air conditioning units regularly.
  • Check outdoor faucets in winter to make sure there is no water running. This can save on costly pipe repairs.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils to allow the refrigerator to run more efficiently.
  • Check Youtube when planning your projects. There are literally thousands of pages for home improvement tutorials and some little fixes are far more simple than you might think.

8. Saving on Mortgage and Rent

  • If you have the funds by the end of the year, pay double on your mortgage in December. There is a tax deduction on interest and paying ahead can save you in interest in the long run.
  • If you are paying month to month, you can save by switching to a year lease. Since a lease mitigates the cost of occupancy, the monthly charge is often lower.

Looking for more financial tips, check out our FREE eBook 6 Money Planning Tips for Your Senior Living!

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

What is Not Covered by Medicare and How to Plan for Your Future

If you are looking into your Medicare options, it’s hard to sift through all the information. It is helpful to start by understanding what is not covered Medicare’s basic plan (Medicare Part A) and what is not covered by Medicare at all. Then, you can begin to make decisions about additional coverage.

Not Covered by Medicare

Long-Term Care

Medicare doesn’t cover long-term expenses. Long-term care is one of the most important considerations when planning for your future support because it will likely be the most expensive. On average, long-term care costs $47,000 per year out of pocket. Men will spend 2.2 years in long-term support over the course of their lifetime. Since women have a longer life expectancy, they will need nearly twice as much in long-term support (3.7 years) over the course of their lifetime. 

This means the average couple will spend about $276,400 in long-term care. There are a few exceptions to skilled nursing services, but in general, this is an expense you will have to prepare to cover.

Prescription Drugs

This may come as a shock, but Medicare doesn’t cover outpatient prescription drugs. Without preparation, this can become an enormous problem. One way to prepare is to make sure you stay up to date on your regular doctor and dental visits to keep on top of any potential future problems. 

Dental, Vision, and Hearing Care

Medicare doesn’t cover dental, vision, or hearing care. If you are big on your regular visits to the dentist to get cleanings or have dentures and need more dental care you will have some trouble swinging the expense through Medicare. 

This is also true for vision. Medicare A plans don’t cover vision needs like glasses, contacts, or exams. Obviously, this can cause a little trouble for people who need glasses or contacts but it becomes a bigger problem for people with medical conditions that affect their eyes (like diabetes and cataracts).  

And finally, the same goes for hearing and ear care as well. If you have hearing aids you will want to find a plan for supplemental care.

Hospital Observation Care

This one can be a little tricky and requires some explanation regarding whether a hospital admits you or keeps you for observation.

If you have been admitted to a hospital and stay for three days, the additional skilled nursing care will be covered under Medicare (A), which is basic medicare. However, if you are not admitted to the hospital but just kept for observation, your outpatient care won’t be covered. This includes any rehab you may need after your hospital visit. If you’re preparing for a stay in rehab, here’s what to expect after you get discharged.

How to Plan for Your Future

So, now that you know what Medicare A doesn’t cover, what can you do about it? You begin by exploring some of the options through Medicare B, C, and D.

The Basic Plans:

  • Medicare Part A: covers hospital stays, skilled nursing, hospice, and some health services with a $1,300 + deductable.
  • Medicare Part B: covers doctor’s visits, outpatient services, and medical equipment. Monthly premiums are around $134 for people making up to $85,000 a year.
  • Medicare Part C: coverage can vary but usually includes doctor visits, dental visits, visual exams, and hearing exams and often uses co-pays.
  • Medicare Part D: covers prescription drug costs with co-pays.

As you can see here, the basic Medicare Part A only covers the essentials and everything we have discussed so far are not covered under this basic plan. However, each of the supplemental plans is designed to help mitigate these extra costs. Similar to an HSA, Medicare offers a Medical Savings Account (MSA), which is designed to help individuals save for medical expenses. You won’t be able to get an MSA if any of the following applies:

  • You have health coverage that would cover the Medicare MSA Plan deductible. This includes benefits under employer or union retiree plans.
  • You get benefits from the U.S. Department of Defense ( TRICARE ) or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • You’re a retired Federal government employee and part of the Federal Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
  • You’re eligible for Medicaid.
  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). However, even if you have ESRD, you can join a Medicare MSA Plan if both of these apply:
    • You’re a former enrollee in a Medicare Advantage Plan that left Medicare.
    • You haven’t joined another Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • You’re currently getting hospice care.
  • You live outside the U.S. more than 183 (total) days a year.

Taking the Next Steps

So, how do you prepare for your future? Well, if you’ve made it this far you’ve already taken the first step; do your homework. Good job! Now, here are your next steps:

  1. Know which Medicare plans you want before you enroll and how much they will cost.
  2. Talk to your doctor about your possible health risks and preventative care.
  3. Decide if an MSA is right for you to further help supplement any unexpected costs.
  4. Account for any out of pocket expenses (this will depend on what you learn in steps 1-3 with special considerations to exclusions to MSA’s).

Want to learn more about planning your financial future? Download our FREE eBook 6 Money Planning Tips for Your Senior Living and start saving today!

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

CCRC Contract Types

There are several common contract types for Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). You will hear the terms ‘contracts or agreements’ and ‘fees’. These will vary between communities because they are not all financially set up the same way.

This can make comparing communities a bit complicated. It may help to use a tool like this Cost of Living Comparison Worksheet to evaluate the expenses against your own.

Common Contract Types in a CCRC

According to independent health services accreditor CARF International, the most common types of CCRC agreements are:

Type A (Extensive or Life Care)

This structure essentially allows for the pre-payment of future services. Therefore monthly fees typically see little or no increase except to cover normal operating costs and inflation adjustments.

This type of agreement includes:

  • Housing
  • Residential services and amenities
  • Access to healthcare services without a substantial increase to your fees

While the Entrance Fee and Monthly Fees may be higher than some of the other contract options, your increased need for services will not result in unpredictable added fees.

Type B (Modified)

Typically these Entrance Fees and Monthly Fees will be lower than those of Type A. These contracts allow for access to healthcare services (such as Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing) for a stated period of time without a substantial increase in monthly fees.

This type of agreement includes:

  • Housing
  • Residential services and amenities
  • Future healthcare but the payment for the cost is handled a bit differently.

For more extended services there may be discounted rates offered in comparison to facilities in the area. However, a resident will expect to see an overall increase in their monthly fee.

Type C (Fee-for-Service)

Generally assumed to have the lowest Entrance Fee and possibly monthly fees depending on the services you are accessing. While communities offering this type of contract will likely include

  • Housing
  • Residential Services
  • Amenities

The need for healthcare services will result in a change to your monthly fee. You will pay for the services you use as you need them.


Retirement communities offering a rental option forgo the collection of an Entrance Fee. They generally offer month-to-month contracts.

While you may have amenities and healthcare services offered, your access to them will likely be at market rates. In addition, they will be based on availability. Increases in monthly fees can also be expected.

Some communities will offer one or more of the options above. Get specific details about the contract type of the facility you are interested in.

Monthly and Additional Fees

It’s also important that you ask about:

  • Administrative Fees
  • Health Assessments
  • Community Fees Required for Residency

The monthly fee typically covers the community services, amenities, and conveniences that you gain from the moment you move in. Get a complete list of all services and amenities included — and not included. Then you can prepare for expenses outside of the monthly fee.

Again, contracts and fees will vary for each CCRC. Discuss all details with a community representative and even your financial advisor.

Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), is an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati and Westlake, OH. Best known for our Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, and our recent affiliation with Concord Reserve in Westlake, we have made aging well a top priority for nearly 120 years.

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Investing in a Continuing Care Retirement Community: What to Know

Investing in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) sometimes called a Life Plan Community, is a plan for your future. It’s like purchasing a home for your retirement but choosing one that comes with added value for aging.

Why a CCRC?

The main reason people move into a CCRC is to gain access to the continuum of care. Levels of care include:

  • Independent living
  • Assisted living
  • Skilled nursing
  • Additional health care services the community offers

Choosing a community that provides care that may someday be needed provides a sense of security.

When to Move In?

Most seniors move while they are independent and active because they see it as an investment. One that allows them to take advantage of the amenities and services available for as long as possible. They also want to free themselves of the upkeep and maintenance of a home. This gives them more time to do the things they want to do.

CCRC Costs and Contracts

More variations in CCRC contracts have developed in recent years, just as more CCRCs have popped up across the country. Common among most of these contract types are Entrance Fees and monthly fees.

  • An entrance fee is a deposit that is often compared to a membership fee. It offers you access to the continuum of care in the community.
  • A monthly fee covers the community services, amenities, and conveniences gained from the moment you move in.

As you tour CCRCs, get a complete list of all services and amenities included in the monthly fee. Also, ask for any costs not included in the monthly fees. Fees may include:

  • Entrance fee
  • Administrative fee
  • Health assessment fee
  • Any community fee required upon signing or reserving a home

How Do Most People Pay for a CCRC?

Many residents fund the move through the sale of their home, retirement accounts and investments.

Most CCRCs require a resident to be in good health when moving into the community. Some may even require that residents be able to live independently when first moving in. There may also be minimum and maximum ages for new residents.

Of course, applicants are required to show they have the means to meet the fees and monthly costs. You may even be placed on a waiting list if the community is in demand.

Are CCRCs Worth It?

CCRCs vary in price and contracts, making it difficult to compare apples to apples when it comes to costs.

What you can focus on is determining:

  • Does this fit into my budget?
  • Does it offer services and amenities I will use?
  • Is it a sound investment in my future?

The best way to determine costs is to compare your current cost of living to each CCRC. Use our free Cost of Living Comparison Worksheet to estimate the long term costs of maintaining your home and lifestyle versus the inclusive benefits of living in a community.

Begin touring early so you can prepare and even reserve the home you want. While touring CCRCs, plan ample time to walk the homes and grounds. Try to talk with residents and get your questions answered by staff. Take along this retirement community checklist. It will help uncover if a CCRC is the best financial and lifestyle choice for you in retirement.

Thinking about moving to a senior living community? Learn what your options are with our FREE eBook, What are My Senior Living Options

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.

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