Continuing Care Retirement Communities: A Proactive Approach
The older American population is vast and growing. Those ages sixty-five and older represented approximately thirteen percent of the total U.S. population in 2010; close to forty-million people. By the year 2030 this group is projected to make up almost twenty-percent of our population. This represents a fifty percent increase over a 20-year period of time.
In addition to the growth of the older population people are living longer. A seventy- year old person in the United States can expect to live another sixteen or seventeen years on average, but rarely without any long-term healthcare needs.
This combination of growth among the older American population and increasing life expectancy will create a greater need for lifestyle and healthcare solutions, as well as a more proactive approach to planning for the later phases of retirement.
Another Aspect of “Retirement Planning”
The phrase "retirement planning" is often associated with planning in the years prior to retirement. Yet, planning for the later phases of retirement could be one of the most important aspects of retirement planning.
For retirees who are in the middle stages of retirement, beginning around age seventy depending on health, now is the time to plan for your later retirement years -- while you are active and able. Delaying important decisions about tomorrow’s needs may leave you and your loved ones facing difficult, and often costly, situations in the future.
Where Will You Live?
One of the more important - and complex - decisions you need to consider is where you will live. Do you wish to remain in your home as long as possible or move to a Florida retirement community? What are the long-term care options in each of these scenarios? How will you pay for such care? Understanding the various alternatives will help you and your family to make better-informed decisions and provide more peace of mind about your future.
While most people say they would prefer to stay in their home as long as possible, an increasing number of retirees "on-the-go" are considering Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs, as a viable alternative. Such communities are appropriate for retirees who are independent today- and often still quite active- but who want to have a plan in place for their future housing and care needs. The distinguishing factor between a CCRC and any other type of retirement living arrangement is that the retirement community contractually guarantees a continuum of care- most often including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care.
Ideally, moving into a CCRC should be the last residency decision you ever make. Choosing the right retirement community is a major decision and, therefore, it is important to understand the contract details, the cost of care, the quality and level of care available, financial stability of the community, as well as the potential impact on your personal financial plans. Before deciding whether a retirement community is right for you it is recommended that you sit down with an objective advisor who is knowledgeable about CCRCs and can help you determine the potential long-term financial impact of this important decision based on various scenarios.
Aging is inevitable and your ability to remain able and independent throughout your lifetime is uncertain. However, your future care and comfort can be secure with the proper planning and guidance. By anticipating your future needs -- and considering which retirement living alternative is best suited to address them -- you and your family can approach your later years with confidence and peace of mind.