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Aging at Home Costs vs. Senior Living: A Comparison for Seniors and Families

Considering the costs of aging at home versus those at a senior living community?

Senior living might be more affordable than you think.

In this article, we’ll discuss the financial realities of both options, shedding light on various aging-at-home costs, with the goal of helping seniors and their families make informed decisions for a comfortable and enjoyable retirement lifestyle.

Evaluating the Expenses of Aging at Home

The comfort and familiarity of your own home can make aging in place an appealing option for some. However, considering whether aging at home is the most cost-effective option in the long term is worth exploring, especially if you are interested in the engaging lifestyle a senior living community offers.

As you weigh your options, here are some potential financial burdens of aging at home to consider.

To help evaluate, we recommend making a list of all expenses accrued over a year. Include everything from groceries and memberships to the cost of in-home assistance, property taxes, and insurance. This will give you a clear picture of what it costs to support your current and future lifestyle.



Home Maintenance and Repairs

Home maintenance and repairs are a necessary part of homeownership. As we age, these tasks can become more challenging, burdensome, and costly. Remodeling for safety and accessibility can cost thousands, adding significant expenses to aging at home.

Common home maintenance tasks that add up:

• lawn care
• snow removal
• house cleaning
• exterior maintenance (painting, gutter cleaning, etc.)

Common costly home repairs and upkeep may include:

• roof replacement
• appliance replacement
• foundation repair
• plumbing issues
• electrical system upgrades
• HVAC system replacement
• window replacement
• structural repairs

Utility Bills and Taxes

Utility bills and taxes are another key expense for seniors who are living at home and should be factored in when comparing aging at home versus living at a community. The typical utility expenses, such as gas, HVAC, water and sewer, electricity cost thousands per year, with additional costs for internet and cable services. These costs can rise due to age-related needs, such as increased heating or cooling requirements.

Property taxes are a significant financial consideration as well, particularly in areas like Jackson County, Missouri, where there have been significant increases. These taxes are based on the assessed value of the home and can be a substantial burden for seniors on a fixed income. Understanding the implications of these taxes and the potential for future increases is important for long-term financial planning for seniors.

Long-Term Health Care Costs

Long-term health care can represent a substantial part of aging at home costs, especially if one partner requires assistance. These health care costs are typically covered out of pocket, which is a large financial consideration to budget for your future.

Home maintenance and repairs, costly home modifications, utility bills, and long-term health care costs can accumulate while aging at home, greatly impacting your overall budget.

Comparing Senior Living Options

Having examined the costs of aging at home, we’ll now focus on senior living communities. There are many senior living options available in the Kansas City area, tailored to accommodate varying levels of independence and long-term care needs.

When it comes to senior living, you can anticipate receiving service and support from skilled professionals designed to help you maintain a high level of independence and quality of life.

Several factors influence the cost of living in a retirement community, such as the type of housing, the location, and the range of amenities and services. Before selecting a senior living community, we recommend conducting comprehensive research to find the best match for your specific requirements and budget.

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are specifically designed for older adults who need little to no assistance. These communities provide various services and amenities to enhance the retirement experience of their residents, but they do not offer advanced levels of care such as assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing.

Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities

For seniors who require more assistance with daily tasks, assisted living and/or memory care communities can be a good option. Assisted living and memory care community costs can differ quite a lot, but generally provide either all-inclusive or fee-for-service pricing models.

Life Plan Communities

Life Plan Communities like John Knox Village, also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, provide a comprehensive range of living options and long-term care levels.

Most life care communities offer:

• Independent living
• Assisted living
• Memory care support
• Skilled nursing

This enables residents to remain in the community as their own needs change and caters to couples with varying levels of care needs.

One of the advantages of Life Plan Communities is the ability to continue living in the same community and consider it your home, even if your health care needs change. Transitioning to a Life Plan Community before needing long-term health care can potentially result in cost savings.

Benefits of Living at John Knox Village

John Knox Village is a Life Plan Community that offers a range of benefits, including maintenance-free living, a variety of amenities and services, and on-site long-term health care.

In terms of financial benefits, moving to a senior living community like John Knox Village may provide potential tax breaks on the entrance fee and monthly fees, the absence of property taxes, on-site dining, amenities and services, utilities included, housekeeping and maintenance-free living, can make it a cost-effective option for seniors in and around Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Maintenance-Free Living

At John Knox Village, maintenance-free living includes:

• All the benefits of homeownership without the need to handle maintenance and responsibilities
• Home maintenance for both interior and exterior of the residence
• Lawn care, snow removal, general upkeep of the community
• Appliances
• 24/7 Emergency advanced life support ambulance service
• 24-hour security — all security officers are EMTs
• Utilities, cable TV, and telephone included (except internet)
• Transportation provided by our own bus fleet

When considering maintenance-free living at John Knox Village, there are a variety of contract options to explore.

Amenities and Services

John Knox Village offers a wide array of services and amenities included in your entrance or lease fees. Residents don’t have to pay to use the two on-site gyms or for a golf club membership, in addition to a diverse mix of social and physical activities that cater to residents’ interests and promote an active and engaged community such as:

• Bowling alley
• Movie theater
• Community garden
• Fishing lake
• Shuffleboard court
• Outdoor and indoor swimming pools
• Arts and crafts studio
• Theatre group
• Music groups
• Woodworking shop

John Knox Village also offers dining credits for use in the multiple on-site dining options, including:

• Breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus
• Restaurant-style service with formal tableside service
• Casual dining venues
• Pickup and delivery options

Health Care Advantages

At John Knox Village, residents can have access to a comprehensive range of long-term health care services tailored to meet the diverse needs of seniors. These include:

• Assisted living
• Memory care
• Skilled nursing
• Rehabilitation
• Outpatient therapy
• Home health
• In-home care services
• Hospice care
• Parkinson’s support

Residents in a Life Plan Community like John Knox Village enjoy the advantage of having predictable rates for long-term health care services that may be necessary in the event of a change in health. This helps provide financial predictability and enables residents to prepare for a range of health care needs.

Personalized Cost Comparison: Aging at Home vs. John Knox Village

Comparing the costs of aging at home versus living at John Knox Village reveals that living at a senior living community is cost effective when you crunch the numbers. Contact John Knox Village to discover senior living options or schedule a tour at (816) 251-8000. We’re here to guide you through your analysis – from utilities to unforeseen health care expenses – and help you make informed decisions that align with your desired lifestyle and budget.

Explore John Knox Village

John Knox Village continues to be a leader in senior living and health care services in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. From free-standing homes, apartment homes, cottages, and villas as well as a variety of independent living entry fee and lease contract options, there’s a place for you at John Knox Village.

With more than 700,000 square feet of common space across the beautiful campus, you’ll find more opportunities and experiences right outside your door. Contact us to learn more.