The prospect of getting older is a lot more attractive when you're prepared. If you're approaching or over age 65, it's time to consider whether moving to a continuing care retirement community might be a smart move. In fact, there are myriad reasons to start thinking about it right now.
It's (more than) likely you'll need it
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, seven out of 10 seniors over age 65 will need long-term or skilled nursing care at some point. So if you're over – or approaching – 65, it's time to start thinking about how you'll finance long-term medical care. Investing in a continuing care retirement community is a smart way to save on medical expenses – even before you need them.
You'll save on taxes
When you invest in a continuing care retirement community (CRCC), you're essentially prepaying your future medical expenses. In doing so, you're eligible for a hefty tax break. According to Elder Law Answers, you can deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income if you're over 65. This includes a portion of the entrance fee and a portion of the monthly fees that are deductible depending on the selected program.
You can shelter assets
For prudent planners, the ability to shelter taxable income is a big perk of moving into a CCRC. Essentially, you can offset taxable gains when liquidating assets — like the sale of a second home — by investing those funds into a continuing care retirement community. Even if asset liquidation isn't applicable to you, the ability to move tax-deferred assets to nondeferred assets might be.
It's completely customizable
No two seniors are alike, and that's exactly why continuing care retirement communities offer myriad plans to suit each budget and situation.
“The entrance fees that are paid to move into a retirement community are wonderful because you can pick the one that suits your finances best,” said Marilyn Walsh, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at Providence Point in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. These entrance fees are based on the refund desired and the financial assets of each individual. “It is an investment you make to live in a beautiful home, enjoy the programming of holistic wellness, and have a plan in place if health conditions change. That's what I consider priceless.”
It might just keep you young
If you thought CCRCs were all about knitting classes and Bingo nights, think again. Today's communities reflect the needs and wants of today's aging seniors. For example, at Providence Point, residents can take advantage of a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa, surround sound theatre, formal, casual and bistro dining options and a variety of activities, yoga, aerobics, day trips, educational classes, performances, bocce and corn hole tournaments and more.
“Communities have changed over the years,” said Walsh. “They're much different than they were 10 years ago. Seniors want opportunities to interact with others, engage in life-long learning, have a variety of fitness opportunities and have great dining options.”
It's peace of mind
There's no price tag on peace of mind. That's particularly true if you're aging and want the reassurance of a long-term plan.
“Most of the people who move into retirement communities are planners,” said Walsh. “Things can change very quickly. That's great peace of mind to you and to your family.”
Walsh advises anyone considering a move to a continuing care retirement community to focus on the three primary financial advantages they present: controlling your costs, knowing your entrance fee refund and taking advantage of tax deductions.
This article is sponsored by Providence Point.
A journalism graduate from Brigham Young University, Kristen Price has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.