Moving vs. Staying – What’s the Difference Between Aging in Place and Moving to a Senior Living Community?

Happy senior couple standing in front of their home

Senior living communities have come a long way. Yet many 55 or better active adults are afraid of the prospect of downsizing to active living community because of common misconceptions, finances, and/or the emotional impact of change.

That’s why it’s important for you to have all the right information about the true potential of an active senior community experience.

The Benefits of Rightsizing

When you look closely at the numbers and benefits of rightsizing, you can better imagine a life free from many everyday responsibilities. You’ll begin to see a vision of leisure and adventure, where you will have more mental and emotional space for activities and events you can actually enjoy. Moving into the right active adult community can mark the next exciting chapter of your life, and here’s why so many have made the move.

Financial Pros and Cons

A common reason why people “age in place” at home is affordability. Many believe that living at home with an in-home caregiver is more cost-effective than moving into an active community, but this isn’t always the case. Here’s how the two differ when it comes down to dollars and cents.

Cost of Living

Ideally, many seniors would like to downsize to a nice community, where things are taken care of and maintenance is minimal, but they don’t believe it’s financially viable. This myth is easily debunked when you think about how aging in place means aging with all the separate bills, maintenance costs, and miscellaneous expenses that stack up. Expenses can include: 

  • Mortgage (unless it’s paid off)
  • Electricity
  • Cable / Internet
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • HOA fees
  • Home repair costs
  • Snow removal
  • Trash removal
  • Lawn and landscaping services
  • Gym memberships

 

The list goes on. At an active adult community, however, these things are worked into the streamlined monthly fee.

By this point in your life, your home is likely paid off, and yet at-home expenses still add up a lot faster than if you lived in a community. With a paid-off home, you can actually use the equity from this asset to pay for the easier, more enjoyable life at an amenity-filled community.

Cost of Care

A major aspect to consider when deciding whether to move or age in place is the cost of care services, which tend to be the most expensive part of in-home care. According to the insurance company Genworth’s 2019 survey on the cost of long-term care, the national average cost for a paid in-home care provider is $4,385 per month.

So why not ask for the help of an unpaid family member? Unfortunately, that can cost even more (and not just financially). The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP report that unpaid family caregivers lose an average of nearly $304,000 in wages and benefits over their lifetime (women being on the higher end of financial loss). Evidence even shows that assuming the role of caregiver in midlife may increase the risk for a woman to live in poverty in old age.

The more you weigh the list of expenses between in-home care and community life, the clearer the financial benefits become – for everyone involved. Making the move will more than likely save you and your family money in the end. Here’s a living cost calculator to give you a better idea of what life at a community like Overture would look like financially.

Social Side of Things

It’s been proven that socializing is good for you. Several studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being, especially among older adults. When living at home and aging in place, it’s a lot easier to become socially isolated and lonely. 

In a community, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a community filled with neighbors, activities, freshly prepared cuisine that’s right for you, and avenues for personal development. An active adult community like Overture is designed to support your social, emotional and physical preferences and needs along with others who are looking for the same thing.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Without the burden of your house maintenance and finances, you have more time and mental and emotional space for doing things you love. In this way, you’re able to pursue passions, friendships, and personal growth at your own pace, stress-free.

Contrary to popular belief, rightsizing to an active community for adults 55+ is more likely to increase your independence. At home, you rely on others to help you complete certain tasks, whereas in a community, you are discreetly and appropriately supported in your daily tasks and interests – without the fear of plans or people falling through. You’re also near the medical care you require, which not only provides relief for you, but also for your loved ones on your behalf.

Physical Health

It’s hard enough to incorporate exercise into a daily routine, let alone if you have limited access to equipment or a gym. Unless you have an at-home gym and the right safety measures in place, it can be cumbersome to do your exercises in-house. On top of that, gym memberships are costly, and getting there isn’t always the most convenient task.

At an active adult community like Overture, you have access to many fitness and exercise opportunities, as well as equipment, training, and programs to support your physical health goals. It’s important to us that you feel good and experience the highest quality of life possible.

Aging in Motion

Change is hard, and we know that entering a new chapter can be very exciting and stressful at the same time. Deciding whether to move or stay at home brings its own emotional moments, but it’s important that you know the truth about active community life. In short, you can save money and stress by making the move, and thus, gain reliable support, relationships, and a fulfilling lifestyle in one place. To us, home is where your heart is happy and healthy.

If you need more details regarding potential pricing, please contact us at Overture. We’d love to walk you through the proper steps to aging in motion.

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