What is a CCRC? 

A CCRC, or Continuing Care Retirement Community, is a senior living community that provides multiple levels of care in one location. Since it offers multiple levels of care, a CCRC can continue caring for a resident even if their health needs change over time.

There are two types of CCRCs: Rental and Life Care. A rental CCRC operates on a monthly rental fee basis. You pay a monthly fee based on the level of care you receive. Your typical monthly fee often includes meals, transportation, housekeeping and laundry, lawn care and some utilities, as well as emergency call monitoring and health monitoring services. These services may vary depending on the community.

A Life Care CCRC charges a monthly fee, similar to the rental CCRC. However, Life Care residents also pay an upfront entry fee. Think of it as a down payment towards your future, because with a Life Care CCRC you receive guaranteed care — even if your financial resources are eventually exhausted due to no fault of your own.*

Related: The Benefits of a Life Care Community

What levels of care are typically offered in a CCRC?

The levels of care often vary among each community. A CCRC typically has at least three levels of care in one location, but many CCRCs offer four.

The levels of care could include independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and rehabilitation and skilled nursing.

Who is a candidate for a CCRC?

Anyone older than age 62 may be eligible to live in a CCRC. To join a Life Care CCRC you must initially move into independent living. If you need assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing at the time of your initial move in, our rental CCRCs may best meet your needs.

A Life Care community has some additional financial and health qualifications that aren’t required from a rental CCRC. For more detailed information about qualifications, you can check with a specific CCRC or call one of our senior living advisors who would be happy to answer your questions.

What should I know about entry and monthly fees for CCRCs?

Rental CCRCs typically have a monthly rental fee ranging from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on the type of accommodations and the level of care you need. But that monthly payment covers almost all your living expenses.

Life Care CCRCs charge an entry fee that is typically in the range of $150,000 to $300,000 — more or less, depending on such things as your floor plan, services, and the Life Care contract you choose. Many seniors choose to fund this fee through a portion of their investment portfolio.

Along with the entry fee, there’s also a monthly fee for a Life Care CCRC that ranges on average from $2,500 to $3,500. The amount can vary depending on the type of accommodations and the type of contract you have. While the fee may vary slightly from year to year, depending on the level of care you need, your community may agree to cap increases; Brookdale voluntarily caps annual increases at the consumer price index plus two percent at most of its Life Care CCRCs.

How will entering a Life Care community affect my taxes and estate planning?

The IRS considers life care to be a pre-paid medical expense, so tax deductions are often available for portions of the upfront entry fee and monthly service fee — typically up to 40 percent of the fee. Because deductions can vary state to state, you should consult with your tax advisor to get a better idea of the tax benefits.

Entering a life care community can also affect your estate planning. A life care contract takes care of the portion of your planning that would address funding your health care needs; the contract ensures your health care needs will be met even if you run out of money (through no fault of your own). You may also choose a refundable contract that returns a portion of your entry fee to your designated beneficiary after you pass away.

What are the health benefits of living in a CCRC?

It all comes down to one thing: certainty. With multiple levels of care in one location, you can rest assured as your health needs require more attention over time; you won’t have to change communities to receive it. That continued link to friends, familiar surroundings and the place you’ve come to call home is invaluable.

Additionally, in a Life Care CCRC you know your medical needs will be met throughout your life — even if your financial resources are eventually exhausted due to no fault of your own.*

These communities also encourage seniors to remain independent for as long as possible, without restrictions on driving, traveling and shopping as long as you’re able.

What is day-to-day life like in a CCRC?

CCRCs offer exciting opportunities to enjoy the good life each day. With lifelong learning programs, fun social gatherings, fine dining and special events, you’ll stay socially connected with opportunities to continue to grow. At Brookdale, our CCRCs are filled with new adventures, places to explore and fun with friends.

Related: Choosing the Right Continuing Care Retirement Community

Get More Answers About CCRCs

For more information or to get more questions answered about CCRCs and Life Care, call a Brookdale national senior living advisor at the number above.


*The life care guarantee is subject to the terms & conditions of the Residency Contract.
**The pricing listed is for informational purposes to educate on typical costs in senior housing. Specific community pricing may vary and may be outside of the typical range noted.