What is a CCRC? 

A growing number of seniors are turning to continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) in order to make the most of their retirement years. (CCRC) are designed for those who choose to pursue their lifelong dreams in an engaging social environment. These retirement communities operate as either rental or life care models. A rental CCRC operates on a monthly rental fee basis. Life care communities require an entry fee in return for guaranteed health care. 

What is a Life Care Community?

A life care community charges an upfront entry payment and a monthly fee in exchange for long-term accommodations and health-related services. A contract formalizes the arrangement between the community and the residents, guaranteeing seniors receive the agreed-upon care even if their financial resources are eventually exhausted. Learn more about Life Care.

Who is a Candidate for a Life Care Community?

Anyone older than 62 may be eligible to live in a life care community, if they meet financial and medical qualifications. Most continuing care retirement communities offer multiple types of accommodations — including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and rehabilitation and skilled nursing. This means you can enter the community at any stage, including when you are still independent. As your care needs increase, you can move between accommodation and care levels. Learn more about Life Care.

What Should I Know About Entry and Monthly Fees?

Continuing care communities charge an entry fee that is typically in the range of $50,000-$500,000. Many seniors choose to fund this fee through the sale of their homes when they need to downsize into a more manageable living situation. Fees can vary depending on the type of accommodations and level of care you need. Monthly service fees typically average $1,500-$3,000, depending on the type of contract. While the fee may vary slightly from year to year and depending on the level of care you need, your community may agree to cap increases.

* 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.

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 (up to 90 percent) of your entry fee to your designated beneficiary after you pass away.

What are the Health Benefits of Living in a Life Care Community?

A life care community ensures your medical needs will be met throughout your life -- without you having to worry about how you’ll pay for the care you need. Live entertainment, special meals and events, daily opportunities to dine with others or participate in games and hobby groups ensure you’ll never lack stimulating activities or interaction with others. Life care also encourages seniors to remain independent for as long as possible, without restrictions on driving, traveling and shopping.

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.