Independent Living Costs

It’s hard to put a price tag on your quality of life, but the cost of living is an important factor when considering an independent living community. The good news is there are plenty of ways to afford senior living communities, and it just might be more affordable than you think.

Independent Living Price Ranges

Independent living is often a rewarding experience for seniors. The best part is that you get to leave the responsibilities of home behind. Instead of losing time to sweeping, dusting and mowing the yard, you can socialize, have fun, participate in lively activities and pursue your hobbies with renewed enthusiasm.

If you can provide for your needs but want someone else to handle the meals, housekeeping, linen service and maintenance, it’s probably a great option for you.

But how much does independent living cost?

An Average Range of Independent Living Costs at Brookdale

Starting Base Rental Rate - $870 - $7,545*

In addition to the base rental rate, you may be responsible for other fees, including a one-time fee that covers admission and apartment preparation, which can range from $500 to $5,050.

* 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.

Search for communities in your area to see specific pricing information
Search for communities in your area to see specific pricing information

Talk to a Senior Living Advisor about pricing! Call 855-350-3800

The Cost of Senior Living vs. Staying at Home

Making the leap to senior living is a big decision, and it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons. Should you stay at home? Is it time to move into a community? More importantly, can you even afford it?

The most common reason people waver on making the move is that they don’t think they can justify the cost. The reality is that living in a community does cost money, but living at home is pretty expensive too. You may be surprised to learn just how much you spend on your everyday life.

Rent and Mortgage

Rent & Mortgage

The most expensive part of living on your own is definitely paying to keep a roof over your head. The average rent in the United States is $1,200 a month. If you paid off your mortgage already, you still have to take into consideration things like HOA fees and property taxes. Even if you only spend $1,000 a month on your home, that adds up to $12,000 a year.



Keeping the lights on, the water running and the house heated all come with a price. It takes a lot to make sure those monthly bills get paid. Utilities can cost up to $500 a month. Multiply that by 12 months and you’re looking at $6,000 a year.



You can’t go without groceries, and the cost can vary depending on your preferences and habits. The general rule of thumb is that $250 feeds one person for a month. That means you can easily spend upwards of $3,000 a year on food — and you still have to make a list, go to the grocery store, cook your own meals and clean up afterward.



Just like the grocery bill, transportation costs vary depending on whether you have a vehicle of your own or use public transportation. Assuming you drive your own car, gas can cost around $250 a month. That’s another $3,000 a year, and it doesn’t take into consideration things like oil changes, new tires, and other maintenance services.

The necessities alone add up to around $25,000 a year, and that doesn’t even take into consideration things like housekeeping, laundry, restaurants, entertainment, unexpected expenses and going on vacation. So even if staying at home sounds like it will be less expensive, it’s worth your time to consider the actual cost.


What Am I Paying For?

Independent living is a great option for seniors who want to enjoy the freedom of life without the hassle of things like cleaning, cooking and maintaining a home. It’s a vacation-style, carefree environment that gives you the opportunity to do more of the things you love.

Curious to know more? Here are just a few things you could enjoy when you make your home at an independent living community:*

  • A number of free activities, helping your entertainment budget go farther every single month
  • A home-like living space with safety features, making sure you have time to enjoy your hobbies
  • Fresh daily meals, giving you the energy you need to make the most of your day
  • A staff that's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to be alerted to an emergency
  • Low property maintenance, giving you the chance to enjoy home sweet home without any of the upkeep
  • Housekeeping and laundry, so you can spend less time dealing with chores and more time doing the things you love

Want to know more about what life is like at a Brookdale independent living community?


Navigating senior living can be confusing. If you want more detailed pricing information or help understanding your options, give one of our Brookdale advisors a call. 

Speak with a Senior Living Advisor. Call 855-350-3800

*The services listed are for informational purposes to educate on what's typically available. Services vary with each community and may not include the services listed.     

Further Reading

Get all of the basics you need to know about independent living.

Finding the right independent living community is easy with these helpful tips.

Discover the experiences and amenities you could be enjoying in independent living.