Deupree House is a premier retirement community in Cincinnati's beautiful Hyde Park neighborhood.
As older adults consider their options, some wonder to themselves, ‘How can I afford to move into a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) like Deupree House?’
Such a move is easier to afford than many assume, especially when one considers the move erases some costs they now face, such as landscaping, transportation, and home-care costs, as well as other things, including utilities, property taxes, and health-club fees.
A more social, less stressful place
Just as buying a first home brings security and enables wealth-building for young adults, investing in a CCRC brings another form of security and wealth-preservation for older adults while also buying into other benefits, such as neighbors who are closer than neighbors in most suburbs – but only as close as you want them to be.
A CCRC is a campus with independent-living apartments that residents often can modify as much as they would like to turn them into their homes but without some of the stressful downsides of home ownership, such as the need to mow the lawn, shovel snow, or worry about roof repairs.
A significant benefit of a CCRC campus, meanwhile, is the security of knowing that investing in the retirement community ensures they can remain and receive increasing levels of care as their healthcare needs change. Should they need assisted living, memory care, or even skilled nursing or rehabilitation, having paid the CCRC’s entrance fee gives them priority over people from the outside world to receive those levels of care while still living in the community with people they've come to love.
They can continue living on the campus as long as they like, even if their finances are depleted through no fault of their own. The one exception to this is if their medical care needs go beyond those that can be provided on the campus.
Can I afford to move in?
The cost to move into a CCRC is the entrance fee, which non-profit organizations like Episcopal Retirement Services use to finance the construction of campuses and later to maintain them. Entrance fees can be roughly equivalent to purchasing a well-appointed home.
“Because of the entrance fee, we are able to provide reduced monthly rates, to the tune of anywhere from about 10 to 20 percent per month,” compared to what they would pay in a rental-only arrangement, said Bryan Reynolds, ERS’ vice president of marketing and public relations.
The monthly fees cover the costs of maintenance, landscaping, management, and “all the stuff that goes into maintaining the community and keeping it a top-notch campus,” Reynolds said. Deupree House offers both rental-only and entrance fee options to meet the needs of its residents. "You can pick the plan that fits your financial and lifestyle needs best," says Reynolds again.
Many use the sales of their homes or other accumulated wealth to pay their CCRC entrance fees – the majority of which can be refunded to them when they move to another part of the campus or can go to their heirs when they pass away, making it a form of wealth-preservation.
Along with the landscaping, lawn-mowing, and snow-clearing expenses of maintaining a house that CCRC residents no longer have to pay themselves, here are some other bills those who live in a CCRC no longer have to pay:
- Utilities, such as gas, water, and electricity;
- Property taxes;
- Security costs;
- Expenses of pools, health clubs, and personal trainers;
- Many of their grocery bills, if they buy into a meal plan (use of which helps ensure residents receive proper nutrition);
- Other costs of entertainment, because movies are shown for free on the campus, and other social events are provided that offer many opportunities to make friends and meet regularly with them;
- Many transportation costs because stress-free group transportation is available; and also,
- Friends and family can visit and stay on the campus for a fee that’s less than a hotel would cost.
Want to dig deeper? Check out our cost calculator, which helps show what the costs of living in a CCRC could be, compared with where you now live.
Other benefits of living at a CCRC
Aside from stress-free living, a recently released five-year longitudinal study called the Age Well Study found that residents of CCRCs “reported better physical, emotional, intellectual, social and vocational wellness” than demographically similar residents living in the broader community.
The study was performed by the Mather Institute in collaboration with Northwestern University and followed more than 8,200 residents living in 122 such communities across the country.
The five-year study happened to have begun in 2018 – before the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic – and ended in 2022, well into the pandemic.
The researchers found it significant that during the pandemic, people living in CCRCs actually reported increased social contact and more engagement in intellectual activities, most likely because such campuses adapted during the pandemic and found new ways to offer programs while still observing distancing, such as fitness programs conducted through in-house television channels, and increased use of online gatherings for training and education programs.
Socializing with neighbors on the campus is a significant benefit many residents cite when describing why they are glad they moved in.
Karen Immell, director of community relations at Deupree House, says one important thing to know is it’s important to move onto the campus before your physical condition has deteriorated because people are not accepted directly into the assisted-living part of the campus.
“Now, if you get here, and everything’s good, and you’re acclimated, we have assisted living services that we can provide to you, but you have to come when you are pretty healthy, and then you can get acclimated and adapt in that apartment, and you stay longer.”
Also, she added, “9 out of 10 residents will tell you they wish they had done it sooner” because of the joy and stress-free living there.
Residents enjoy all types of social activities in the Deupree House Club Room.
Live life on your own terms
If you’re considering moving to an independent living neighborhood, contact our team here at Deupree House, and get to know us and some of our residents. Carefree living in a truly remarkable retirement community may be just around the corner for you!