Around 40% of baby boomers say that they will work until they die. For some, it’s about continuing to find meaning and engagement in their lives – but for many others, it’s a matter of retirement simply being unaffordable.
According to Barry Kaganson, CEO of Auria Senior Living (Auria), one aspect that doesn’t always get looked at in detail is how and where you plan to live in your later years – and what financial impact that choice can have. Some people want to live as long as they can in the home they have known for years, while others plan to move in with their adult children. Some simply downsize to a smaller home. There is also the option of moving to what is popularly known as a retirement village.
“Not all senior living options are the same,” says Kaganson. “Each of these options has financial implications and it takes time to research the differences in order to make the best decision.”
Auria, a leading developer of gold-standard senior living communities in South Africa, operates what are accurately termed as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). CCRCs combine residential accommodation with lifestyle amenities and health and wellness services for older adults. The continuum of care model allows residents to receive appropriate care and support should their needs change, without them having to move away from the community.
“Your choice of where to live will be informed by various factors, and budget is very likely to be one of the most important of them. From a financial perspective, there are three clear benefits to moving into a senior living community sooner rather than later,” says Kaganson.
- Your biggest expense de-risked: a home
Owning a home always comes with expenses. Most retirees are no longer servicing a home loan but there can still be significant costs attached to insurance, maintenance and repairs – not to mention the hassle factor. Moving to a life rights community ensures that you have a home for the remainder of your life, but without the unpredictable and often expensive costs that can wreak havoc on a limited budget. “In addition, when buying into a CCRC, residents know that they will be able to fix certain living costs and budget for increases in any others predictably without any financial ‘surprises’, while costs related to factors such as home maintenance or security are eliminated,” says Kaganson.
- On-site services and healthcare are more affordable
One of the benefits of moving to a senior living community is the fact that so many services can be accessed on site. Residents have access to a variety of healthcare providers such as doctors, physiotherapists and biokineticists within each community. Specially tailored fitness and other wellness programmes are available, as well as lifestyle services such as hairdressers and coffee shops, and various entertainment and dining options. Aside from being quick and easy to reach, one of the chief benefits to residents is that they are able to benefit from the economies of scale involved. In other words, the costs to residents can be kept reasonable, and predictable.
- Greater savings are possible with an earlier move
There are many reasons to think through the timing of your move carefully. The most obvious might be making sure that you get into the community that you want to be in, and to be able to make your decisions when there are multiple choices available rather than when a crisis forces you to compromise. “One of the other important benefits is the fact that you can save a significant amount of money just by moving earlier. The sooner you fix your living costs around a predictable set of expenses, the more financial certainty you will likely have,” says Kaganson.
Although the average global age of entry into a senior living community is currently 78, Auria’s communities are all aimed at people aged 70+. “The benefit of moving into a CCRC early on is that you can move in and live completely independently, just as you would anywhere else, knowing that care is on hand should you need it,” says Kaganson. “Such a move also allows one to delegate many day to day chores to an on-site management team, which enables people to focus on doing things that they want to, rather than what they have to. This is a game-changer, at any age!”
With its emphasis on enabling residents to live their best quality of life, every single day, Auria communities support residents in living active and engaged lives. “We aim to dispel the outdated notion that moving to a senior living community is a compromise or the beginning of a decline. This is about making a choice that is absolutely a life-enhancement in every way. Moving to a senior living community at the right time can help eliminate certain financial stresses, in addition to the multitude of other lifestyle benefits on offer.”says Kaganso