Retirement is a time to finally relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor, so choosing how to spend your golden years is a big decision that comes with a slew of questions. Do you stay in your current home or look for a new one? What are the benefits of the different types of communities? What will you do if you need care down the line?

If you’re considering a 55+ community or a Life Plan Community, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. In this post, we’ll outline the main differences between a 55+ community and a Life Plan Community and why the latter could help you get the most out of your retirement lifestyle.

 

The Basics

Both 55+ and Life Plan communities are designed for seniors. They both offer amenities and services that make life more convenient, but many of the similarities end there.

At a Life Plan Community, a new residents pays a one-time entrance fee (usually funded by the sale of their home) that is highly repayable – when they leave the community, a large percentage is refunded to them or their estate. Once moved in, they pay a flat monthly fee that replaces the costs of home ownership, like electricity and maintenance and covers most expenses of day-to-day life.

At a 55+ community, seniors buy their residences like any other home purchase. They are responsible for the home and yard upkeep and pay monthly bills like homeowner’s insurance and utilities.

 

A Plan for the Future

The biggest difference between a Life Plan Community and a 55+ Community is the plan for future care. Unlike at a 55+ community, residents at a Life Plan Community like The Glen at Scripps Ranch have priority access to the adjacent health center for assisted living, memory care and long-term care in a skilled nursing center, if ever needed, providing an all-encompassing solution for their needs now and in the future.

This also means that residents won’t have to move again, even if their health needs change. By planning ahead, you could enjoy peace of mind knowing that you will be taken care of regardless of what the future holds, and never have to worry about the hassles of moving as you get older.

While 55+ communities offer a range of amenities and social activities, not everything is included in the base price. Residents still have to pay for the costs associated with home ownership, like gas, electricity, HOA fees and more, along with everyday costs like meals or morning coffee runs.

At a Life Plan Community, nearly everything is consolidated into one monthly fee, including maintenance, yard upkeep, dining, access to on-site activities and amenities, and even biweekly housekeeping. Not only does this simplify monthly expenses but it also protects residents from having to pay out of pocket for unexpected home repairs – if, say, their refrigerator breaks or roof leaks, or even if a bulb goes out.

Another financial advantage of choosing a Life Plan Community is that you could get a tax break earlier in life. A portion of the fees paid to a Life Plan Community may be tax-deductible, meaning you can potentially receive a tax return as a prepaid medical expense, but always consult your tax advisor for details on this benefit. With a 55+ community, there are no tax benefits to offset the expenses and no access to on-site care.

 

The Right Choice

While a 55+ community can be a suitable option for some, a Life Plan Community stands out as the better choice for your retirement lifestyle. Offering residents an all-encompassing solution for the future, access to the same amenities as a 55+ community without added expenses and financial benefits, a Life Plan Community gives you everything you need to enjoy the next chapter of your life.

Ready to learn more about life at The Glen? Start by viewing our beautiful homes.