Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Consider Retirement Housing Choices Carefully

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The housing crash has hit more than individual homes – it is hitting retirement communities as well, especially some continuing care retirement communities.

Continuing care communities (CCRCs) are usually geared to people 60+ and provide a range of housing solutions from independent living to assisted living to nursing in one area. They are generally active communities with lots of activities readily available, onsite health care and transportation to local shopping and events. The idea is that the individual can move along the continuum to the type of housing and support that they need as they age.

But, CCRCs have not been immune to recession’s impact on real estate.  Many are facing higher vacancy rates as people are unable to sell their homes to buy into the new community.  That can lead to increased fees, reduced benefits and an inability to get back a deposit in a timely manner.  Not what you thought you signed up for! 

Here’s an article from the Washington Post about the challenges some CCRC residents are facing as they worry about the financial security of their retirement home and the possibility of higher fees than they planned for when entering the CCRC.

If you are considering a CCRC for yourself or a family member, make sure you ask about the financial stability of the company that owns and manages the property (it might be different organizations as is the case with the Erickson CCRC communities mentioned in the Post article.)

 If the pundits are right and real estate values will be slow to recover, you want to understand very clearly what you are buying into now and in the future.

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Written by Laura Rossman

November 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm

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