Senior couple looking in the distance outdoors.

What Is an Entrance Fee Model?

The senior living community entrance fee model is a great option for older adults wanting to manage their financial futures. However, all the jargon surrounding the cost of senior living can be confusing. So what exactly are entrance fees and are they worth it? 

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about senior living entrance fees, to help you decide on the right community for your retirement. 

What Is a Senior Living Community Entrance Fee?

An entrance fee (sometimes called  a buy-in fee, entry fee, or membership fee) is a one-time, upfront fee that most senior living communities require of someone moving into an independent living residence. The price of an entrance  fee for a senior living community typically reflects home prices in nearby areas.

Entrance fees for retirement communities are also based on the size of residence you choose, number of occupants, and available community services and amenities. 

What Does My Entrance Fee Cover?

Exactly what your entrance fee covers varies from one community to another, but here are the basics. The entrance fee is your assurance of being able to reside at this community for life, if that’s what you choose to do.

You’ll have a residence and access to all services and amenities, and lead a fully independent lifestyle with many conveniences and luxuries. If you ever need higher levels of health care, you can access it right on the same campus. It will be high-quality care provided at predictable prices significantly below market rates, and you’ll receive this care as long as you need it. 

Many nonprofit entrance fee communities even promise that you’ll receive care for life, even if you outlive your resources. All this is available to you because you paid an entrance fee. 

You can seamlessly transition from independent living to assisted living – even to memory care, if necessary – without having to move to a different community, which means you never have to worry about having to move away from your spouse. You both can receive the appropriate levels of care and remain close. 

Is a Monthly Service Fee the Same as a Senior Living Entrance Fee?

A monthly service fee isn’t  the same as an entrance fee. An entrance fee is a one-time cost that covers a continuum of care; a monthly service fee is a recurring fee that covers maintenance-free living and services and amenities available at a community. 

Here are just some services and amenities offered at Aberdeen Ridge:

  • All utilities paid except phone and internet
  • Maintenance both inside and outside your home
  • Beauty salon and barbershop
  • Educational, recreational, cultural, wellness and social programs
  • Flexible dining with chef-prepared meals
  • Fitness center
  • Heated indoor pool
  • Housekeeping and flat linen service 
  • Scheduled transportation

A monthly service fee eliminates the need to worry about costs like utility bills, groceries, gym memberships and routine home maintenance. That means you can spend less time balancing the books and more time enjoying the perks of senior living. 

Are Entrance Fees for Retirement Communities Really Worth It?

While the initial cost of a senior living community entrance fee may seem substantial, it actually saves you thousands of dollars in future medical costs, which are constantly rising. And while you may think you’ll be lucky and stay healthy for life, the Department of Health and Human Services says approximately 70% of all Americans over 65 will need long-term care at some point, for an average of 3 years. Paying an entrance fee at a continuum-of-care community eliminates any financial burden for your family members and gives you peace of mind knowing your health needs will be taken care of for the rest of your life. 

A portion of each resident’s entrance fee also contributes to improving and enhancing the community, which means you’ll continually enjoy new services and amenities throughout your retirement at predictable monthly rates. 

What Are Senior Rental Communities?

Senior rental communities charge a monthly rent and there are no entrance fees. They look more like apartment complexes and include basic services and amenities. However, rental communities rarely offer any health care services, and if they do, they’re usually available only at  full market rates.

They require leases that normally last about a year, and you’ll likely face unpredictable rent increases each year you renew. This means if you can’t afford the increase in rent or need another level of care, you’ll have to move.

When Is the Right Time to Move into a Senior Living Community with Continuing Care?

Everyone ages uniquely, which means there isn’t a “right” time to move into a retirement community that offers a continuum of care. However, many residents in senior living wish they moved into independent living as soon as they retired, because benefits extend beyond exceptional health care. 

The remarkable dining, wellness opportunities, resident-driven clubs, and packed calendar of events and activities at Aberdeen Ridge will enrich every dimension of retirement and help you build lasting friendships with your neighbors. 

Learn More About Senior Living Entrance Fees at Aberdeen Ridge

The Aberdeen Ridge Unique Health Care Benefit guarantees your entrance fee not only grants you priority access to a continuum of on-site care, it also locks in predictable monthly rates, even if your health needs change. To learn more about our retirement community in Colorado Springs, contact our senior living counselors online. We’ll be happy to answer your questions!