For older adults, regular responsibilities like household upkeep and cooking can be cumbersome. Independent living communities are a great solution to these challenges, allowing seniors to maintain their independence while simplifying (and even enriching) day-to-day life. Independent senior living offers a maintenance-free lifestyle with convenient amenities, a sense of community, options for housing, and much more.

If that sounds ideal for you or a family member, the cost is naturally a consideration. Independent living communities vary in cost, which is why it’s important to ensure your retirement budget is well-suited for the fees that cover this all-inclusive lifestyle.

Read on to learn about common costs and different ways to budget for independent senior living.

What Is Independent Senior Living?

Independent living communities are designed for older adults who want to simplify daily life while maintaining independence. Unlike assisted living, independent senior living residents require little to no assistance with personal care.

Independent senior living communities typically offer apartments, small houses, or villas for their residents, with a range of floor plans to fit each person’s unique needs. In addition to housing, independent senior living offers numerous amenities and services that older adults likely wouldn’t have at home, such as:

  • On-site dining
  • Home maintenance
  • Housekeeping
  • Wellness and health care options available
  • Physical fitness
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Social events
  • Local outings
  • Various clubs
  • Transportation
  • And much more

These amenities and services provide ease, convenience, and a sense of community for older adults. Residents who might otherwise be tied down with the hassle of taking care of their house or struggling with social isolation can form connections and enjoy the simplicity of independent senior living. It’s a win-win!

Common Costs Associated with Independent Senior Living

The average cost of independent living in Missouri—where Bethesda communities are located—is $2,087 per month. However, not all independent living communities have the same monthly fee. The cost typically varies based on the real estate value in the area, size of the residence, number of occupants, additional care needs, and extra amenities and services.

To make monthly budgeting easier for residents and their families, many communities offer all-inclusive monthly fees that incorporate all costs associated with independent senior living, including:

  • Entrance fees
  • Monthly fees
  • Dining plans
  • Amenities and services

That said, there are sometimes additional expenses that may not be immediately apparent, such as extended dining plans, moving services, additional housekeeping, pet fees, and parking fees. It all depends on individual preferences, needs, and the specific senior living community you choose.

Tips for Budgeting for Independent Senior Living Costs

Even if independent senior living sounds like a perfect fit, budgeting for it can seem daunting—at least without the right plan and resources. Most older adults are on a fixed income, so they must carefully consider big expenses from all angles.

Calculate the cost of senior living!  

Here are some tips to help you budget for independent senior living costs:

Estimate all of your current expenses.

Start with estimating your current expenses. What is your monthly budget, and how much can you afford to spend? Keep in mind that many expenses you have while living independently may no longer be necessary in an independent senior living community, such as home maintenance, property taxes, groceries, utilities, entertainment, transportation, home security, and more.

Assess your assets and investments.

Budgeting for independent senior living is also an opportunity to assess your assets and benefits. Consider the following questions:

  • What do you have in terms of assets, savings, and investments?
  • Do you have money in a 401(k) or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?
  • If you own a home, how much can you expect to profit from the sale if you move to an independent living community?

Identify potential opportunities to save.

Another important step is to research ways to cut or reduce expenses. For example, you might be able to use Medicare to cover eligible health care costs, such as prescription medications or medical procedures. If applicable, Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits can also offset medical expenses.

Research and consider all potential costs.

Before making a decision about independent senior living, make sure you carefully research and understand all of the potential costs. Consider talking to a Sales Counselor from the community you’re looking at to break down all associated costs. This way, there won’t be any unexpected expenses or unwelcome surprises down the road.

Bethesda’s Commitment to Full Cost Transparency

At Bethesda, we’re committed to providing full transparency around the costs of independent senior living in St. Louis. When you choose Bethesda, you can expect:

Spacious Floor Plans  

Our independent senior living communities offer one- and two-bedroom apartments with spacious floor plans, fully equipped kitchens, weekly housekeeping, and pet-friendly living. Housing costs vary based on the layout and amenities you choose. If your budget allows, you can even choose a floor plan with a private balcony or add a garage parking space.

Plus, with seven different independent senior living locations in the greater St. Louis area, there’s something for everyone—whether you prefer urban living, wide open spaces, or the perfect balance of both!

All-Inclusive Monthly Fees

Monthly fees at Bethesda are all-inclusive, covering on-site dining, engaging amenities, and helpful services such as housekeeping, transportation, and access to wellness and health care options. All-inclusive packages make it easy to see a complete picture of costs upfront, so you can determine what you need to budget for and what you can afford.

A Nonprofit Organization

Unlike for-profit independent senior living communities that focus on increasing revenue, Bethesda follows a mission-driven approach. Bethesda provides residents with quality care by investing their money into community operations.

Bethesda openly shares financial updates via quarterly newsletters and annual reports, unlike most for-profit communities that tend to limit accessibility. For-profit communities can also quickly change ownership or management if an investment group isn’t seeing a solid financial return, resulting in staff turnover or unexpected monthly rent hikes.

Are you still weighing different options and comparing costs? Use our Cost Calculator to compare your average monthly expenses to the cost of independent senior living, or contact us to talk with one of our helpful Sales Counselors.

Need an easy way to estimate the cost of senior living?