As you explore your senior living options, you’ll find retirement communities come in several types, and the terms can be confusing – Life Plan Communities, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, entrance fee, Type A, B, and C contracts, rental communities … ad infinitum.

This article will focus on the advantages of a Life Plan Community. But first, let’s define the terms listed above.

Mini glossary

Life Plan Community – This type of community requires an entrance fee (often partially repayable if the resident leaves the community) plus a monthly fee. In return, residents enjoy a robust independent lifestyle with a plan for long-term care included.

Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC – These terms are synonymous with Life Plan Community.

Entrance fee community – Usually, this refers to a Life Plan Community.

Entrance fee – A one-time payment at a Life Plan Community that, in addition to a monthly fee, secures a residence at the community, access to all community amenities and activities, as well as priority access to health services.

Type A, B, and C contracts – These are Life Plan Community financial agreements between each resident and the community.

  • Type A offers the most comprehensive financial protections. The entrance fee is highly repayable to the resident or heirs. With a Type A contract, a community resident has priority access to all care services at stable, predictable rates. Expect care levels to include some or all of the following: assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
  • Type B provides limited amount of discounted care and has lower refundability. The resident takes on some financial risk in the event they need more care than is permitted in the contract. Usually, care remains available, but at unpredictable (and higher) market rates.
  • With a Type C contract, the resident pays a lower entrance fee but takes on the greatest financial risk of any Life Plan Community contract. Though access to care is assured, full market rates are charged for any care the community provides.

Rental communities – Just as it sounds, the resident pays a monthly fee for a home at the community, with minimal or no upfront fee. If the community provides care services, full market rates apply, and a current resident has no priority over a person being directly admitted.

The financial and intangible benefits of a Life Plan Community

For those looking for an active, engaging lifestyle with a solid plan for future care, a Life Plan Community puts several advantages in place. Here are the top benefits of choosing a Life Plan Community, aka a CCRC or entrance fee community.

Financial security and stability

By paying an entrance fee upfront, residents often secure lower monthly fees compared to rental communities. The entrance fee model helps stabilize future costs, making it easier for residents to manage their personal finances. Additionally, an entrance fee community with a Type A contract, like The Glen at Heather Farm, offers highly repayable entrance fees, ensuring a portion of the initial investment can be returned to the resident or their estate, thereby protecting the resident’s nest egg.

Comprehensive care and services

Remember that synonymous term above, Continuing Care Retirement Community? In addition to residential living, an entrance fee ensures residents have priority access to a many levels of care. For instance, residents of The Glen at Heather Farm will have lifelong priority access to the adjacent health center for assisted living, memory care and long-term care in a skilled nursing center, if ever needed. This access to care is included in the contract, with no significant increase in the monthly fee, protecting the resident from the ever-rising costs of care outside the community. That is both a tangible financial advantage and incalculable peace of mind.

High-quality amenities

Senior living communities with entrance fees often boast beautiful maintenance-free homes, superior amenities and higher levels of hospitality compared to rental-only communities. These may include state-of-the-art fitness centers, swimming pools, more attractive dining options, wellness programs, and beautifully landscaped grounds. The entrance fee helps fund the maintenance and enhancement of these amenities, ensuring that residents enjoy a high quality of life and access to a wide range of activities and services.

Strong sense of community

An entrance fee model fosters a stable and committed resident base, which can lead to a stronger sense of community. With a little skin the game, residents are more likely to build friendships with their community neighbors and participate in life-enriching community activities. This sense of belonging and camaraderie is crucial for emotional well-being and can significantly enhance the overall living experience.

All told, a Life Plan Community presents a surprising value.

While an entrance fee might feel like a financial burden, so much is included that many residents find a Life Plan Community is a better value than staying in their home.

Residents enjoy financial stability and predictability, the confidence of living with a plan for care, high-quality amenities, a strong sense of community, and priority access to health care services. These advantages make entrance fee communities an appealing choice for seniors seeking an enriching and worry-free retirement lifestyle. To learn more about the benefits of choosing a Life Plan Community like The Glen at Heather Farm, contact us today.