Understanding the Expenses of Moving to a Senior Living Community

As with any move, there are going to be expenses to consider when moving to senior living. There are the actual costs of downsizing, packing and moving as well as upfront move-in costs associated with the senior living community. To get a good idea of the overall expenses of moving to senior living here’s a list of possibilities.

Understanding the expenses of moving to a senior living community

Downsizing costs

The first step in the process of moving to senior living is to downsize – or rightsize – your furnishings and possessions to fit in your new senior living home. As noted in our blog, “7 Benefits of Downsizing to Senior Living,” it can be accomplished for free with the help of family and friends or it may require professional assistance. As more Baby Boomers retire, the business of professional downsizing has taken off offering services like decluttering, sorting, packing, and ultimately moving. The costs vary by location and hours required, but to find a professional check out The National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers (aka NASMM) website and download their guide, “It’s So Much More Than Moving. Your Guide to Stress-Free Rightsizing & Relocation.”

Storage costs

Even the best downsizers may want to save and store a few items for future or seasonal use. Pieces of furniture, athletic equipment, hobby gear, clothing, cars, boats and recreational vehicles may be placed in a storage unit for easy access. The cost for a storage unit or lot varies by location and unit size as well as whether or not they are climate-controlled units. According to the forbes.com article, “How Much Do Storage Units Cost In 2024?” the average cost is $185 per month. When moving to senior living, it is best to avoid storage costs by giving away or donating items you no longer want or asking a family member to store them for you if they have space. Another option is to sell items before moving to senior living which can help defray overall moving costs.

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Do it yourself (DIY) move preparation costs

For those who have the resources to prepare for moving to senior living without professional help, there are several costs to anticipate. For example, it may require extra trash pickups or even a large dumpster to clear out decades of possessions that have piled up and are no longer wanted.

Packing is another cost that should be considered when prepping for moving to senior living. Cardboard boxes in different shapes and sizes, bubble wrap and peanuts for fragile items, and packing tape can quickly add up so it’s good to shop around to get the best deals. Before you pay for these materials, however, ask local retailers for free boxes. Check websites like Freecycle, the local Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace for free boxes from people who may have just moved into the area. For more tips on free packing materials check out themovingblog.com article, “Where to Find Free Packing Materials: Free is Always Cheaper.

Moving costs

Moving costs vary widely across the country and according to the distance, the quantity of items being moved, and the level of services provided. For moves across town, it is probably going to be less expensive to rent a moving van, as long as there are ample volunteers available to help load and unload. For long-distance moves, professional movers are often the only good choice. When scouting moving companies be aware that there are many less-than-reputable movers out there so take care when choosing. A good place to start to narrow the field of choices is with the usnews.com article, “Best Moving Companies of 2024,” which can help compare the options and services that each provides.

Move-in costs

When considering moving to senior living, take a look at the fee structures of each community on your shortlist. Senior living communities usually have fees in addition to the monthly rent, so get the details upfront on any entrance, move-in fees, pet fees, or refundable deposits that are required.

For example, according to the aarp.org article, “How Continuing Care Retirement Communities Work,” many CCRCs or life plan communities that provide a range of care throughout the residents’ lifetimes charge a hefty entrance fee that averages about $402,000 but can go as low as $40,000 or as high as $2 million. This fee is in addition to a monthly fee for amenities and services. Other senior living communities may also charge one-time move-in fees although they are typically much smaller, while others charge no move-in fees at all.

Moving to senior living might just be the best move you ever made. For more information download our “Successful Transitions” guide then contact us to schedule a tour.

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