This article was updated in April 2023.
For most older adults and their family members, the conversation about senior living begins with wondering — and maybe Googling — about the pricing. You’re not alone if you've wondered, “How much does assisted living cost?” Knowing what is and isn’t included in the average cost of assisted living can help you make better short- and long-term decisions.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of assisted living, how to plan for your budget, and ways to offset the cost.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?
Like most senior living services, assisted living prices vary from region to region. What you’ll pay depends on factors such as location and types of amenities offered. If you require additional support, sometimes referred to as a higher level of care, you will likely pay more.
Nationwide, the average assisted living community costs about $4,500 per month. This monthly fee is typically all-inclusive and covers room and board, utilities, three meals per day, activities, and access to amenities. The cost also covers around-the-clock caregiver support and other wellness services.
Some communities might charge additional fees for such things as services in the on-site salon, excursions or other special events, prescription medications, and incontinence products. You might also be charged an additional fee if you or your loved one requires more assistance with activities of daily living.
A perk of assisted living costs is the fact that the price is the same from month to month. This predictable, all-inclusive monthly bill makes budgeting and planning even easier.
A Welcome Surprise: The Money You’ll Save in Assisted Living
The monthly cost of senior living only tells half the story. If you own your own home, you may actually save money when you move. You’ll no longer pay a mortgage, be saddled with property taxes, or have to save for home repairs. Moreover, the profit you make selling your home may fund many years of senior living. You may pay less for food, and won’t need to spend as much to get out and about because daily classes and special events are part of the assisted living price tag.
Some seniors find that they actually save money when they move to assisted living. And most enjoy their lives more — a priceless benefit. Comparing the costs of staying at home versus moving to an assisted living community can help you better understand what you are paying now and what you could be saving in the future.
What’s Included in Assisted Living Costs: Amenities and Services
Don’t focus solely on the price tag of assisted living communities. Though it’s important to stay within your budget, your quality of life matters, too. Assisted living offers many amenities you just can’t get at home. In the right community, you’ll live a more enriching and joyful life. With quality gourmet dining and help whenever you need it, you may even live longer — and you'll almost certainly live healthier. Here are some of the many features you’ll enjoy in assisted living:
- A beautiful, efficient, meticulously maintained home. Forget about dealing with an overgrown lawn or a leaky pipe. At many assisted living communities, you don’t even have to clean because the housekeeping staff does it for you.
- Help whenever you need it. Assisted living offers privacy and independence, along with the comfort that comes from knowing you can access assistance as needed.
- Incredible meals. At Arbor, seniors enjoy gourmet dining in elegant dining rooms. Our experienced chefs can prepare a meal to suit virtually any dietary need or preference. And seniors who have eating or swallowing difficulties can find the help they deserve.
- A packed schedule. When you live in your own home, finding something to do means scouring local websites, collecting community flyers, and trying to plan activities with loved ones. This costs time and money. Arbor does the work for you, planning a wide range of recurring classes and special events to keep you active and encourage a sense of adventure and whimsy.
- Welcoming neighbors and meaningful connections. One of the best parts of living in a senior community is the daily opportunity to meet new people and cultivate friendships with your peers. Neighbors are always ready to save you a seat at the concert in the courtyard or a yoga mat in tai chi class. You’ll make new friends in no time!
Offset the Cost of Assisted Living
Although Medicare doesn’t cover assisted living, there are a few ways you might be able to offset the cost of assisted living. Work with a trusted financial advisor, as well as your prospective senior living community, as you begin to research solutions that might provide some relief from your monthly costs:
- Sell your current home and use the money to put toward assisted living fees.
- Use Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits, if you are eligible.
- Use long-term care insurance benefits.
- Ask if there are any deals the senior living community can give you to reduce your costs for the first few months of living there.
The average cost of assisted living might seem out of reach initially. However, once you realize what you get for the money you pay and consider how much you are currently paying to live at home, the monthly cost starts to seem much more realistic. Learn more about assisted living, including what to expect and how to choose the best community for you, by downloading our free guide.