← Back to Blog

Your Guide to Independent Senior Living Costs

Resident reading a book with her granddaughter at Lake Forest Place

After you retire, you’re looking forward to all the perks of having free time to explore your passions and make the most of each day. You’re also likely planning for the future – and you might find that you want a lifestyle that promotes community and wellness. Independent living at a senior living community can be the answer to your needs.

When you move to independent living in a senior living community, you can be among peers, have access to amenities and services that create opportunities for a fulfilling and vibrant life, and receive healthcare if needed. If you’re wondering about independent senior living costs, here’s a look at the different types of independent living and the costs associated with them.

Types of Independent Living

There are different types of independent living communities with varying levels of services and lifestyles. Three main ones include:

1. Continuing Care Retirement Community or Life Plan Community

A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as a Life Plan Community, offers a range of health services, amenities, and housing options. While our community has Independent Living, we also have:

  • Assisted Living
  • Memory Care
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Respite Care

This is because in a Life Plan Community, residents have access to long-term care if they need it. With this peace of mind, older adults move into Independent Living and embrace the dynamic lifestyle offered in the community. Some of those amenities and services can include:

  • Social activities and events
  • Dining services in formal dining rooms and bistro-style dining
  • Maintenance-free living
  • Access to a community auditorium with presentations and guest speakers
  • A fitness center with a pool and exercise room
  • Beautiful grounds with walking paths

Two senior women working out on treadmills at Lake Forest Place

You can broaden your social circle and make many new friends in group activities, club meetings, at the gym, or in the dining rooms. There’s so much for you to take advantage of in a Life Plan Community.

If you’re looking for independent living for your loved one, a Life Plan Community can provide and meet their healthcare needs within the community, allowing your loved one to age in place.

2. Retirement Community

In a retirement community, residents will have types of housing options, on-site amenities and services, and medical care services. Older adults will be able to enjoy social activities and attend events onsite. While they may offer similar services to a Life Plan Community, their offerings may not be as comprehensive or provide higher levels of care if needed.

3. Senior Apartments

Senior apartments offer some amenities and have communal spaces for the older adults living in the complex. These apartments often have age requirements, like 55+ or another set age, depending on the apartment. A senior apartment may have recreational activities, but will likely be more limited than other communities.

“With so many types of living options, it’s important to understand their differences and what they offer seniors,” said Valerie Gostele, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lake Forest Place, a Life Plan Community in Lake Forest, IL. “Residents in our Life Plan Community gain access to premier amenities, services, and peace of mind because they can rely on the continuum of care if and when they need it.”

Entrance Fees for Independent Living

If you’re moving into a Life Plan Community, you can expect to pay a one-time entrance fee. You pay this fee upfront because it covers your cost of the continuum of care. This means that if you need a higher level of care, your healthcare services are already covered.

Monthly Independent Living Costs

Another factor in the cost of senior living is the monthly fee. Your monthly cost will depend on several factors, like what type of housing you’re in and what the community offers.

For example, a one-bedroom apartment home will cost less than a two-bedroom apartment home. Your community’s amenities and services can also affect your monthly fee. These could include items like:

  • Maintenance (yardwork, buildings, appliances)
  • Dining
  • Housekeeping
  • Utilities
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Resident clubs
  • Classes for lifelong learning

However, with everything consolidated to one monthly fee, you’re getting access to everything the community has to offer. Keep in mind that if you weren’t in one of these communities, you’d still be paying for many of these services or still doing the labor yourself.

Senior woman deciding what to eat at the bistro at Lake Forest Place

Extra Costs of Independent Senior Living

When you’re looking at senior living communities, it’s important to think of the other factors that can affect the cost. Your location may influence the cost of living. If you’re looking at independent living in a major metropolitan area, there’s a good chance that it would be more expensive when compared to independent living that’s outside of a city.

But this doesn’t mean that if you live in an independent living community outside of a city that you’re removed from city life. Often, communities that are near a major city will offer trips and transportation to the city as a fun excursion for residents.

“At Lake Forest Place, we’re only a little over an hour away from Chicago. We plan trips for all kinds of outings in the Windy City. Residents love the day trips to Milwaukee as well as touring a variety of museums and other cultural exhibits. We also plan trips to see theatrical and musical performances in the Chicagoland areas,” said Valerie.

Discover Independent Living at Lake Forest Place

Lake Forest Place provides older adults with a welcoming community filled with engaging activities and robust programming so residents can live the retirement they deserve.

Our wellness services give you all kinds of opportunities to nurture the many facets of your health:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Environmental
  • Community

You’ll have a variety of fun things to choose from each day to promote a sense of well-being, belonging, and community. Our staff will do everything possible to support you and your autonomy.

If you’re ready to learn more about Independent Living at Lake Forest Place, give us a call to schedule a tour or hear about our Priority Waitlist Program Club 1904.