Continuing Care Retirement Communities – Advantages and Disadvantages of Life Care Contracts

If you have always dreamed of spending your retirement in a resort community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community(CCRC) may be what you need. Many CCRCs provide amenities for the type of lifestyle retirees want now, and health care protection they may need later. This type of community is growing in popularity among seniors who want to age in place and ensure their care for the future. You should consider if the substantial CCRC fees provide a sound investment of your retirement funds. Also, you might contemplate the amenities and services offered with a realistic assessment of your level of participation. Before signing a contract, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of entering into a life care agreement with a CCRC.

First, let’s look at the advantages of living in a high-end CCRC.

  • First-class amenities such as indoor swimming pools, fitness centers, spa facilities, restaurants, movie theaters and health care centers located on the CCRC campus
  • Well-appointed private residences
  • Maintenance-free living in a well designed and attractive community
  • Social and educational opportunities
  • Future health care needs taken care of within the CCRC without increasing monthly fees substantially

Now, let’s examine the disadvantages.

  • Complex and confusing contracts and service models–lawyer review advised
  • Substantial Entrance Fees and varying monthly fees
  • CCRC vulnerability during economic downturns causing increased risk of financial failures
  • Possible disagreements about timing of move to a higher level of care
  • Choices limited due to contractual and financial constraints if resident becomes dissatisfied with care or community

Resort style Continuing Care Retirement Communities provide a distinctive lifestyle for those residents who are active and healthy. If the entrance and monthly fees do not represent the bulk of your assets, you may enjoy the freedom from worry about health care that a Life Care or Type A contract provides. Other types of CCRC contracts and communities may be a better solution if your retirement funds are less robust.