← Back to Blog

Is a Life Plan Community in Retirement Right for You?

Military Ball Cropped

It gets easier.

Sooner or later people wonder what’s next. And while everyone agrees that living robustly forever seems a wonderful idea, life itself tends to get in the way. There are, after all, lawns to mow, carpets to clean, appliances to repair, leaks to patch, roofs to replace … and, most likely, health snafus to work through. It turns out that a better plan is needed than simply hoping for the best.

Enter the CCRC: The continuing care retirement community. Or, as it’s more often known, the Life Plan community. With a Life Plan community, life gets easier.

What’s a Life Plan community?

When you’re considering retirement communities, Austin has plenty to offer — including Life Plan communities such as Longhorn Village where you’ll find independent living and a continuum of care. Independent living ensures you can live as freely as ever — if not more rewardingly, given the wealth of services and amenities at your disposal in the community.

As an independent living resident, your life can be much like it was in your family home, without the burdensome parts of homeownership. The community cooks, cleans, maintains and repairs, mows the lawn, and even cleans the gutters. Meanwhile, you can take advantage of the educational, fitness, recreational and social opportunities that surround you in the community. Or you can lock up and leave for a Costa Rican vacation, knowing the community’s security services will keep your abode Fort Knox-safe while you’re away.

You’ll find you’re tended to — genuinely. Staff and residents form a tight-knit group; inevitably, someone will remark that the community feels like family. It is.

And beyond independent living?

No longer feeling you can safely live independently? That’s the part people worry about. But in a Life Plan community, the care plan is built in. On the same campus, where it’s close to your friends, you’ll find the health care you’re looking for.

Therein lies the logic: Seamlessly integrated care makes a Life Plan community a good plan for life. If your health needs change, you’ll find what you need where you already are:

Assisted living — for a helping hand with the tasks of daily living. It’s always the right amount of assistance so you can maintain your sense of independence.

  • Memory care — for those who develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia or memory impairment. The highly specialized program and skilled professional caregivers ensure respect, security and purposeful daily living.
  • Skilled nursing and rehabilitation — when 24-7 care is needed for chronic illness, it’s long-term care. Or there are short-term rehabilitation services to get you back on your feet after surgery, accident or illness.

How much care is in the continuum?

Life Plan communities structure their residential agreements based on the financial model they’re built on. There are three typical arrangements, each handling its services differently:

Type A

Commonly known as Life Care, it’s the gold standard in contracts. Life Care promises to pay for care for life without significantly increasing the resident’s monthly fees. This means your care costs are often well below the area’s market rates, plus you have a reassuring degree of predictability. You’ll know what care would cost as soon as you become an independent living resident. While initially costlier, Life Care pays off with vast savings if and when you ever need care.

Type B

Unlike Life Care, the so-called Modified Plan provides either a pre-set number of free days in health services, with additional days at market rates — or a minimally discounted rate for care on an ongoing basis. It costs less than Life Care, but if you need care, you’ll pay more for it — and possibly much more if your need is extended.

Type C

A Fee-for-Service plan provides the advantage of care delivery on campus, but the costs are set at market rates. The advantage is in the overall lower cost of living in the community from the start. If you know you’ll never need health care services, this is the lowest cost Life Plan community because you carry the risk for health care.

Wait, are Life Plan communities expensive?

Inexpensive or expensive? You’ll need to decide for yourself by doing a little research and comparing the numbers. For Austin senior living costs, you can check out an online calculator or visit a community like Longhorn Village and collect the details from the marketing office. Marketing teams within the community are happy to talk through the finances of a Life Plan; they realize this is an important decision and their approach is always focused on you and your needs.

There are various costs associated with a Life Plan community, so study up on terminology and be ready to ask questions:

Entrance fee

You’ll pay an upfront, one-time fee that’s roughly comparable to the Austin area’s single-family home prices. Entrance fees vary according to floor plans available within the community. Depending on the type of contract the community offers, a portion of your entrance fee may be refunded to your estate when you leave the community.

Monthly service fee

The services and amenities provided by the community are covered by your monthly service fee. Your rate is determined by your floor plan and whether you’re single or a couple. Often, residents calculate that their monthly service fee for a community is not that different from their household budget — when they consider all the costs of homeownership (mortgage, HOA, home repairs and upkeep, lawn service, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes).

Smooth move.

Thinking about Austin senior living? Once you know the ins and outs of residential agreements and related costs, you can see why many people think it’s a smooth move to choose a Life Plan community like Longhorn Village. It’s oodles of peace of mind — including the assurance that you or your loved ones are set for life. And it’s the insight that, in a Life Plan community, life gets easier.

Would you like to know more about Longhorn Village and how a Life Plan community makes sense? Why not come visit? To schedule, call (512) 382-4680 or email marketing@LonghornVillage.com.