Moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community – How to Know If It’s Right For You?

Making a move to a retirement community is a big decision that affects finances, healthcare, and social life to name a few.

In this video, we discuss the pros and cons of moving into a retirement community and highlight three “must-do’s” to consider.

Moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community? – Pros and Cons

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Full transcript:


Alex Okugawa & Anthony Saffer

Alex Okugawa 0:00
Making the move to a retirement community is a huge decision that impacts your finances, health care, and social life, just to name a few. We are going to share the pros and cons our clients have communicated. And this will hopefully help you see beyond the sales brochure. Plus, we’re going to give you three must-dos if you’re considering a retirement community in your future. Hey there, it’s Alex and Anthony from One Degree Advisors, and we help you gain confidence in your retirement. So there are pros and cons to moving into a retirement community. And the decision to move or not is easy for some and it’s very, very difficult for others. Now, the good news is that we have the experience of working with many families who are trying to go through this decision process. And so we have some tips and tricks to help you with such a big, gigantic decision. So what we want to do first is share the primary pros and cons. We’re going to rattle these off really quickly. And then what we’re going to do is share three things that our clients felt were absolutely necessary to do before making such a big decision. So let’s first go into the pros.

Anthony Saffer 1:07
Yeah, that’s right. And people’s priorities are going to change but you look at the social aspects are very important to some people in many communities will have amenities, pool exercise room, personal care, excursions, talking about having meals prepared, low maintenance, now not having to do yard work, the safety and security, possibly there’s transportation, taking to medical appointments to the store, being able to consolidate expenses. And then there’s that long-term care security that many people want.

Alex Okugawa 1:37
Yeah, we’ll talk about that a little bit more as we go along here. But the grass isn’t always greener. There are some cons involved in a retirement community.

Anthony Saffer 1:45
So losing some freedom and flexibility that you would otherwise have in your own home, you have rules that are being made by a homeowner’s association, possibly their restrictive, smaller home sizes, generally, not as many young people around maybe that’s important to some and what’s the visitor policy if you have grandkids that come over, also the increased expenses paying for these amenities, and the care is generally going to end up costing more in the budget overall.

Alex Okugawa 2:11
Now, again, we’ve helped our clients through these decisions. So we’ve seen a lot of different retirement communities and a lot of different situations. But so let’s go through kind of like the must-haves that our clients have said. You must do this before making the decision. And the first thing sounds pretty basic, but it’s so critical. I think people miss this step, because it’s sometimes also the hardest, is do your homework, and talk to the people who actually live there. Look beyond the sales brochure and see what life is actually like.

Anthony Saffer 2:41
And also in compare different places. So even if you come across where your best friend lives, and they love it, you go there and say this is you know, going to be home for me still compare different places. Make sure you’re asking about the HOA, especially if that’s important to you to know what the rules are. And then the last thing I would add there is that it’s a lot of people say that it’s better to be early than late. You don’t want to be moving there. When you absolutely need it.

Alex Okugawa 3:05
You want to do it before you need to like you said. The other thing here is usually a giant consideration for our clients is long-term care. Can you self-insure? Or do you need to move into a place like this to potentially pay for a long-term care event? In other words, how much does the Long Term Care coverage play into your overall decision?

Anthony Saffer 3:31
For some, it’s the major part of it, because they like the idea of if I move here, my care will be taken care of for the rest of my life. Now you do have to look at that individual community and say maybe they offer assisted living, but they don’t offer nursing care. And if you get to that point, then you’d have to move somewhere else.

Alex Okugawa 3:49
The difference between the two isn’t always clear. And that’s where again, knowing those differences can be so important.

Anthony Saffer 3:55
Asking questions in the state of California, we’re where we’re at, they have a categorization where a Level A type of community offers extensive care, and B is more modified. C as your typically like pay for service, I’m just paying for the care that I need.

Alex Okugawa 4:09
Now, the other part of this, so we’re talking about not only doing your homework, talking with folks in the community, looking at the long-term care aspects of it, but looking at the financial aspect is what is this going to cost you because it all sounds great, but typically, there’s usually a pretty hefty entrance fee. And then there are also monthly fees involved. And so that financial aspect can have a big part in all this.

Anthony Saffer 4:35
So when you’re looking at your financial situation, take a look at the entrance fee. Now if you own a home and you’re selling that home, often those proceeds can go to pay towards the entrance fee, but you do need to compare and say how much am I going to take home from the sale of my home compared to the entrance fee? If I have a deficit there? Where else am I going to take that money then you have to look at the tax planning aspects of it, and the investment side of it as well when you’re looking at the monthly fee. A lot of times people do like the idea that, hey, I’m consolidating my expenses. But not everything goes away

Alex Okugawa 5:05
I think that’s a little misleading, right? People go, Well, I have a monthly fee involved with this place, and it covers so much. So I really shouldn’t have anything more after the monthly fee.

Anthony Saffer 5:14
Yeah if you have $500 left in your budget for everything else, then you really need to know okay, what do I need to spend money on? And don’t over-restrict yourself where you don’t have any money to spend.

Alex Okugawa 5:25
Yeah, you know, Christmas, birthdays, holidays, so that you got to enjoy your life and live it. And I mean, listen, this is where we know from experience, a good financial plan can help because sometimes people try and make this decision in a vacuum. And there are so many different layers to it. There’s the financial aspect, but then there’s also the coverage aspect. There’s that what do you want your life to look like? And putting this all together in a cohesive plan, and our experience working with hundreds of families on this is usually the best way to tackle the question. Do I move into a retirement community or do I not? And we recently posted a video on how retirees can benefit from dynamic financial planning we include in there real examples, people can watch that above. Once again, this is Alex Okugawa with One Degree Advisors. And if you’d like to learn how we can help you with your retirement, visit our website at

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The One Degree Blog

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