There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are retired, but what if you could just pay for one convenient package? With an independent living community, you have the option to go for all-inclusive pricing that is easy on the budget. Since you are paying for everything up front, there won’t be hidden fees that can surprise you later.
The biggest advantage of choosing all-inclusive pricing is that it allows you to focus on the things you want. Paying for the whole package means not having to worry about bookkeeping on things you need, like housekeeping or transportation.
Traditional Vs. All-Inclusive Pricing
There are some situations where traditional pricing might be a better deal. Also known as a la carte pricing, traditional pricing means paying a lower monthly fee that only covers rent. You still have access to all the amenities that the community has to offer, but you have to pay additional fees. Unless you are good at managing your finances, the numbers can quickly add up. On top of that, some services have a single price, while others require payment by hour. It can all be a little too much to deal with.
For the most part, traditional pricing will be the cheaper option for seniors who are extremely independent and don’t need much help. By paying the minimum amount for services, you can definitely save a lot of money. Life is never that simple though, and a person’s needs can change. That’s when paying extra only when you need can incur sudden costs that you won’t be prepared for.
That’s the main sell of all-inclusive pricing, since you are already paying for everything. If you suddenly need additional services that you weren’t getting before, you won’t have to shell out more cash. The amount you pay doesn’t change, and this offers you financial stability no matter what services you require. It makes budgeting predictable and simple, making it one less thing you have to worry about.
Besides, why wait until you absolutely need a service? Without additional fees, you can elect to participate in whatever activities that you want. More importantly, you get care faster when you pay all-inclusive pricing. On a traditional plan, caregivers need to contact the person responsible for authorizing payments before beginning a service. Without the need to make or verify extra payments, you get additional care when you need without delay.
This makes all-inclusive plans ideal for seniors who require or will require additional assistance. If you know you will have to pay for help or medical care in the future, it might be difficult figuring out exactly how much more your monthly bill will be.
While the basic definition of all-inclusive pricing is pretty clear, that doesn’t necessarily mean all packages are the same. Some communities may offer services that simply aren’t available in others, so you’ll want to do research ahead of time. There are definitely some amenities that you’ll find everywhere though, which all starts with the living arrangements.
The basic idea behind independent living communities in the first place is that you get your own living space, be it an apartment or private living area. Obviously, this means rent is covered in any all-inclusive package. Like any rental agreement, this also covers any maintenance required on appliances on-site. However, one thing you’ll get extra is that utilities are already covered by your fee.
Many communities will also have meal and housekeeping services so that you don’t have to worry about cleaning and cooking. Not all of them will provide three meals a day, opting to just deliver lunch and dinner. The same kind of variety applies to the housekeeping as well, so the frequency of visits by the cleaners will vary from one place to another.
Beyond basic tidying up, some all-inclusive communities will also include things like laundry service, help with bathing, or other kinds of daily tasks. This is normally where you’ll want to do the most research, to see if a particular package has everything that you need. Some of them may not cover medical costs or other types of healthcare.
All of the benefits mentioned above are necessities of living, but services can include more than just that. To keep residents engaged, many places have recreational activities. Transportation is also offered when these scheduled outings require a bit of driving. Of course, this also means some communities will have people who can take you to medical appointments or other errands.
When you start researching independent living, the savings that can be gained by going with a la carte pricing can be enticing. Many people’s first instinct is to not pay for things that they don’t need, which is normally sound advice. In this case though, there are big disadvantages and problems that can come up when using traditional pricing. Nobody likes dealing with nasty surprises.
When you buy into all-inclusive pricing, it’s extremely convenient knowing that many of those services will already be covered. That’s less time having to redo your budget each time something comes up, and more time enjoying your retirement. For most, that peace of mind is well worth the price.