For seniors who may be contemplating moving into an assisted living environment, the most important consideration in such a decision may be the cost. Reverse mortgage professionals often talk about the potential benefits of aging in place when compared to the cost of assisted living facilities, which – while less expensive than nursing homes – can often be very expensive on a monthly basis particularly for people living on a fixed income.
The rising costs of assisted living were recently put into greater context through new data provided by Seniorly.com, an online resource for older Americans. Deriving data cultivated from Seniorly users through the first half of 2021 across the company’s network of nearly 40,000 senior communities, move-in costs were weighted against the average savings needed to afford one year in such a facility.
“[W]e analyzed the median wage in each state using the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, the national average savings rate of 7.5% from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the average cost of assisted living facilities in every state,” Seniorly said in describing its methodology.
The resulting data came out with the top 10 most expensive states for assisted living based on monthly figures:
- New Jersey – $5,893/mo.
- New Hampshire – $5,644/mo.
- Alaska – $5,514/mo.
- Massachusetts – $5,421/mo.
- Washington, D.C. – $5,369
- Delaware – $5,286/mo.
- Hawaii – $5,063/mo.
- Washington – $4,995/mo.
- Connecticut – $4,726/mo.
- Maine – $4,711
In contrast, the least expensive state based on the data was Georgia; followed by North Dakota; Missouri; Nevada; South Dakota; Arkansas; Utah; Alabama; Kentucky; and Florida. Least expensive states run the gamut on price between $3,045/mo. (Georgia) and $3,299/mo. (Florida).
“Some retirees choose to ‘self-insure’ — that is, rely on their own assets — to fund the unpredictable cost,” the CNBC report says. “That could mean eventually spending retirement savings, getting a reverse mortgage or, say, selling a vacation home. Other options include leaning on family members or spending down (or shielding) assets to qualify for Medicaid-sponsored nursing-home care.”