Lifecare Contracts Explained: What’s an Entry Fee?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when researching options for retirement living. What sort of health care services do you need now, and what will you need in the future? Is a rental contract community right for you, or would you rather invest in a Life Plan Community? What is a Lifecare contract? What option will provide you the most peace of mind?

In this blog, we’ve put together a guide to our Life Plan Community, an explanation of costs and fees, and how the Lifecare contract at The Estates at Carpenters can be of tremendous value. For more information, schedule an appointment with us to talk through your options with our knowledgeable team.

What is Lifecare?

Let’s start with a couple of terms.

A Life Plan Community is a senior living community that provides an independent living lifestyle plus comprehensive levels of care, all on the same campus. This type of community is also known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC).

Lifecare is a residency contract used by many senior living communities. With this financial agreement, a resident pays a one-time entrance fee and a monthly service fee. In return, the resident is guaranteed several financial benefits and unlimited long-term care, if ever needed.

The Estates at Carpenters is a Life Plan Community that offers a Type A Lifecare contract. This is a comprehensive Lifecare contract, and not every Life Plan Community offers it. A Type A contract guarantees a resident lifetime access to assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services at about the same independent living monthly rate, regardless of the level of care needed and the resident’s financial situation when care is provided.

Why is this a benefit?

It’s no secret that health care costs continue to rise sharply year over year (with no end in sight). For today’s seniors, this means the cost of long-term care in assisted living or skilled nursing could quickly deplete a healthy nest egg.

A Lifecare contract potentially saves thousands of dollars in future health care costs. If residents need short- or long-term care in the future, it will be provided at about the same monthly fee as they pay for independent living. This makes it an excellent tool for protecting older adults from the ever-increasing costs of health care market rates.

Lifecare also provides tax benefits, especially when an individual first joins the community. The one-time entrance fee and a portion of monthly payments may be tax-deductible as a prepaid medical expense.

The Estates at Carpenters provides an additional benefit to residents. Since our community is a not-for-profit model, we have benevolence funds that provide residents with additional peace of mind. Those who choose to call us home will always have a residence at our community and access to our levels of care, even if they outlive their financial resources.

What is an entrance fee, and why is it charged?

The one-time entrance fee charged by Life Plan Communities like The Estates at Carpenters can be considered a long-term insurance plan for future health care needs. Think of it like a down payment for your retirement lifestyle. The entrance fee also is what allows not-for-profits like ours the ability to provide benevolence funds when necessary.

While the entrance fee can cause sticker shock at first, rest assured that at our community, a portion of it is refundable. That means that if you end up leaving our community, you or your heirs will be able to recoup some of the entrance fee.

How do people get the money for a one-time entrance fee?

There are multiple ways seniors can secure the funds to cover an entrance fee. Some seniors use accrued savings, or they tap into investment accounts. Most community residents sell their current home and use the profits to pay the entrance fee. Since the housing market is so hot right now, this can be an excellent way to fund your retirement without liquidating investments.

Welcome to Uncompromised Senior Living

The Estates at Carpenters is a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offering independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. We provide a full continuum of care and a unique advantage to Lakeland, Winter Haven and Central Florida region retirees. As a Type A Lifecare community, we offer peace of mind as well as an active lifestyle to help you enjoy retirement to the fullest.

Come visit our community near the renowned Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. Contact us today to see how our engaging lifestyle is perfect for today’s active adults.

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