I fear for many, myself included, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are something that we don’t want to think about. At least not now. I’m overall healthy, working full-time and staying busy with my husband and two children. But, according to my colleague Larry Harris and sole practitioner Betsy Mayes, now might just be the time for me – and you – to start this dreaded albeit crucial planning.

Larry and Betsy recently hosted a panel discussion at Parsec’s Longevity Forum where they explained the different types of CCRCs, things to watch out for and how to ensure you are making the best decision to fit your needs.

As a planner both professionally and personally I found it helpful to learn about not just the numbers but also the softer side of choosing a retirement community. Learning about the thought process of how one chooses a retirement community was the most helpful.

Here are the key take-aways that I garnered from their discussion:

  • Assume you are going to need assisted living at some point of your life and make plans on how you want to receive that care.
  • Start this process when you are in your 60s. The waiting lists are long at many communities.
  • Take a complete tour of the community to make sure you see all the levels of care in the community and that they meet your expectations and needs.
  • Know that there are different types of CCRCs. Weigh the costs and benefits of each type to determine which one will best suit your needs and wants.
  • Look beyond the marketing materials and review the finances of the organization. The organization’s website is a good place to start your research.
  • Tax planning can play a role in the CCRC decision process. Depending on your individual situation, you may be able to make some significant tax planning decisions as part of your move into a CCRC.

For more information on CCRCs I encourage you to listen to this podcast where Larry recently spoke with Kathy Foster from Asheville’s Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community:

There are many aspects to consider as we age and your Parsec financial advisor can help you start the planning.

Terry Redman, CPA, CFP®

Financial Planning Strategist