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Ten ways to cut costs in retirement homes

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Continuing care retirement communities provide lifetime housing and medical-care packages to retirees, writes Philip Moeller for U.S. News and World Report, but they don’t come cheap. As the housing market bust dried up demand for these living arrangements, the seniors who move in now often do so out of necessity, rather than choice. Here are 10 questions your clients need to ask before they move into a CCRC:

  1. Will the community provide real estate services to help get your home ready to put on the market? Will it help with downsizing consulting or helping to move out of the home?
  2. If you agree to move into a CCRC, will it guarantee to make up the difference between the appraised value of your home and its actual selling price?
  3. Will it defer your entrance fee for a year or even longer?
  4. Will the CCRC except a promissory note as the entrance fee pending sale of the home?
  5. How much of a discount can you get on your CCRC entrance fee or on the monthly payments?
  6. Can you get an extended guarantee that your fees will not be increased, or get the fee deferred for a year or more?
  7. Can you get customized and reduced-price meal programs?
  8. Can you get reduced healthcare expenses?
  9. Will the CCRC waive penalties should you wish to move out?
  10. If you do move out or die within a short time, will the CCRC guarantee you or your heirs a refund of your original entrance fee?