Dollars and Sense: Retirement is more affordable than you think [sponsored]

Sponsored by St. James Place

If you are retired or approaching retirement age, you may be weighing your financial options for this new phase of life. Perhaps your house has become more than you can handle, or you have health concerns that require more care. Whatever your reasons for considering a change, you’re probably concerned about the cost of such a move.

You may be surprised to learn that there can be financial advantages to moving to a retirement community. It’s possible to get comfort, connections, and continuity by moving to a Life Plan community like St. James Place in Baton Rouge. They deliver peace of mind with varying levels of care on the same campus. Independent living options include one- or two- bedroom apartments with open and spacious floor plans ranging in size from 619 to 1,583 square feet, as well as garden and patio homes ranging from 1,080 to 1,670 square feet. Accommodations for assisted living residents as well as memory loss residents are available.

Over the long term, the sooner you make your move to a Life Plan community, the less expensive it will be.

When you are comparing retirement communities, it is important to consider what the fees actually cover.
Residents of St. James Place pay an entrance fee as well as a monthly service fee. These vary depending on the size and location of the residence chosen, type of contract chosen and the number of people living in the residence. Monthly service fees cover maintenance of all homes, grounds and facilities, access to our resort style living and fitness amenities, as well as fine dining, transportation, and housekeeping.

The entrance fee at St. James Place guarantees a Life Plan with the peace of mind provided by long-term health care benefits. Should your health needs change, your Life Plan covers the cost of priority access to our full continuum of care with minimal increases in monthly costs. Entrance fees are based on actuarial life span and required care cost projections.

There are potential tax benefits you should be aware of when making your decision. Residents of entry-fee retirement communities may be eligible to deduct a portion of the entry fee and possibly monthly fees as well, depending on the type of contract offered by that community. At St. James Place, a portion of your Life Plan community entrance fee and monthly service fees are deductible as a prepaid medical expense. Real estate taxes and necessary insurance costs are covered by St. James Place. However, residents are responsible for insuring their household effects and personal belongings.

The campus at St. James Place

The sale of your home can help pay the entrance fee, and if you add up all the costs of living in your home now, you may find that a Life Plan community is actually much more affordable than you thought—especially if you need or may soon need in-home care as well. Most residents at St. James Place use the equity in their home and property to cover the entrance fee, but you are encouraged to contact a realtor or senior service planning organization to help find the right options for you.

Your current expenses probably include:
— Homeowners insurance
— Property taxes
— Utilities
— Lawn service
— Home maintenance and repairs
— Mortgage and/or association fees
— Recycling and sanitation

Once you total up these costs, remember that at a Life Plan community, you won’t have any of these expenses or worries.

Making any move can be challenging, but Life Plan communities like St. James Place are focused on helping you relax and enjoy this time of your life to the fullest. Put maintenance and unwanted chores behind you, and enjoy a community with abundant social opportunities, luxurious amenities and restaurants, and a beautiful campus. Click here to schedule a tour or visit to find out how affordable your retirement can be.