Kithward
Kithward
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What to Consider When Evaluating a CCRC

Choosing to sign a Life Care contract and move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community is an enormous decision that will  impact the quality and security of your life in retirement. Since it is generally something people only ever do once in their lives, most know nothing about the evaluation process at its outset. To help you navigate your decision-making and give you greater confidence you have made the right decision in the end, we have created a list of questions to consider asking.

The Fit

How well does this CCRC fit who you are?

  • Can you get a sense of culture or community?
  • Are you able to stay for a weekend or a week to check it out?
  • Do you like the activities and events being offered?
  • Do you like the food menu and food quality?
  • Are there transportation options convenient for you when you stop driving?
  • Is this a place that makes you feel safe?
  • Do you like the mix of residents?
  • Do you feel like this community is inclusive?

The Future

How well will the CCRC be able to care for you in the future?

  • Have you visited the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities?
  • Is the level of care, services, and facilities consistent across independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing?
  • Are assisted living residents able to participate in Independent Living activities?
  • What kind of rating on medicare.gov does their skilled nursing division have?
  • Do the staff seem happy, supportive, and friendly? 

The CCRC Operations

Do you feel confident that the CCRC is managed well?

  • Do you like the CCRC’s mission and values (many CCRCs are run by religious organizations)?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • How many other CCRCs do they operate?
  • How important is resident input? Are residents voting members in the CCRC’s board of directors?
  • Is there a waitlist to join the CCRC?
  • What is the current occupancy rate and how does that compare historically?
  • What is the average turnover rate in independent living over the past 10 years?
  • What is the average turnover rate in staff?
  • What is the staff to resident ratio in independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing?

The Financial Picture

Is this going to be a good, low-risk investment?

  • Will your entrance fee be set aside as reserves for future care? Or will it be used to cover day to day operations?
  • If you are choosing a 50% or 90% refund option, will your entrance fee earn interest?
  • If choosing a refund option, what are the conditions for the refund? Does the unit have to find a new tenant first before a refund is disbursed? Do I or my estate have to pay the monthly fee until that unit is newly occupied?
  • How much and how often has the monthly fees gone up?
  • Can you get their most recent audited financial statements? Is the report list any accounting exceptions or is it unqualified?
  • Does the CCRC have rated debt? If so, what is the rating?
  • What is the level of debt service required to be paid and how much of the monthly fees does that represent?
  • When does the existing debt have to be paid off?
  • Does the CCRC have any plans for expansion or renovations? How will they be financed?