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How Much Do Different Assisted Living Options Cost?

Javier Simon, CEPF®

The average cost of assisted living was $4,000 a month in 2018, according to Genworth Financial, which has been tracking costs since 2004. Across the country though, the price of assisted living varies widely, depending on such factors as location, facility size and amenities. If you’re not sure whether or how you can afford this type of living arrangement, our free matching tool can connect you with a financial advisor. Here are the costs you need to consider.

A Breakdown of the Costs of Assisted Living 

The costs of assisted living typically break down into two categories: rent and services. The former depends largely on location and apartment size. The latter usually includes three meals a day, housekeeping, social activities and nursing care, with the quality or level affecting the price. For example, a resident who needs about three hours of help performing tasks like taking medication, eating and bathing daily would pay more than someone who only needs assistance with one of those tasks.

A recent study by SeniorLiving.org put the overall annual price of assisted living at $30,438 a year in Missouri on the low end and $80,400 in Washington, D.C. on the high end. Of course, assisted living costs correlate to the area’s costs of living, which are usually higher in more densely populated cities. Indeed, the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) found in its study that San Francisco, New York City, San Jose, Boston and Los Angeles have the most expensive facilities.

On top of monthly rent and services, most assisted living communities require a one-time, move-in fee. This generally ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. You can pay the fee upfront or it can be prorated monthly.

Assisted Living Costs: Package Fee Versus Separate Fees

The cost of assisted living facilities varies by location and type of services offered.

Some assisted living facilities offer services as a package and at varying levels. The more expensive packages may offer more services (like more frequent housekeeping) and a higher level of nursing care. Whether you use all the services or not, you’ll pay for them.

Alternately, your facility may offer the option of paying for services a la carte. If you go this route, you may pay more per service than the package rate, but pay less overall.

Some places may offer additional services such as memory care. This is typically reserved for people suffering from Alzheimers or other forms of dementia. The additional price for this type of care varies widely, depending on the facility and the extent of care needed.

Whether bundled or separate fees, these costs will probably seem high. According to Genworth Financial’s most recent numbers, the median assisted living costs is $133 per day. But that is actually lower than you may ‘ll probably find it helpful to look at what your overall costs break down to on a daily basis.  Another useful metric is to research the median cost of assisted living. This would give you a good feel for what you can expect and what you need to prepare for. The study put the median cost of an assisted living facility at $4,000 a year. That breaks down to a $133 a day and $48,000 per year. A day around $133 per day (and adds up to $48,000 per year). The same study pointed out that a private room in a typical nursing home was $8,365 a month or $278 per day.

Different Types of Assisted Living Facilities

To add yet another variable, the cost of assisted living can vary widely depending on the type of facility you choose. We provide some overviews of what you can expect.

In-home Care: This type of service is usually the least expensive, because it allows people to remain in their own homes. Professionals show up to perform tasks that some people may find difficult performing on their own. These can include cooking, cleaning and running certain errands. According to the Genworth study, the median cost of homemaker services is $4,290 a month.

Community and Assisted Living: Also called adult care, these are facilities where people can receive various types of services but don’t need round the clock support. Staff may provide meals and supervise adults that need it during normal business hours. They also may provide recreational activities. The median cost for this type of facility is $1,625 a month. But the price can hover around $4,051 for a private room.

Nursing home facility: These are designed for people who need constant supervision. Most nursing home facilities provide medical and rehabilitation services. Skilled nurses are also on duty around the clock. The Genworth study found that the median cost for a semi private room is $7,513 and $8,517 for a private room.

Calculating the Cost of Assisted Living

You can visit various websites such as Genworth to calculate how much assisted living costs in your area. In addition, you can break down future cost calculations by month and even hour.

Paying for Assisted Living

Assisted living costs depend on factors like the type of facility you reside in.

Contrary to popular belief, Medicare doesn’t cover most assisted living services. Most cover the bill with their own money and the care provided by long-term care insurance. Some states also offer community-based care waivers. You should check with your state’s Medicare resource center for.

Tips on Paying for Assisted Living

  • The costs of assisted living can really pile up, especially if you need frequent, round-the-clock care. But you can start saving in a high-yield savings account or a certificate of deposit (CD). You can also start taking a crack at investing.
  • You can also reach out to professional to help you manage your savings when paying for assisted living. Try using our pro-matching tool. It connects you with up to three advisors in your area. We vetted each one on our platform.




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