Senior Living
How to Get into Senior Living on A Budget: Save Money on Independent Living Expenses

How to Get into Senior Living on A Budget: Save Money on Independent Living Expenses

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how to get into independent living on a budget


Independent living is expensive. We’re sure you have heard that before! This is one common conception everyone assumes about independent living. Today, we’ll prove it as a misconception with ways to save money on independent living expenses.

There are many ways to save money on independent living expenses. On average, assisted living and nursing homes can cost $4,500 and $8,000 per month, respectively. This makes independent living a good deal to choose. 

Independent living can be affordable for older adults and families. We may think that living and taking care of ourselves alone can be expensive. But certain things make it achievable.

This article focuses on the money-saving tips of independent living. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

What Makes Independent Living Affordable?

First, we need to understand the reason behind the affordability. You can easily understand it from the name. Another name of independent living is retirement homes.

The term suggests that you are living alone on your own. You can take care of yourself well enough. And you do not need much nursing or memory care to live by the days.

In other words, seniors don’t need 24/7 care, medical care or daily assistance. They can cook for themselves. They can maintain their homes as well. And they can manage all their daily activities without any trouble.

This cuts the costs of other senior care services. You don’t need nurses or medical personnel to be on your call. You don’t need someone else to cook for you. And you don’t need anyone to move around the community.

Along with this, independent living communities offer some assisted services to seniors. This makes the expenses a worthy investment. They can get housekeeping, laundry and other daily services. This makes life easier and much more comfortable than before.

Independent living also means that you are living in a homely community. It’s really almost as same as living in your home with your family. But, instead, you are just living with other elderly people. So, you choose this out of better living necessity. There is no medical need.

All these together make independent living a very affordable senior living facility.

Independent Living Means

  • A Social and active lifestyle
  • Rich and stress-free life
  • Grow and learn new things
  • Friendly neighborhood and staff members
  • Less worry on finances
  • Peace of mind
  • Ample amount of free time
  • Less stress of family worries
  • A much healthier lifestyle

6 Types of Independent Living Expenses

Independent living might give you more ways to save money than any other senior facility. Your current cost of living could be much more expensive than you think. The best way to find this out is to calculate the current cost of living. And then, you can compare it with independent living costs.

We can divide these costs into 6 parts. These 6 types of costs are what you will definitely incur when you live independently. So, let’s quickly run a brief comparison.

1. Utility bills

The first cost is utility bills. This involves gas, water and electricity expenses. The average utility cost can depend on the region you are living in.

When you live with your family, the utility bills will be higher. Living alone surely saves a lot of money on gas and electricity. You will not be using as much as you would have before. This is due to downsizing that is moving to a smaller apartment from a bigger house.

2. Groceries and food

According to the US Department of Agriculture, two adults can spend around $500 to $750 a month on groceries.

Key Fact

The costs mentioned above is true when they are living together. So living independently will definitely reduce the costs of groceries for the senior couple.

3. Home maintenance

When you live in your own house, you have to maintain a lot of things. And that involves maintaining lawn, landscaping and many other things. You will also need to maintain the roof or water pipes of the house.

Independent living does not involve all these costs. Yes, you are living in your own home. But you don’t have to worry about them all the time. The offered services will take care of the home maintenance by themselves.

how to get into independent living on a budget


Independent Living Costs

4. Transportation costs

This is one cost that purely depends on your choice. Owning a car has its costs. You need to maintain it properly. And you also have to pay for the fuel and insurance.

If you want to reduce costs, you can opt for transportation services offered by the independent community. This way, you can rely on professional services and cut the finances. Of course, it might not give you a sense of independence. But it’s relatively considerable to opt for such services.

5. Entertainment costs

Entertainment costs can actually raise the expenses. When you live alone, you have to keep yourself active. And that is not cheap. This means that you may need a higher budget for entertainment than most other activities of daily living.

6. In-home care

In-home care means regular home assistance. Seniors can pay for these services depending on their needs. The services cover meal planning, housework and other homely tasks. You will need this only when these activities become tough for you as you age.

You will have more financial independence this way. But it may also cost you more money for the care you receive.

How to Save Money on Independent Living Expenses?

Let’s first get one thing out of the way. How much can independent housing cost for a senior? Depending on factors like location, types of housing and other things, it can cost around $1500 to $10000 per month.

Now comes the biggest question. How can a senior save money on independent living expenses? Our focus is to provide some saving tips on living independently.

Almost every elderly will pay the expenses from his or her pocket. Many seniors can use their retirement savings to pay the costs. And others will use the money from selling their assets before moving to independent facilities.

Whatever option you are choosing, you need not stress. Independent housing is designed in such a way that you can cover the expenses easily. The costs will move in line with any apartment renting or mortgage finances.

So to cut costs, all you have to do is maintain low expenses on the previous list of costs. Those are the 6 types of costs you will incur in any type of living. So your job is to live minimal in the best possible way. And you will be good to go.

What if you can’t pay for independent living on your own?

Some people may still struggle to finance their independent living. If you are one of them, you need not worry. There might be several options to save you.

There is government funding that can help you out. Medicaid will not cover your independent housing. But the Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 establishes a Housing and Urban Development program will. According to the section, you can be assisted with “capital advances to private, nonprofit sponsors to finance the development of housing for elderly residents.” You can learn more about section 202 here.

Another thing that can help you is life insurance or long-term care insurance. You can also claim veteran benefits to cover the expenses. Keep an eye on our website to know more about them.

Does Medicare pay for Independent Living?

Medicare does not currently pay for independent living. However, Medicaid may pay for some of the costs associated with Independent living if you are eligible, depending on the state in which you reside. Some of the services and benefits that Medicare may offer include coverage for hospital stays, short-term skilled nursing care, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and related medical costs.

Independent Living that You Can Afford

The transition to independent living should be a happy one for every senior. It should be a great new chapter in their lives. But the independent living skills depend on the affordability of the facilities.

For this, a lot will matter in the research you do. It is crucial that you ask the right question before choosing one. And the questions should have satisfying answers for you to decide on it.

While we cannot say precisely what the answers could be, we can guide you with the questions. Once you know about them, you will be able to use your judgment to determine the best pick. Here are the questions any senior should ask before choosing an independent living community:

  • What is the base price?
  • What services are included in the base price?
  • How much will the extra amenities cost?
  • Will the pricing change according to the services? How will the pricing change?
  • Are there any hidden costs included?
  • What is the payment structure? Is it monthly, quarterly, yearly or one-time?
  • Is there any deposit amount to be paid?
  • Is there assisted living conversion available?
  • Are there nursing facilities available?


Independent living is not cheap. In certain communities, it can be quite expensive. And if you want the best living experiences, you will have to invest money.

But it is also the most affordable one compared to other senior living options. With the costs you incur, you also gain access to several living services. And there are still ways to save money on independent living expenses.

This is what the article is all about. By now, you know the costs you will incur during your independent living. All you have to do is follow the cost-cutting ways of living alone. Then, focus more on what you need to live all by yourself. You will need to find out the highest expenses and budget your plans accordingly.

And there are also several options to cover the expenses. If you are still struggling, BoomersHub advisors are always here to guide you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is assisted living more expensive than independent living? 

Assisted living is typically more expensive than independent living for its wider range of services. However, there are many factors that can affect this cost, including location and what kind or amenities they offer in addition to how much personal care is needed by each resident. 

Are independent living expenses tax deductible? 

Independent living expenses are usually not tax deductible unless you live in a Life Plan community. It is also referred to as continuing care retirement communities. 

Why is independent living so expensive? 

There are a few reasons as to why independent living is so expensive. Firstly, the cost of living in general is high, as residents must pay for their own care. Secondly, many independent living communities are located in prime areas which drives up the cost of rent and can make it difficult for some people to afford. Finally, many of these communities offer a wide range of services and amenities, which also come at a cost. All of these factors together contribute to why independent living can be expensive. 

What expenses are involved in independent living? 

The expenses involved in independent living can vary depending on the person’s needs and lifestyle. However, some of the most common expenses include rent, utility bills, food costs, clothing, transportation expenses, and healthcare. 

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