Niche Retirement Communities on the Rise

April 18, 2012
By Ettinger Law Firm on April 18, 2012 8:08 AM |

We've all seen the ads: smiling seniors lounging at the pool or playing golf, laughing, and enjoying the sunshine as a voice-over speaker describes the available space at a new senior living location. Retirement communities have long been popular, but many New York elder care advocates explain that these assisted living locations are becoming more sought-after than ever. Unique senior communities are popping up across the country at a steady clip catering to more and more specific niches in an attempt to closely meet the needs of certain segments of the senior population.

Some of the most popular niche senior living facilities (besides those around beaches or golf courses) are "university-based retirement communities." These locations are built around college campuses in order to provide seniors with the opportunity to attend campus events and even sit in on classes. Many local residents have opted for this choice when conducting New York senior care planning.

Many other communities are being built that center around specific hobbies and activities. Across the country new facilities have recently been built targeting seniors who want to become artists, providing help for those seeking to learn how to paint or write their first novel. Another senior facility is even referred to as an "astronomer's village" and is geared toward stargazers with every living unit equipped with a built-in telescope. Yet another targets "aging hippies" where residents are encouraged to make their own living space and practice sustainability techniques.

Our New York elder law estate planning lawyers appreciate that the growth of niche senior retirement communities is part of a larger trend in the changing landscape of long-term senior care. No longer are nursing homes or assisted living facilities the only places where seniors can plan on spending their golden years. Most expect these activity-based living centers to slowly begin branching out to include support for those in need of more and more specialized healthcare.

Costs for these niche communities are somewhat similar to other long-term care options. For example, a recent MetLife Market Survey found that the average national rent for an assisted living facility was about $3,500--though New York prices were higher. Many retirement communities have rent prices that are comparable, ranging anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000 monthly. However, many of these locations also come with "entry fees" which range from $150,000 to $600,000. All or part of the fee may be returned when the resident leaves or dies. Units at these locations can sometimes be purchased. For comparison purposes, nursing home costs are considerably greater, with monthly costs in our area usually topping $10,000.

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