Why is Assisted Living in NYC So Expensive?

Why is Assisted Living in NYC So Expensive?

There’s a lot to keep in mind when choosing an assisted living facility, one of the most important ones being the cost. The monthly cost of assisted living in New York City is particularly high, starting at  $5,000 a month. But not to worry, there are options you can take advantage of to help pay for your senior living. Let’s first take a look at why assisted living is so expensive in the first place.

Seniors enjoy a fitness class in an assisted living community

What an Assisted Living Community Provides

In an assisted living community, one of the most significant costs is the room and board. If you want to live in a room by yourself, you will likely have to pay more than if you were sharing a room with another resident. Think of it as paying rent. 

In addition to your room, most communities provide housekeeping services, including preparing three meals a day, cleaning your room, and doing laundry. There are also people to help you with your activities of daily living such as: bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and toileting. Communities provide medical services as well, such as medical transportation and 24-hour emergency call services. No matter the time of day, there are people ready to help you if you need it. 

Most communities offer leisure resources as well, such as social and recreational activities, exercise classes, and other wellness programs. The social, recreational, medical, and safety comforts that senior care communities provide all contribute to their high price. 

Why Assisted Living may be More Cost Effective

Many seniors in New York City already pay for a home health aide: “why should I pay more for a community when I already have the help I need?”

If you pay for an aide yourself, you could end up spending between $25 to $35 an hour for at least 4 hours a day, on top of the rest of your living costs. If you have special health needs, you might need to hire a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, costing you between $80 and $120 per hour. The cost of an aide or nurse can become astronomical very quickly. Assisted living communities, however, already have these services in the building ready to take care of you, so you do not have to factor in the abundant hourly cost. As a result, you could end up spending less money over time living in a community than you could living at home with an aide or nurse.

Assisted living communities are designed especially to fit the needs of seniors as well, unlike your current home. They have widened doorways, wheelchair-friendly stairlifts and ramps, and accessible showers. If you live at home, you might have to pay to reconstruct your home to make it more accessible. Communities, on the other hand, are designed with these accommodations already built in—at no extra cost to you. 

Assisted living communities offer the benefits of safety, socialization, accessibility, and all the care you need at no extra hourly cost, allowing you to save money in the long run.

How Can I Pay for Assisted Living? 

While the cost of living in a community can seem overwhelming, there are different resources you can take advantage of to help finance your time there. Think of financing assisted living as baking a cake: to bake the perfect cake, all of the ingredients need to be in proportion. Similarly, rather than relying on one source of income to pay for assisted living, you can take a little from multiple different sources so that you can move into your new community without breaking the bank.

Daughter helping her elderly father budget for assisted living online

Savings, 401K, Pensions and Annuities

The first source of finances you might want to consider putting towards your assisted living is your savings. You may also have a 401K, which is a retirement savings plan that many employers offer. A pension from your employer can help pay for your senior living costs too.

An annuity can help cover expenses as well. You can set up a fixed annuity that can pay you a regular amount of money in the future when you need it. While you need to be 59-½ years old to withdraw money from your annuity without a penalty, it can be a useful, steady source of income when you move into your new community.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance policies are meant to help cover the cost of long-term care services you need, including assisted living. The services covered by these policies are not covered by regular health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. Keep in mind that it is best to purchase insurance before you need elder care, not right when you do need it. If you are thinking about moving into a facility down the road, consider buying a long-term care insurance policy now.

Rental Income from your Property

If you own property, you might consider renting it out to earn some extra income. This offers a regular source of money that can help cover some of the senior living expenses.

Veteran’s Benefits

If you are a veteran or a spouse or widow/widower of a veteran and need long-term care, you may qualify to receive Veterans Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. These provide you with monthly payments up to $2,200 to help pay for the care that you need.

Life Insurance

You might be able to sell your life insurance policy in a process called life settlement. This involves selling your policy to another person or company who pays you monthly premiums and then collects the benefit when you pass away. You can allocate the money you receive towards your assisted living. 

Of course, this might not be a preferable option if you are planning on leaving money behind for your family. You can talk to your insurance agent and an attorney to see if this option is right for you.
The cost of NYC assisted living can seem overwhelming, but it might actually save you money in the long run. There are plenty of ways to finance your assisted living experience beyond just your savings. If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out to me, Teres Rodney at TRodney@youroasisadvisor.com to review your financial options and explore assisted living facilities within your budget. With my local expertise of New York City and personal attention, I can help you find the ideal facility that you can afford!