From hidden fees to whether there’s a doctor in the house, do your research
By Elizabeth O’Brien and MarketWatch
(This article appeared previously on MarketWatch.com.)
These are 10 things retirement communities won’t tell you.
If you’re looking for one, be sure you know about them.
1. You’ll need a Ph.D. to tell us apart. Active-adult communities, assisted-living facilities, continuing-care retirement communities — that’s just the tip of the jargon iceberg for places people 55 and over might spend their golden years.
And since each facility uses different terms and has different pricing structures, comparison-shopping becomes very difficult. “You can go crazy learning the terminology,” says Karyl Cafiero, 61, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who has researched communities for her mother-in-law.
The senior housing industry has largely recovered from its slump during the Great Recession, when many prospective residents couldn’t relocate because they couldn’t sell their homes.
Assisted living facilities and continuing-care retirement communities aim for occupancy rates between 90 percent and 95 percent and are currently at the lower end of this range, says Andrew Carle, executive-in-residence at the program in senior housing administration at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.