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Old 02-06-2015, 05:23 PM
 
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I am 54, hoping to make it to retire at 62. Will have worked about 40 years. Dad died at 68 from liver cancer, I have had ovarian cancer twice, fell and broke my femur 6 years ago and walk with cane, mom had breast cancer. Due to the cancer I have no children. Divorced.

I was going to buy a small/mobile home so I can move out of Alaska (due primarily to the cold and snow), and am still looking in several states, Texas being at the top.

Someone suggested an independent living facility and there are several pros, especially in services department (off-loading what I would have to pay to do things, safety for me, and just having someone else do it). They sound like a cruise ship without the water. Housekeeping, 1 to 3 meals, studio apartments (1-2 br apts), maintenance, short planned activities, senior care, aging in place, someone else driving, attending excursions/events with peers and possible new friends, even regular bus trips to a mall so people can shop and go to bank. They sound like a very baby boomer answer to the nursing home.

But I haven't been able to find out how people FEEL about them. Not many reviews, but tons of facilities. Would they open up for new friendships (read an article about some seniors being bullies and cliquish) or make you feel isolated if you were/are shut out. There is a mardi-gras celebration in Feb in several facilities and it sounds like fun, but lasts 1 hour. Sometimes that is all I can take. They go on field trips to museums and ball games.

Yes, I have a top 5 places I am looking at. But I wondered if anyone else knew someone or was in one themselves and will tell me if the spin measures to the actual. I don't want to feel I got trapped into something and my current friends will either stay in Alaska or go to support their relatives across the US.

Thank you.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,763,041 times
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Just like workplaces have a certain culture having to do with friendliness and many other factors, and that culture can vary a lot, I think different independent living facilities have different cultures (or atmospheres, or vibes). My sister and my mother (now deceased) visited several such facilities before they decided on one of them. I was there to help get my mother moved in. Both my sister and I were favorably impressed with the cheeriness and friendliness of the place. I never did figure out the exact reason for it, but I'm sure a lot had to do with the staff. I think one has to visit and talk to people - buy a few meal tickets and eat there more than once (a good way to check on the food quality too).

Although my mother pretty much had to move because she could no longer reliably prepare meals for herself, we were aware of several people who still drove and lived there well before they "had to". Perhaps they no longer enjoyed cooking for themselves and also liked the idea of having the sheets and towels laundered once a week (together with the weekly maid service). I was favorably impressed with those people too - why not make things easy on yourself before it becomes absolutely necessary? I don't think it would be my cup of tea, but that is certainly not an argument against it; I can understand that it makes great sense for a lot of folks.

Oh, by the way, my mother liked the place too, which was an great relief for me and my sister. She died two months after moving in, at the age of 90. It turned out to have been a very nice ending for her life.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,037,051 times
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I'm 58 and on SSI. What is working for me, is living in a subsidized senior apartment building. I choose to do this rather than the mobile home park situation for several reasons. For one, it's cheaper, and I don't have to pay for any upkeep. Mobile homes, in my opinion, don't really hold their value, either. They're also more expensive to heat and cool.

Plus, you'll have rent fees that can't be anticipated. And there are a lot of rules you'll have to abide by that can be annoying and maybe even expensive - like the upkeep on the mobile home.

I have found the "communities" in my senior buildings (55+) to not be altogether friendly - or too friendly, in that there are tenants who will become a bother, and they just live down the hall. I had a woman who would incessantly ring my doorbell at all hours. I had to finally disconnect the doorbell. But, still my dog would bark her head off when this woman would bang on the door at all hours. I asked her not to, put a sign on the door to please not knock, and finally had to complain to management.

But, if you live in a subsidized senior apartment, you don't have to get involved in the events in your building or community. There will be lots of options to get involved outside of where you live - as in the senior center. Generally, senior centers have lots of activities and classes, etc., and you go there and socialize, and then come home to a peaceful place.

There is also a lot of transportation options available through the city or county to take you where you want to go.

Counties will also provide you with in-home care workers if your insurance covers them - including people who will clean your home, or do your shopping for you, cook for you, drive you around, etc. There are meals on wheels that will bring meals, too.

So, just personally, my experience with getting involved with the other tenants where I was living - was not a good thing for me. But, I've moved into another senior place, which is well maintained and very affordable, and I will be looking for my friends and entertainment outside of my building.

Another plus to renting instead of buying, is that it's easier to move. And my rent is really cheap. Currently, my subsidized rent is only $335. I just received my HUD voucher today, and as of next month my rent will go down to $257. And somebody else does all the maintenance.

You can find subsidized senior facilities everywhere. And if you were to get a HUD voucher (Section 8) then you can transfer it anywhere after you've lived where you got it for 1 year.

If you think you might qualify for HUD, what I suggest is you move somewhere where the waiting list is not too long. I got on the list here in August, and already got my voucher. In the SF Bay Area, the lists are not only closed, but the wait time is something like 8 - 10 years for those on the waiting list. So, what you do is get on the list somewhere where it's not too long, get your voucher, live there a year, then work on transferring it to where you'd really like to live (if that's somewhere else).

Anyway, that's probably way more info than you were looking for. Bottom line - yes, move into a senior community or building, but I think with your disability, you should not buy a mobile home - too much upkeep, and those space rents will do nothing but go up and up.

And then consider finding your friends somewhere other than your building or community. It's really uncomfortable coming and going if you've made an enemy or no longer want to be friends with so and so, if you live right next door to them.

FWIW.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:09 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,318,678 times
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You should definitely visit some- often multiple visits to a facility.

I have a wide group of friends of varying ages. I have visited a couple of friends ( living and dead) who live or lived in them ( in the North East) & I have one acquaintance who is currently investigating them. She is in her mid seventies but is now needing a wheelchair to get around. .

I think what you may find is that you will be very, very young compared to the typical resident. From what I've seen most residents are there because of the physical limitations of age. Most seem to be in their eighties.

One of the now deceased friends moved in with her husband in her late seventies. She was ill and needed the care of assisted living. When she passed, her hubby lasted a year there on his own. Then, in his own eighties, he moved out to an apartment because the people in assisted living were " too old". What he meant was that they " thought " old. Certainly not the lively intellectuals that he wanted . Then again, maybe it was just the facility he was in.

Go visit, see how old people are- see whether you would be comfortable being among the youngest. In your situation, assisted living sounds like a great choice due to your health. Whether it's suitable mentally and intellectually, you have to decide.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:37 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,166,929 times
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Here is something the OP, being 54, ought to consider. Demographics. The maximum loading of senior facilities will occur when the 1956 - 57 cohort hits them. So, from now until that happens, such facilities will be in a mode of accommodating increasing demand. Cost will rise and quality will fall.

However, after that '56 -'57 cohort hits, the trend will reverse, the number of slots will continually increase until the mid '70s cohort hits.

So timing is everything here.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:15 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 84,021,758 times
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There are quite few of them around here. Texas thru new HUD program that provides funding if built as spec'd for seniors. I read Texas has about 60% built so far in nation . The ones near me are like townhouses but single story. Never looked at them but they are said to have all senior conveniences like wheel chair wider doors; grab rails in bath; easy entry showers etc. The outside are nice and all have gated ;fenced for security and parking for vehicle. I can think of four within 15 miles of me. Only talked to one person but she loves it. Not sure on cost but they are well keep up and have local transport in small buses the nearby city provides. Most are built in like last three years and said to be coming thing with boomers retiring. Like I said HUD housing program a few years old sets the standards but they are privately owned and run.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,134 posts, read 23,037,051 times
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For the tax properties that accept HUD, they have to meet HUD's requirements and there are inspections at least once a year. This is the second one I've lived in, and they are really well-maintained and nice.

The two I've rented in are old hotels in downtown areas and were completely re-furbished. In CA there are a lot of these going into old buildings in downtown areas, as the towns are trying to rebuild their downtown areas. Often the cities and counties chip in on funding, as well as state and HUD (federal). This also equates to being inspected by all of these different govt entities (not each apartment - they usually randomly choose a few apartments). So, they have to really keep the properties up to snuff.

I've also found the inspections to be quick and non-intrusive. They just make sure everything is working, nothing's leaking, and that's pretty much it.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:56 PM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,079,355 times
Reputation: 17034
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetakai View Post
I was going to buy a small/mobile home so I can move out of Alaska (due primarily to the cold and snow), and am still looking in several states, Texas being at the top.

Someone suggested an independent living facility and there are several pros, especially in services department (off-loading what I would have to pay to do things, safety for me, and just having someone else do it). They sound like a cruise ship without the water. Housekeeping, 1 to 3 meals, studio apartments (1-2 br apts), maintenance, short planned activities, senior care, aging in place, someone else driving, attending excursions/events with peers and possible new friends, even regular bus trips to a mall so people can shop and go to bank. They sound like a very baby boomer answer to the nursing home.
In Texas there's a huge cost gap between subsidized HUD 55+ independent living facilities and what's called assisted living.
Rent can be extremely affordable and income-subsidized at the former, but neither housekeeping nor meals are included. If you want housekeeping and meals, that's usually considered "assisted living" and comes at a premium price.
Roughly speaking, a 1-bedroom 55+ independent living apartment can be had for $600-$900 (+utilities) a month, as long as your income level is low enough to qualify for a subsidy. Often planned social events and short excursions are included, but no meals and no housekeeping.
If you want meals and housekeeping, you're talking about facilities that go for $3K-$4K a month, with no income-based subsidy. Very elderly and/or impaired persons make up most of the population in the these, and they're far from a cruise ship environment.

Last edited by biscuitmom; 02-06-2015 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:05 AM
 
10,391 posts, read 9,403,673 times
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Posters are correct about the variety of facilities, from independent to assisted living; and varying price ranges.

There are independent apartments complexes requiring a buy-in (many in the 6 figure range), plus the $1,200 - $3,000/mo rent.

There are independent apartments with no buy-in required, with rents that again have a wide range of monthly rental amounts, and amenities.

Because of the large population of the 55+, or 62+ population needing housing, the wait lists may at times be quite long (some as long as 5 years).

This website provides a list of various subsidized housing (you can filter for senior only communities): https://www.socialserve.com/
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,001,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
In Texas there's a huge cost gap between subsidized HUD 55+ independent living facilities and what's called assisted living.
Rent can be extremely affordable and income-subsidized at the former, but neither housekeeping nor meals are included. If you want housekeeping and meals, that's usually considered "assisted living" and comes at a premium price.
Roughly speaking, a 1-bedroom 55+ independent living apartment can be had for $600-$900 (+utilities) a month, as long as your income level is low enough to qualify for a subsidy. Often planned social events and short excursions are included, but no meals and no housekeeping.
If you want meals and housekeeping, you're talking about facilities that go for $3K-$4K a month, with no income-based subsidy. Very elderly and/or impaired persons make up most of the population in the these, and they're far from a cruise ship environment.
In New England, "assisted living" is a loose term and covers several different kinds of senior facilities. By far the usage of the term applies to condo-type units in a community that has grades from independent living through to different levels of assistance, and all those I now of are quite upscale and pricey.

Many require an initial buy-in, with the senior typically selling her home and giving over a large chunk, say $200K, to own her unit, and then paying several thousand or more per month for all the costs associated with the unit plus the services, which typically include several meals per day. That monthly cost increases with higher levels of care. Some of these places refund a graded % of the initial investment when moving out or at death.

I may be wrong about this - research it - but I believe that when a senior's funds run out that it is only at the level of "nursing home" that Medicaid kicks in. At that time one's resources have to be below something like $2K. That is why lawyers are employed to figure out any and all ways to protect senior assets (like for a spouse remaining in the couple's own home), and also all about the "look-back" period of owning assets.

Subsidized housing, on the other hand, in New England generally means rents at a % of one's income, typically 33%. I know of none that include any level of care, although there is often some level of leisure activities. If one is in subsidized housing, it is doubtful one has the funds to go from there into an assisted living community. It would most likely mean going into a "nursing home," either temporarily for rehab, or permanently.

That is just my knowledge of around here, and I'm happy to stand corrected on any of this because I would like to know more too.
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