Can You Afford Senior Living? The Average Cost of Assisted Living for Couples

January 17, 2023  |  by WesleyLife

Senior living offers more than just a place to lay your head during the next chapter of your life. It’s a gateway to a vibrant community, exceptional programming, nourishing dining options, new and deeper relationships, and an exceptional quality of life. 

Assisted living builds upon these benefits with additional support for activities of daily living, making it a great choice for people with chronic health issues. It can also increase your independence by reducing daily challenges and eliminating the need to rely on friends or family for daily support. The average cost of assisted living for couples varies across communities and can change depending on the services you seek. But it’s often far more affordable than paying for services at home.

Senior living for couples can greatly improve your life. If you and your partner have different needs, the right community can help keep you together. Here are the factors to consider as you make your budget:

How Much Does Senior Living Cost for Couples? 

If you’re hoping to find a single cost of assisted living for couples, you won’t find a reliable figure anywhere. The cost of assisted living varies from region to region and depends on the services you seek. Some factors that may influence pricing include: 

  • Services: The more services you need, the more you will pay. 
  • Community quality: Communities with more amenities, larger homes, and stronger reputations typically charge more so they can pay their staff a living wage, maintain an exceptional campus, and continue delivering quality programming. 
  • Geographic region: Areas with a high cost of living typically have more expensive senior living. 

In 2021, Genworth reported an average monthly assisted living cost in Iowa of $4,367. 

You may worry that this means the monthly average for a couple will be more than $8,000. However, because couples typically live in the same home, couples rarely pay double. Additionally, many communities offer move-in specials, discounts, and package deals to couples. 

Senior Living vs. Staying at Home 

Couples who choose to live at home often face a significant bill. If you both need at-home services, you may have to pay for double the support. For example, you might have to hire two home health aides or ask one aide to stay twice as long. The cost of your home can balloon these costs even further, especially if you’re still paying a mortgage or have expensive home maintenance expenses. 

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Senior Living Cost vs. Value

Cost isn’t the only factor when deciding where to live. It’s also important to assess the value you’re getting for your money. 

In assisted living, you gain access to amenities that promote independence and improve your quality of life. You won't have to worry about grocery shopping or meal preparation. Home repairs become a thing of the past, and the community can even take care of housekeeping for you. 

For most people, accessing the amenities a senior living community offers is difficult at home. Even if you can cobble together a plan that provides the same support, stimulation, programming, and resources as a senior community, it will typically cost much more and require ongoing management. 

For many residents, a transition to senior living means: 

  • A healthier, tastier diet. 
  • A more active lifestyle. 
  • More independence and privacy. 
  • More social connections. 
  • Less stress. 

In some cases, you may be eligible for additional financial benefits, such as writing off senior living expenses on your taxes

Strategies for Funding Senior Living

No matter how you pay for senior living, funding its costs may feel daunting. Most couples have more options than they realize. Some strategies to shrink the price tag include: 

  • Downsizing your home to reduce monthly expenses and fund the costs of senior living. 
  • Dipping into your savings. After all, it’s there for you when you need it. 
  • Weighing whether any insurance policies, especially long-term care insurance, will pay the costs. 
  • Considering financial assistance programs. Medicaid will pay for certain assisted living expenses. Depending on your medical needs and the community you choose, VA benefits and some employer benefits programs may also help.

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