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Our Pricing Models: Entry-Fee vs. Monthly Lease accent

April 4, 2023 | By

No matter what you want in life’s next chapter, the right community could support you in living a better, fuller life. Senior living is an investment in your well-being and peace of mind. Community life offers amenities that are difficult to access at home, support when you need it, meaningful programming, and an environment that makes it easier to remain independent. 

Are you wondering how to choose a senior living community? It’s important to look at senior living pricing models. Many older adults worry that senior living is outside of their budget. The truth is that the right community may actually save you money while offering significant value that improves your health and quality of life. The cost of senior living doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying all it has to offer. 

Most senior living communities use either an entry-fee or monthly-lease model, and some allow residents to choose between the two options. Here’s what you need to know to decide which option is right for you.


Entry-Fee Pricing Model

An entry fee is typically a large upfront payment you make to move into a community. Similar to a home down payment, this one-time fee reduces your monthly costs. This can be a good option for people who have a home or investments to sell. People with long-term care insurance may also use this option to pay for senior living. 

If you’re on a fixed income, you may find that an entry fee gives you more breathing room in your monthly budget. Some people even find that the monthly costs of senior living are significantly lower than rent or mortgage payments. You could also eliminate other monthly fees for your homeowners association (HOA), groceries (depending on the level of living you choose), housekeeping, gym, and other services.

Fixed-Lease Pricing Model

The entry-fee model has long been the standard for senior living, but many communities now also offer a fixed lease. In this approach, you pay a monthly fee, similar to an apartment rental. You’ll pay more each month than in an entry-fee model but won’t have to worry about coming up with a large lump sum. 

This option is ideal for people with a predictable monthly income from a job, pension, Social Security, or investments, but who don’t have access to large sums of cash. Some people also select this option if they’re not sure they intend to commit to a community. For example, if you think you might move in a couple of years or just want to try out senior living for a bit, a fixed lease could offer the flexibility you seek.

Can moving to a senior living community save you money? Find out now with our  free cost calculator. >>

How to Choose a Senior Living Community

When choosing a senior living community, look beyond the price. A sensible choice is a community that offers exceptional value in terms of decreasing other expenses, bolstering independence, and supporting your dreams. These tips can help you choose the right community for your needs:

  • Before you begin your community search, make a list of the services and amenities that are most important to you. For example, is access to a pool or a community garden a priority?
  • Spend time researching each community’s reputation by reading online reviews.
  • Visit each community and ask lots of questions. Be sure to go during a busy time so you can talk to residents and get a feel for community life.
  • Solicit input from people you trust. They might have ideas about which community will best serve your needs and can provide an extra pair of eyes when you visit the community.
  • Gather lots of details about each community you’re considering. Be sure to ask to see an apartment, obtain a  pricing list, and inquire about what is included in the price.

The WesleyLife Promise

At WesleyLife, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to live a life of continued growth, experience, engagement, and meaning, regardless of physical, social, or economic circumstances. We believe in the right of all older adults to realize their full potential and age with peace of mind. 

The WesleyLife Promise is our commitment to residents for life. We promise that if a resident depletes their financial resources through no fault of their own, they will never be asked to leave their home with us and will not experience a reduction in the quality or type of care they receive. Residents are a valued member of our community forever. 

Ready to see if senior living fits within your budget? Try our free cost calculator to estimate the costs of senior living compared to other options in your area.

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