Originally published in October of 2018; updated and expanded in June of 2019.
One of the most commonly asked questions we get is, “What retirement community can I afford in Seattle?”
Your exact cost for living in a Seattle retirement community will of course vary depending on if you are going for Independent Living versus Assisted Living, the size and features of your apartment, and any added personal care services.
Here’s something to keep in mind: when you calculate the cost of living in a senior community, deduct the expenses you currently have that will vanish when you move into a senior living community. You may be pleasantly surprised at what expenses are bundled into the total cost of senior living.
How much is senior living in Seattle?
Senior Rent or Senior Mortgage
If you are a senior who pays a monthly rent or mortgage, switching to a senior living community will still include a monthly rent payment, but the payment provides you a myriad of additional amenities that living alone usually does not.
At Daystar, we have:
- Gardens and walking trails
- Provided transportation
- On-site parking
- A senior fitness center and pool
- Parlors, libraries, and recreation rooms
- On-site beauty salon and barber
- On-site dining facilities
- And much more
See all the amenities that are included for residents at Daystar Retirement Village.
This is one of those “hidden” expenses involved in owning a house. Homeowners often don’t think about this much until the tax bill is due, but the median property tax in King County, Washington is $3,572 per year (for a home valued at $407,700). This means West Seattle property taxes are among the highest 3% in the country. At a West Seattle senior living community, that’s an expense you’ll no longer carry.
The average monthly cost of homeowner’s insurance in Washington is $674. Most people in West Seattle pay even more. But luckily, moving into a senior living community removes the need for homeowner’s insurance, so this is another expense that can be axed when one decides to move into Daystar.
Home Maintenance and Security
As one ages, lawn maintenance is one of those things that can be delegated to a professional or local youngster. But that added cost for maintaining your property is already covered in your monthly rent at a retirement community. Not to mention, other common home expenses, such as home security, are covered in a retirement community as well.
This is reassuring to both seniors, who are often victims of home security scams, and their families, who may not always be around to spot the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Read more about common types of scams elderly people face and how to prevent them.
The average monthly rate for a home security system is $30 per month, but that does not include hidden installation and activation fees, which could cost hundreds of dollars. Not to mention, most home security companies require a long term contract agreement.
Daystar has an on-site security system, including 24-hour security cameras, so our residents can rest assured they are protected.
On top of everything else, when living independently in a house, and even in some apartments, you’re responsible for the water, sewage, and trash collection bills. In a retirement community, these additional expenses are bundled into your total cost of living.
Housekeeping & Laundry
Housekeeping and other housley duties can be a serious, sometimes dangerous, task for seniors with reduced mobility or rigorous care needs. This is why at an Assisted Living community like Daystar, housekeeping and laundry are included.
Independent Living residents also have their own washers and dryers in their spaces, to assure their independence and privacy.
Groceries & Dining Out
The average weekly cost of groceries for Americans is $151. Seniors do tend to eat less than the average person, but because groceries cost more in West Seattle, that number is not far off. As people age, it is common for them to each much less due to the hassle involved with cooking and cleaning up and potentially wasting food.
At Daystar, we have dining rooms and tea rooms offering balanced meals and diverse menu options, so our residents can get the nutrition they need without the hassle. Not to mention, our residents who love to cook will still have their own kitchenette spaces to concoct their culinary creations.
The average cost of transportation in America is $756 per month. This is often higher for seniors, due to higher insurance payments. Gas, repairs, registrations, inspections, and general maintenance for cars can be unpredictably expensive. This is why Daystar includes free bus transportation for all its residents to do their errands, shopping, or just have some time out on the town. But the campus is still car-friendly, and uncovered parking is complimentary.
Entertainment is another unpredictable living expense. For seniors, who often struggle with loneliness and boredom, it’s one of the most important ones. But entertainment – monthly cable payments especially – can be quite costly. Daystar includes cable costs in its monthly fees. Not to mention, we have a dense schedule of fun activities and events for our residents to participate in, including on-campus concerts, off-site trips, and other fun things to keep our beloved seniors active and engaged.
So, how much does it cost to live in a retirement community?
Retirement community living isn’t free — and at first glance, it’s not cheap. But if you consider the things bundled into the monthly fee for Independent and Assisted Living, you’ll be able to see the real value. Consider what you’ll no longer have to pay for to live on your own, and all the services and amenities you’ll get in exchange.
If you’re still not sure what’s right for you or your loved one, use this helpful retirement living cost guide and compare the costs and features of different kinds of retirement living.
Learn more about living at Daystar Retirement Village:
What retirement community can I afford in Seattle?
Make sure to consider the amount of care and independence you need before choosing a senior living community, because the amount of care needed can increase the cost. Independent living is a good way to live within a community while still having your own space and doing things on your own. Assisted Living involves the same community and social life as Independent Living, but includes regular care, as needed.
Also consider how some costs may be covered by long-term care insurance in Assisted Living.
If you’re still unsure what kind of senior living is best for you, our senior care specialists can discuss the best option for you or your loved one.