ADA Facebook Pet Friendly EHO

For all sales and marketing inquiries: 352-251-0919

For employment, all other inquiries and after hours assistance: 352-667-6468

Text +

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost? How About Independent Living?

When older adults or their families start looking into senior living options, one of the main questions they usually want answered is whether they can afford it.

Similar to buying or renting a home anywhere else, there are many factors that determine how much it costs to live in a community for seniors, such as:

  • The location and type of community
  • The size of the residence and specific floor plan
  • The services and amenities offered
  • If additional, higher levels of care are available within the community
  • Whether the community requires an entrance fee or a deposit
  • What’s included in the monthly rent or fees
  • Whether the community offers all-inclusive or à la carte pricing
  • Economic factors such as housing availability and interest rates

The cost of assisted living, independent living, memory care and skilled nursing can vary greatly from one community to another, even within the same general vicinity. The same is true of independent living cost variations.

It helps to have a basic understanding of the different types of senior living communities and levels of care.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living communities are for older adults who are ready to free themselves from the responsibility and expense of maintaining a house and do not need help with their daily routine.

Many seniors move to an independent living community to participate in the available social activities. Some want the convenience of having someone else take care of the housekeeping, laundry and cooking.

Some seniors like having an array of amenities close at hand so they don’t have to venture outside of the community. These are some of the most commonly offered amenities in senior living communities:

  • Fitness center
  • Salon or spa
  • Swimming pool
  • Movie theater
  • Community garden
  • Putting green
  • Game room
  • Library
  • Cocktail lounge
  • Coffee shop
  • Worship services
  • Lifelong learning programs
  • One or more dining venues with chef-prepared meals

Safety is another reason older adults choose to move to an independent living community. Many of these communities provide 24/7 security and monitoring, so help is available right away if it’s needed.

How Much Does Independent Living Cost?

As noted earlier, the cost of independent living varies dramatically among senior communities. Research conducted by revealed a national median monthly cost of $3,065, but at the state level, median monthly costs ranged from $1,282 in Mississippi to $6,162 in Maine.

According to the National Council on Aging, the country’s largest operator of senior living communities reported a range of $1,650–$16,165 in monthly rent for its independent living residences across the U.S.

The best way to find out how much you can expect to pay for independent living is to talk with someone in the sales or marketing department at each community you are considering.

You’ll want to ask:

  • What the monthly rent or fee covers (for example, utilities, meals and local transportation) and what isn’t included
  • If an entrance fee or deposit is required (these can be hefty sums), and if any of that amount is refundable
  • Whether financial assistance is available, either up front or later on (in case your assets are eventually depleted)
  • If you will have to pay out of pocket for any advanced care the community provides, should you need that care in the future
  • If you’ll be paying up front for advanced care, even if you never need it
  • How much notice you’ll have to give if you decide to leave
  • Whether you’ll retain control over your assets

When comparing costs between two or more communities, look at the total monthly cost. This means taking into account the entrance fee (if applicable) and any deposits that might be required. This will help you make reasonable comparisons between different types of communities.

Something else to consider when calculating your cost is whether there are any tax breaks available to you. A financial adviser or estate planner can help you with this.

How to Pay for Independent Living

You will most likely need to use your income and personal assets — savings, Social Security benefits, retirement funds, pension payments, etc. — to pay for independent living.

Medicare will not pay for independent living, and you can’t use long-term care insurance to pay for it either. You may be able to use your life insurance benefits to pay for any type of long-term care, including independent living.

If you own your home, you can sell it and use the proceeds to pay for independent living. If you’d rather not sell it, you may be able to use the equity you’ve built to secure a reverse mortgage.

It’s a good idea to consult a financial adviser before deciding how to pay for independent living or any type of long-term care.

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is for seniors who need a little help with daily tasks, commonly referred to as activities of daily living, or ADLs. These might include:

  • Getting dressed
  • Bathing, grooming and personal hygiene
  • Getting in and out of bed or a chair
  • Using the restroom
  • Eating
  • Walking

Many assisted living communities will also help ensure residents are taking their medications as prescribed, though they may not have licensed medical professionals on staff who can administer medications (such as insulin).

Some assisted living communities are stand-alone communities. Others are paired with independent living communities  — and sometimes memory care and/or skilled nursing as well. Generally, residents in these combination communities have access to many of the same amenities and services.

In some communities that offer multiple levels of care, you may have to qualify for independent living to be eligible to move into the community. Once you’ve become a resident, you can subsequently transfer to assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing if those types of care are offered.

Other communities accept residents directly into assisted living (or a higher care level).

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

As with independent living, the cost of assisted living can differ greatly even among neighboring communities. Genworth Financial conducts an annual Cost of Care Survey to determine fluctuations in costs for long-term care at both the national and state levels.

The 2023 survey by Genworth placed the national median cost of assisted living at $64,200 per year.’s estimated median cost of assisted living was $5,511 per month, or $66,132 annually. By state, the median annual cost ranged from $46,968 in Mississippi to $107,683 in Hawaii, according to

When talking to a sales or marketing associate in the communities you contact, be sure to ask if the base fee covers assistance with ADLs and other assisted living services. Some communities charge extra for those, and the fees can quickly add up.

Also find out if there’s an upfront community fee. In many cases, these fees are nonrefundable.

How to Pay for Assisted Living

Most health insurance plans and traditional Medicare do not cover assisted living expenses, though you may have some limited coverage for medical services provided in an assisted living community. Medicare Advantage plans may offer some coverage for assisted living.

Some might be able to use your long-term insurance policy to pay for at least some assisted living costs, but you may have to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Medicaid programs typically won’t cover assisted living expenses such as monthly rent or fees, but sometimes they will cover nursing services provided in an assisted living facility. Each state’s Medicaid program has its own set of policies regarding coverage.

If you or your spouse is a veteran, check to see if you qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit.

You can also use any of the private pay options mentioned in the independent living section above.

What Is Memory Care?

Memory care centers offer specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, along with ADL assistance.

These communities provide a high level of security — for instance, secure entrances and exits — to help prevent residents from wandering. They also offer programs and activities designed to engage residents and potentially ease cognitive decline.

Staff members typically undergo advanced training before working with residents. Licensing requirements for memory care centers vary by state.

How Much Does Memory Care Cost?

As a rule of thumb, you can add, on average, $1,200 per month to the cost of assisted living to estimate what you’ll pay for memory care, according to Here again, costs vary significantly among communities.

What Is Skilled Nursing?

A skilled nursing facility or nursing home provides a higher level of medical care than the care available in assisted living. This can include wound care, drug infusions and round-the-clock medical monitoring. These facilities commonly have one or more registered nurses on duty at all times, and many have a physician or medical director on staff.

How Much Does Skilled Nursing Cost?

According to the 2023 Genworth Cost of Care survey results, the national annual median cost for a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility is $104,000, and the median cost for a private room is $116,800. Medicare and Medicaid will often cover a substantial share of these costs.

Highpoint at Stonecrest is a rental senior living community offering independent living, assisted living and memory care. We’d love to share more about our community with you.

Call us at 352-251-0919 or fill out our short contact form to arrange a visit.