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Surveyed residents in AL/IL housing report higher income, self-reliance and overall satisfaction

April 20, 2012
by Patricia Sheehan
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A study to gauge the current and future economic situation of individuals living in private pay independent living (IL) and assisted living (IL) communities finds that residents are generally financially stable, satisfied with their living situation and feel they’re receiving good value for their money.

The survey, conducted by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR), gathered information on the income and assets of the population at the time of the survey (2011), as well as retrospective information concerning living arrangements, care provision and financial gifts given. Topics addressed included the costs and satisfaction with the communities, methods of paying for the community, evidence of spending down or giving away assets, financial concerns and the geographic mobility among the residents.

Key results from the survey reported by the CRR include:

  • Residents in IL and AL communities are generally mid- to high-income households who receive most of their income in annuitized forms: Social Security, pensions and private annuities. Investment income is also relatively common among the residents.
  • The majority of residents report that they are self-reliant, with few relying on family to pay for their community and care. While about one-third of the residents report paying for their expenses out of their income alone, many report actively spending down their assets for their care.
  • Overwhelmingly, residents feel as if they are getting good value for their money.
  • There is substantial geographic mobility among the residents from their previous residence, which was typically an arrangement where they lived alone or only with a spouse.
  • Many residents received non-financial assistance before they moved to their current community, either from family or another type of care community.
  • Combined IL/AL living communities seem to attract residents from longer distances than do freestanding communities.

The survey’s sample consisted of 2,617 respondents living in freestanding IL communities, freestanding AL communities and communities that offer both independent living and assisted living care segments.

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