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MERICA IS GRAYING FAST. In
fact, an American turns 62 years old
every 7.5 seconds — more than 10,000
a day. By 2015, more than 45 percent
of Americans will be over-50 baby boomers, ac-
cording to retirement strategist Bill Losey. And
they don’t just want to gray; they want to go
platinum — in style and comfort. community in central Texas. “We heirs — should they move out. “We
Even military offi cers who have lived knew approximately how much we pay no utility bills [and] no property
in a private residence often turn to a would receive from selling our house, tax, and we call maintenance if some-
retirement community. But preparing what it would cost to move, and what thing requires repair,” says Davis.
for a move takes some savvy fi nancial assets we had that we could apply to According to Losey, costs not only
planning these days. this new home,” says Graham. “Our vary, but they also are on the rise. His
fi gures were quite accurate and thus estimate for bottom-line costs of long
Your choice of three dictated how much we could spend.” term care in an assisted-living com-
Independent-living communities: Also, a fellow military retiree over- munity that, in 2008, ranged from an
These communities offer the best saw the construction of their new average of $36,000 to $78,000 a year
of mixed-generation residences but home and sent them photographs will increase to $96,000 to $206,000
with mature-focused facilities and and humorous “reconnaissance” re- annually in 20 years.
activities. They often cater to active ports on the progress. Graham says Continuing care retirement com-
adults, with sports facilities, or to there were no fi nancial surprises, and munities (CCRCs): CCRCs require
those with common interests. now, nine years later, his decision to an entrant to have reasonably good
After many visits and making sure move was “the right one.” health, with the expectation that his
they did their homework, Lt. Gen. Assisted-living communities: or her condition could change.
Charles “Chuck” P. Graham, USA-Ret., These communities emphasize “help- Gen. John Adams Wickham, USA-
and his wife moved to an active-adult er” services for less-active retirees. If Ret., a four-star general appointed
needed, help with dressing, transpor- Army chief of staff by President Rea-
tation, and other daily needs is avail- gan, has lived in an upscale, resort-
able to keep generally healthy retirees style CCRC in Tucson, Ariz., for
involved in the kinds of activities they two years. He compared costs with
enjoy and the community offers. a nearby facility and determined an
Cmdr. Darold “Doc” Davis, USN- $18,000-a-year savings because of “no
Ret., weighed entrance costs and taxes, no homeowner insurance, no
other variables in October 2004. A association fees, no utilities other than
California facility with a nonrefund- telephone and high-speed Internet,
able $15,000 to $20,000 entrance fee no costs for yard or building mainte-
would cost him up to $6,500 a month nance, no expense for weekly clean-
for two meals a day and amenities. ing, [and] no expense for repair or
Instead, he and his wife moved closer replacement of defective equipment
to relatives in Texas, where they pay such as washer, dryer, AC, or heating.”
Dine in or out? Find out whether about $2,000 a month for a bigger
meals — and how many of them — house, one meal a day, and the assur- The bottom line
are included in your monthly fees. ance that 90 percent of their entrance Trying to compare apples-to-apples
fee will be returned — to them or their services and facilities is important,
7 6 M I L I T A R Y O F F I C E R M A R C H 2 0 0 9 PHOTOS: LEFT, SHUTTERSTOCK; PREVIOUS SPREAD, MOODBOARD/CORBIS; SHUTTERSTOCK
MMar_Costs.indd 76ar_Costs.indd 76 11/30/09 6:32:37 PM/30/09 6:32:37 PM
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