The Value of Renting in Retirement

Florida consistently ranks among the top retirement destinations in the country. Along with year-round sunshine, Florida has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country, making it that much more appealing to baby boomers. In Florida, there is no income tax, no estate tax, no inheritance tax and property tax exemptions for seniors, widows, and veterans!

Florida has always attracted retirees, but the great pandemic-fueled migration south has brought with it a home-buying frenzy and housing shortage. Home prices have risen dramatically in response to a major influx of cash buyers seeking warmer weather and extra space to enjoy during extended periods of confinement. In fact, according to the Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, more than half a million people moved to Florida during the pandemic with no sign of cooling down in 2022!

This is great if you’re looking to sell. Not so great if you’re buying.

From Retirement Home To Retirement Resort

There are many advantages to renting in your senior years. For starters, you won’t need to spend your entire savings account on a down payment. What’s more, service-enriched retirement communities like Sonata Senior Living include access to amenities much more likely to be found in a holiday resort!

Retirement living today is very different than the retirement “homes” of the past. New and remodeled communities today look and feel like a resort with upscale, four-star, hotel-quality hospitality and service.

Modern senior living communities in Florida aim to engage not only the mind, body and spirit, but the ego, too, incorporating luxury amenities such as wellness centers equipped with fitness studios, spas and massage services. Concierge and valet services that will take you anywhere you want to go. And not one, but multiple on-site dining venues, including restaurants, lounges, bistros and cafes. Live theater, music, entertainment, and cultural experiences. The list goes on and on.

In addition to your residence, rent at an all-inclusive independent living community also includes chef-prepared meals, chauffeured transportation, housekeeping, laundry, life enrichment activities, entertainment, educational seminars, and social events.

All the things you need in life–and many you didn’t know you needed–bundled into one single, predictable, and convenient monthly rental fee.

The Value of Renting in Retirement

After a lifetime of working, you deserve a permanent vacation. It is the universally shared reward for working hard and growing “old.”

Think about it. Renting is a retirement rebirth of sorts. It represents freedom in every sense of the word. Freedom to enjoy friends and family. Freedom to celebrate important milestones, birthdays, and holidays with loved ones. And finally, freedom to focus on yourself.

Free from the demands of work and worry of home upkeep, it is a time to discover or renew your passions and personal pursuits, whether it be traveling, golfing, painting, learning a new language or simply reading a book. It is a good time to focus on what makes you happy.

It is not a good time to worry about finances.

From Financial Worries To Financial Freedom

When it comes to finances, many older adults in Florida prefer renting over home ownership and other types of senior housing options. That’s because when you rent, you know what your monthly expenses will be and get to keep more of the money you’ve worked hard to acquire over your lifetime.

Renting a senior apartment is much more affordable than buying a house, particularly during the peak of Florida’s cyclical real estate market. Plus, home ownership comes with a stack of bills to pay every month not to mention unforeseeable upkeep expenses and property taxes.

Renting is also more affordable than an entry fee retirement community. Sometimes called a “continuing care retirement community,” “lifecare” or “life plan community,” an entry fee senior living community typically requires a Type A contract to move in. Unlike renting, the lifecare contract requires a substantial upfront fee, often in excess of $200,000.

That’s because, in a sense, you are pre-paying for your future health care, whether you’ll need it or not. Entry fee communities justify higher community fees by offering a discount on the cost of care in the future.

There are variations on the Type A contract, but ultimately and inevitably, you pay more up front while you are still active and independent, hedging your bets against the future and hoping it will be an investment that yields a return, albeit in unknown and unforeseeable expenses.

On the other end of the spectrum, rent-based independent living, assisted living and memory care communities also require a one-time community move-in fee, but at a much lower rate of around $3,000. You’ll still have access to health care as you age, but you’ll only pay for the care you need, when you need it.

At first glance, renting appears to cost far less. However, you will eventually reach a break-even point. Personal health, lifetime expectancy, and inflation all factor into long-term projections. For example, if you end up needing years of care, the care discount may work in your favor. If you never need any care or need care for only a short time in later life, renting will work out better financially.

Both types of contracts, lifecare and fee-for-service, require a monthly fee, but at the end of the day, renting allows you to keep more cash in your pocket while you are still able to fully enjoy it.

The Cost of Assisted Living in Florida

In 2022, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey projections, the average monthly rent for assisted living in Florida, based on inflation, is around $46,000 a year. This is around 25% less than the monthly cost for home care and around 18% less than the national average cost of assisted living!

Not only is senior living more affordable in Florida, is works out to be a better value than owning a home and aging in place, particularly if you live on a fixed income or prefer to have more financial freedom while you are independent.

The Advantages of Renting

Renting gives you more time and more money to enjoy your retirement years without the burden of home maintenance. It gives you financial freedom and flexibility to travel, learn something new, explore new hobbies, make new friends, and best of all, live life at your best.

Consider these advantages of renting an independent living or assisted living senior apartment in Florida:

  • No large upfront buy-in or long-term contract
  • Flexibility and freedom to move out and fewer restrictions
  • Freedom from home maintenance, cooking and other “chores”
  • Convenient all-inclusive rent (varies by community)
  • Predictable monthly expenses and lower monthly fees
  • Maintain control over your financial future
  • Keep your estate and assets liquid
  • Access to built-in health and wellness services
  • Life-enriching activities, seminars and special events
  • Daily socialization opportunities and built-in community
  • Convenient on-site services, such as a salon and market
  • Access to wellness services that remove the need to coordinate doctor’s visits and other appointments

Keep in mind, contracts, services, apartment floor plans and other features will vary by senior living community. When visiting rental communities, always be sure to ask about your contract options. While not all communities offer all-inclusive pricing, many do bundle essential services with the monthly rental fee.

Call or visit Sonata Senior Living to learn if renting a senior apartment is right for you.

Call Sonata Senior Living to learn more about senior living in Florida or
 schedule a visit to a community near you.

Expect More At Sonata

Visit a Sonata community and find out why putting service first has allowed us to continually raise the bar in senior living and exceed our residents’ expectations.