Over the past few decades, numerous options for retirement living have been created. One option is the Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC. Sometimes referred to as “Life Plan Communities,” CCRCs are different from other types of senior housing because these communities provide housing, personal services, and health care, usually at one location. CCRCs are a lifestyle choice — an option for people interested in an active community with lifelong learning opportunities that offers the amenities and services they are interested in now, as well as health care and supports that they might need in the future as they age.

CCRCs usually require a substantial entrance fee as well as monthly fee for room and board and/or health related services. CCRCs must also have a contract or agreement with the resident. As described in this guide, these contracts can take many different forms, but all must be effective for the life of the individual or for longer than one year.

CCRCs typically combine a variety of housing options on one campus, from townhouses or cottages for independent living, to assisted living apartments for elders who need some personal care assistance, to nursing home accommodations for elders who require more comprehensive care. As the health needs of an individual change over time, residents have access to different apartments and housing styles within the CCRC campus.

In addition to providing housing, CCRCs provide or make available some combination of health and property management services and amenities. These amenities are designed to maximize a resident’s independence and usually include:

  • Nursing and other health-care services
  • Meals, usually in a community dining area
  • Housekeeping
  • Emergency assistance
  • Personal care assistance
  • Recreational and social activities
  • 24 hour security
  • Building and grounds maintenance

The composition of service packages varies greatly by CCRC. The cost of these services is covered by a monthly fee, which usually ranges from $2,000-$6,000 per month. The variation in fee is based on the CCRC’s size, amenities, and type of contract.

Most CCRCs also require a sizable entrance fee that is usually similar to the cost of purchasing a house in that town or city. A portion of the entrance fee may be refundable depending on the structure of the contract with the CCRC.