A community fee is a non-refundable, one-time fee paid by seniors to senior living communities at move-in. Community fees typically range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more. Many senior living communities use these fees to cover the costs of preparing an apartment to rent.

Community fees are charged by most care types including independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities, however, rarely require an upfront community fee.

What is the Typical Cost of a Community Fee?

Community fees typically range from $1,000 - $5,000 or more. Very affordable communities will have a fee on the lower end of that range while luxury communities will likely charge more.

Community fees are often discounted in order to encourage seniors to move-in. These discounts may be as little as $1,000 off or as much as waiving the community fee altogether. This is often done when a community is struggling to fill-up or has an internal goal to reach a certain occupancy in a limited time.

Community Fees vs. Entrance Fees

Community fees are often confused with entrance fees at a continuing care retirement community (CCRC).

  • Community Fees
  • Rental Communities
  • Smaller ($1k - 5k+)
  • Non-refundable
  • No Care Included
  • Entrance Fees
  • CCRCs
  • Larger ($30k - 1M+)
  • Sometimes Refundable
  • May Prepay Care

Entrance fees are often much larger ($30k - $1MM+) and partially refundable. This is because, they are often used by communities to pay for some portion of the resident's care in the future. For instance, the resident may need one year in a skilled nursing facility, which is partially paid for by reducing the refundable portion of the entrance fee in half.

Some seniors like entrance fees due to certain tax advantages of prepaying for care. Other seniors like the lower upfront cost and reduced risk of community fees.

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