Helping Clients Transition To Retirement Communities – Financial Advisor Magazine

The stairs may become too much. The yard may become too much. The proximity to friends and amenities may not be substantial.

As our clients in the financial advising world age—by the year 2030, all baby boomers will have reached the age of 65—discussing options as age and health may become a factor will become a common theme.

Whether its access to health care should they need it, adjustments to their home lives or daily responsibilities, financial advisors will be heavily discussing these life transitions that may impact financial goals.

One option at hand may be moving to a continuous care retirement community, known as CCRCs. Helping a client understand the nuances of the decision to transition to a CCRC and then how to select the right one can be incredibly detailed. It goes beyond simply understanding financial risks and benefits, but rather, coming alongside of clients as they adjust their financial plans and make decisions with enormous impact on their day-to-day lives.

What Defines A CCRC?

The benefit of these communities is how they are designed to let residents move into the community and remain there for the balance of their lives, no matter the level of care and living that best fits them as they age. A CCRC generally has four levels of living, including: independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care. As clients age, a CCRC will meet their care needs as their health may change as they grow older.

Selection Considerations

Working with clients on a financial plan as they transition to a retirement community requires thinking through many facets, including future possible needs, financial considerations and the client’s own personal preferences. As you discuss the possibility of a transition to a CCRC with a client, consider:

• Location and reputation of the retirement community, including health-care rankings.

• Financial commitment and ongoing financial obligation

• Amenities such as fitness centers, game rooms, art and libraries, gardening spaces, trip options and outings, continual learning opportunities, and social gatherings

• Dining options and quality of food

• Pet friendliness

• Transportation available for personal outings

• Family-friendly atmosphere for visitors

• Religious and other groups or fraternal affiliations

This list isn’t comprehensive, but they’ll formulate the basis of financial planning conversations with clients in regards to retirement communities. Everything from age, health status and future health possibilities, life expectancy and financial situation will all knit together to help find the right solution.

Once these items have been clarified, it will be time to examine the types of contracts available and which level may be best for the client.