A senior woman takes notes while using a calculator

How Much Does Senior Living Cost and How Can You Create an Ideal Budget?


Create Your Senior Living Financial Plan

Designing a worry-free retirement starts with making forward-thinking financial choices. Many people are surprised at what a cost-effective investment senior living is. Often, senior living is comparable to — if not cheaper than — staying in a house, and it adds numerous additional lifestyle and wellness benefits. This guide can help you break down the real cost of senior living and determine what sort of residence and level of health care your monthly budget actually allows.

Step 1: Determine What You’re Spending Now

Categorize current monthly expenses. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, living in a house can be expensive. Take a few moments to tally recurring costs.

Housing Expenses Monthly Average
Property taxes
Utilities (electric, water, gas)
Security system
Lawn care/landscaping
Exterior home maintenance (painting, roof repair, pest treatment, etc.)
Interior home maintenance (painting, appliance repair, HV/AC maintenance, painting, carpet cleaning, etc.)


Transportation Expenses Monthly Average
Car maintenance (car washes, oil changes, inspections, repairs)


Fitness/Wellness Expenses Monthly Average
Gym membership
Fitness classes

Almost all these regular expenses will either be covered within your monthly fee or will be lowered by services offered at the community.

Step 2: Consider Future Care

Health Expenses: This category is difficult to break down into predictable boxes, because it could change at any moment. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, approximately 70% of adults age 65 and older will need long-term care at some point, with the average length of such care being 3 years. With a Type A LifeCare® plan like you find at The Heritage at Brentwood®, you receive priority access to higher levels of care (assisted living, rehabilitation, memory care, skilled nursing) at virtually no change to your independent senior living costs. If you or your spouse require long-term care, the right senior living community could offer significant savings compared to market-rate health care.

Step 3: Use the MoneyGauge™ Calculator

With the MoneyGauge Calculator, you can input some pertinent information — all of which stays completely confidential — and the program will let you know what sort of floor plan would best fit your monthly budget. Simply answer seven easy question about your age, income and assets, and you can begin picturing a maintenance-free future at The Heritage at Brentwood.

Step 4: Subtract Tax Deductions and Refunds

Within a LifeCare contract, a portion of your monthly expenses and your entrance payment may be tax-deductible. Additionally, your entrance payment is 100% refundable to you or your estate. You’re investing in your future health care, but there are smart ways to recoup a significant portion of the costs and protect your estate.

Once you’re armed with the real cost of senior living and understand how that number compares to your current expenses, come on in to see the community in person. Contact The Heritage at Brentwood, and a team member will be happy to answer further questions and give you a tour of the community.

Remember, the budget is only the beginning of your journey. Figuring out the financial equation unlocks a future with maintenance-free living, new friends, life-expanding amenities and time to pursue passions.