Jan 01, 2015 - 10:18 AM
My best advice for you is to begin with a list of amenities and services with two columns. Fill one column with things you would like to have included and the other with things you can do without. For instance, you do not want to have meals included as a part of your rent. After you have a list and an expectation of what you can afford, contact the 55+ and independent senior living communities to inquire. When you have a list of top candidates, don't hesitate to ask for a tour of the property so that you are fully informed before you make a final decision.
As a rule of thumb, meals that are bundled into the cost of the rent generally cannot be waived. However, you always retain the choice to attend meals or not. If you find a community that you prefer that does include meals that you won't attend, ask the property manager for a rent concession. Most properties have a policy in place and some will work on a case by cases basis for their residents. Depending on your unique need in searching for senior living options, you may find that having meals available is a truly beneficial amenitiy.