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How Much Does Assisted Living Cost? Factors & Price Structures

24 minute readLast updated May 23, 2023
fact checkedon May 23, 2023
Written by Melissa Bean
Reviewed by Leslie Fuller, LMSW, CDPLeslie Fuller, a Licensed Master Social Worker and Certified Dementia Practitioner, is the owner of Inspired Senior Care.
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Assisted living communities offer housing and care options for seniors who remain active but need help with some activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing or toileting. Residents in assisted living communities enjoy senior-focused services, amenities, and activities along with a welcome sense of community. These communities focus on physical health, intellectual stimulation, and social connection. But how much do they cost? Assisted living prices depend on how much or how little assistance a person needs, and in some cases, rent and services may even be tied together. Location, on-site amenities, services, and more also factor into the cost of assisted living.

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How much is assisted living?

A bar chart that shows the national yearly median cost of assisted living

While you may be seeking out the average cost of assisted living, it’s actually more helpful to understand the median cost. The median — meaning half the prices are higher and half are lower than that number — shows a more realistic picture of what someone can expect to spend, because assisted living average costs can be easily skewed by extremely high or low numbers. This is especially true in states, such as New York, that have many ultra-luxury assisted living communities, as the average in those cases may not truly represent the middle.

A Place for Mom compiled data on assisted living costs based upon partner community information. This data set shows the national median cost of assisted living communities in 2023 as the following:[01]

  • $158 a day
  • $4,807 a month
  • $57,684 a year

In some areas, assisted living costs are closer to $7,200 a month, while states with a lower cost of living offer assisted living prices closer to $3,300 a month.[01] Prices of luxury assisted living communities and budget assisted living communities can vary greatly because of the services provided at each. Additionally, assisted living costs may vary by ZIP code, city, or state.

Between 2019 and 2020, the median cost of assisted living across the country rose by 4.65%.[02] The following table outlines the percentage of change over the last decade.

YearPercentage of change of the national median cost of assisted living from the previous year

According to data from Genworth, the median cost of assisted living is continuing to steadily rise over time with different percentages of change each year, as shown in the chart above.[02,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11,12]

How much does an assisted living facility cost by state?

How much an assisted living facility costs by state is related to that state’s cost of living index. Each assisted living community has its own design, levels of care, technology, location, and activities. All these factors affect the cost of assisted living facilities in different states.

For example, you may be wondering how much assisted living costs in a popular retirement state like Florida. The median cost of assisted living in Florida is $4,195 a month.[01]

Cost of living index

It can be quite expensive to live in some states, while it’s cheaper to live in others. Even between cities within a state, the cost of living index can vary greatly.

A cost of living index compares what it takes to maintain a certain standard of living in a given location. Cost of living is not only housing costs but also electricity, gas, water, taxes, food, and any expense related to living and thriving in that location.

Cost of living indexes typically center 100 as the national average. So, places with index numbers below 100 have a lower cost of living and places above 100 have a higher cost of living. Typically, a higher cost of living index number indicates that you can expect to see higher assisted living costs in that state. For example, many Northeastern states have high cost of living index numbers and more expensive median assisted living costs.

Most expensive and least expensive states for assisted living

Similar to the cost of living index, the median cost of assisted living places is typically higher in the Northeast, Hawaii, and Alaska. Likewise, median assisted living costs by state are typically lower in the Midwest and the South.

According to the A Place for Mom’s proprietary data, these are the five states that had the least expensive median cost of assisted living per month in 2023:[01]

  1. Wyoming
  2. Alabama
  3. Mississippi
  4. Louisiana
  5. Georgia

These are the five states that had the most expensive median cost of assisted living per month in 2023:[01]

  1. New Hampshire
  2. New Jersey
  3. Hawaii
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Vermont

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What are median monthly costs of assisted living in each state?

If you’re wondering how much it costs for assisted living per month across the U.S., read through the table below. It outlines the median monthly and yearly base fee of a private, one-bedroom apartment in assisted living and also notes the cost of living index by state:

StateMedian Monthly Price (2023)Median Yearly Price (2023)Cost of Living Index (2023)
New Hampshire$7,200$86,400114.6
New Jersey$6,690$80,280111.7
New Mexico$4,108$49,29694.1
New York$5,504$66,048126.6
North Carolina$4,950$59,40095.8
North Dakota$4,380$52,56096.0
Rhode Island$5,180$62,160111.8
South Carolina$4,158$49,89696.4
South Dakota$4,255$51,06093.4
Washington State$5,125$61,500115.5
West Virginia$4,395$52,74089.3

Depending on the pricing model of the assisted living providers surveyed, the above figures may reflect base fees that don’t include extra services like assistance with activities of daily living, medication management, and more.

Assisted living costs by ZIP code

Just as costs vary from state to state, assisted living expenses can even vary from ZIP code to ZIP code. To learn more about assisted living pricing in your zip code, visit the Genworth Cost of Care calculator and enter your ZIP code or the ZIP code of your loved one.

How much does assisted living cost for a couple?

If we assume that each partner pays the national median monthly cost of assisted living ($4,807) and both have their own unit, then the couple would be paying $9,614 a month for assisted living.[01]

However, it’s challenging to calculate the cost of assisted living for many couples because of the following factors:

  • Different care needs between the partners
  • Different health issues
  • Different levels of supervision required by each partner
  • Various living arrangements (rooming in the same unit or separate units)

If you’re planning to live in assisted living as a couple, it’s a good idea to ask prospective communities how they approach fees for couples and if they offer any sort of couple discount.

What are assisted living upfront costs?

Base-fee and other upfront costs of assisted living homes typically include the following:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Three meals a day and snacks
  • Weekly housekeeping and groundskeeping
  • Programming and activities
  • Care coordination
  • Transportation to and from doctor appointments

Assisted living costs fluctuate depending on the size and floor plan of a resident’s apartment, the age of a building, on-site amenities, and an area’s cost of living. Most communities also have a one-time entrance fee, sometimes called a “community” or “move-in” fee, which is typically between $2,000 and $5,000.

Additional service fees

Residents usually pay more for additional services. Many communities may provide an assisted living cost breakdown to prospective residents, with a variety of add-on expenses for assisted living, such as:

  • Help with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Medication management
  • Physical or occupational therapy services
  • Beauty shop services or other special services
  • Clothing purchases
  • Internet
  • Laundry
  • Medical fees and insurance
  • Pet fees and/or pet services
  • Transportation

What are the typical pricing models in assisted living?

Assisted living communities may offer the following cost structures to residents:

  • A la carte. This structure allows residents to add or remove services as their needs change, which provides flexibility for future needs. However, pricing a prospective community is more complex, as month-to-month assisted living costs may change over time.
  • All-inclusive. This pricing structure includes everything from rent, care services, meals, and all other services and amenities available to residents of a community. This means costs won’t change if a senior develops greater needs — as long as the community offers the care level needed, like nursing or memory care.
  • Tiered. A community may offer different care levels at different price points. Prices typically rise with an increase in services. This type of pricing offers predictable costs and offers a resident options to upgrade to a higher level of care in the future without moving.

How much does the average tenant spend on assisted living?

The median stay at an assisted living community is 22 months, according to the American Health Care Association.[14] In 2023, the median cost of assisted living nationwide is $4,807 per month.[01]

If we calculate a 22-month stay in assisted living at this 2022 rate, the resident will have spent $105,754 during their time in assisted living.

How do assisted living costs compare to other options?

For some seniors, it may make sense to compare the costs of assisted living vs. nursing home care. The chart below compares the median costs of different senior care types, nationally, as collected from the 2021 Genworth data [01] and APFM proprietary data.[15]

While Genworth has yet to release 2022 data for some care types, it’s important to note that senior living costs are anticipated to continue to rise in response to inflation and increased demand as baby boomers reach retirement age by the end of the decade.

Care typeLatest median daily cost (nationally)Latest median monthly cost (nationally)Latest median yearly cost (nationally)
Nursing home facility, private room$297 (Genworth, 2021)$9,034 (Genworth, 2021)$108,405 (Genworth, 2021)
Nursing home facility, semi-private room$260 (Genworth, 2021)$7,908 (Genworth, 2021)$94,900 (Genworth, 2021)
Home health aide (based on 40 hours per week)$154 (Genworth, 2021)$4,680 (Genworth, 2021)$56,160 (Genworth, 2021)
Homemaker services (based on 40 hours per week)$240 (APFM, 2023)$7,300 (APFM, 2023)$87,600 (APFM, 2023)
Assisted living facility$158 (APFM, 2023)$4,807 (APFM, 2023)$57,684 (APFM, 2023)
Memory care$197.10 (APFM, 2023)$5,995 (APFM, 2023)$71,940 (APFM, 2023)
Adult day health care$78 (Genworth, 2021)$1,690 (Genworth, 2021)$20,280 (Genworth, 2021)

Living at home or with family may be another viable option for seniors. However, all the individualized variables make it difficult to determine the median cost of personal living arrangements.

Additionally, your loved one may opt to live at home with a visiting nurse, and it can be difficult to estimate those home care costs. Agency fees, state minimum wage laws, and localized nurse and health care worker shortages may cause the fees for a visiting nurse to vary greatly from city to city.

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How many people use nonresidential care types?

Adult day services centers may be an option for those who remain at home. As of 2020, 4,127 centers in the U.S. provided care to more than 237,000 participants on any given day of that year.[16]

People may also utilize home health care agencies to prolong their time living at home, as well. As of 2017, more than 4.5 million people received care from home health care agencies during that year.[17]

How many people use residential care types?

Seniors who choose or need senior living may first choose assisted living. More than 800,000 people reside in assisted living communities, and approximately 60% of assisted living residents will move out of their assisted living community and into a skilled nursing facility.[14]

As of 2017, 1.3 million residents lived in nursing homes in the U.S.[18] Roughly half of residents spend at least one year in their nursing home.[19]

It can be challenging to determine how many people live in memory care, because “memory care” may refer to stand-alone communities or a type of service offered in units within assisted living communities. People with dementia may also reside in nursing homes because of their unique health situations.

What should I ask an assisted living community about pricing?

Remember that costs will depend on every resident’s unique situation, so being as prepared and informed as possible can help your family avoid surprising costs and sticker shock.

To learn more about a potential assisted living community’s pricing, consider asking the following 10 questions:

  1. How much does assisted living cost per month?
  2. Is this community all-inclusive?
  3. If the community isn’t all-inclusive, what’s included in the base cost?
  4. Are there a la carte options to add to the base cost? How much do each of these options cost?
  5. Are there pricing tiers for levels of care?
  6. Is there a move-in fee or community fee? How much is it, and can we pay it over time?
  7. Does the price increase annually?
  8. How much does pricing vary by floor plan?
  9. What happens if my senior loved one’s care needs change and we need to move them to a community with a higher level of care?
  10. What happens if our family can no longer pay?

What payment options exist for assisted living?

It can feel overwhelming trying to figure out how to pay for long-term care, but there may be multiple options available to your loved one.

Some pathways to pay for assisted living include the following:

  • Insurance.Long-term care insurance may pay for your loved one’s assisted living. However, each plan is different, so it’s best to contact the insurance provider for precise details.
  • Private payment options. Your loved one or your family may opt to pay for assisted living with money from savings or retirement accounts.
  • Public payment options. Depending on your family member’s situation, they may qualify for some assistance through public payment options such as Medicaid.
  • Real estate investments. Your loved one may be able to sell their home to pay for assisted living. If selling isn’t an option, they may be able to access funds through a reverse mortgage on their property.
  • Veterans benefits. If your loved one served in the U.S. military or is a surviving spouse of someone who served, they may be eligible for VA benefits for long-term care through programs such as the VA Aid and Attendance benefit.

How can I find assisted living options?

Navigating the transition into assisted living may feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. The specialized Senior Living Advisors at A Place for Mom offer free senior living consultations to help with your search for assisted living. These compassionate professionals can help you find local, assisted living options that may suit your loved one’s unique situation, all at no cost to your family.


  1. A Place for Mom. (2022). Summary Assisted Living Placements.

  2. Genworth. (2021). Cost of Care Survey.

  3. Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Cost of living data series.

  4. American Health Care Association. National Center for Assisted Living. Facts and figures.

  5. A Place for Mom. (2021). Summary 2021 memory care placements.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. (2022, December 14). Adult day services centers.

  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. (2022, December 14). Home health care.

  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. (2022, December 15). Nursing home care.

  9. Health in Aging Foundation. (2020, October). Nursing homes.

Meet the Author
Melissa Bean

Melissa Bean is a copywriter at A Place for Mom, where she primarily creates content for veterans and caregivers. She pairs over a decade of writing experience with expertise gained from her time as a military programs volunteer and military spouse. She studied journalism at the University of Kansas.

Edited by

Marlena Gates

Reviewed by

Leslie Fuller, LMSW, CDP

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