The Second Edition of my Book is Available on Kindle!!

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Click here to purchase!

Here’s the overview:

Continuing care retirement communities (called “CCRCs” by industry insiders) are retirement communities that offer multiple living options (independent living, assisted living, and nursing). In exchange for an entrance fee and ongoing monthly fees, CCRC’s agree to care for residents for the rest of their lives.

Written by a former senior housing consultant, Continuing Care Retirement Communities: An Insider Tells All is a sweeping overview of the popular senior housing product. The book shows you:

  • What services are offered for seniors
  • How to find communities in your area
  • What to look for during your visit
  • How to read the contracts and disclosure statements
  • Why some communities go bankrupt
  • Some warning signs for potential residents of CCRC’s

The second edition has been updated and includes three new chapters: the financial analysis of CCRCs, how to learn about quality of care at a CCRCs nursing home, and the state of the senior housing industry since the recession.

You deserve the best coach when searching for the community of your dreams! Continuing Care Retirement Communities: An Insider Tells All shows you the good and the bad in the industry and offers advice on how to make the most of your move into senior housing.

 

Here’s the preface:

[Note: I have decided not to publish a paper copy of this book for a few reasons (mainly that it’s expensive and time-consuming). If you would like a paper copy, shoot me an email, and I’ll figure out a way to send you a file that you can print from the comfort of your home.]

You’re reading a second edition of my book. Why did I feel the need to put together a second edition? Well, some things have changed over the past few years:

  1. I’ve found a new (and better) source for nursing home information.
  2. Improvements in the economy have flowed over into the retirement industry, and consequently, senior housing is doing well.
  3. Hedge funds and other institutional investors have gotten more involved in senior housing.
  4. Readers have written to ask me questions that I feel should be covered in a new edition.

As a result, I’ve added three new chapters and updated the entire book with information pertinent to today’s economic market.

I am also going through some personal changes that make 2015 a good year to rerelease my book.  I’ve been writing about the senior housing since 2011. I initially scheduled one article a week, but, frankly, senior housing doesn’t move that fast. After a while, I got a bit tired of writing the same stuff over and over.

Plus, I’ve always liked digging deeper into intellectual topics and have been doing so in my spare time. In 2014, I started taking higher-level math courses on the side, and as of August 2015, I’ll be starting a PhD program. It will demand a great deal of my attention. Thus, in preparation for that transition, I want to give my readers a fresh look at senior housing before crawling into the cave that is my new PhD office.

In this updated edition, you’ll find all of the same information that was in the original: information about how to find retirement communities, how CCRCs fees and contracts work, how to negotiate for upgrades, and what happened during some of the industry’s biggest bankruptcies.

I’ve also added more information to help readers who have questions about their move to senior housing: a financial perspective on the costs of moving to senior housing versus staying at home, some good advice on learning about nursing homes in your area, and an update on the aftermath of the 2007 housing crash and how it impacted CCRCs.

While I probably won’t be writing for SeniorHousingMove.com or releasing books after 2015, I’ll still have my email, Virginia@SeniorHousingMove.com, and I’ll keep the site up and available. If I see anything that’s incredibly interesting or that seniors need to know, I’ll add a post.  But, frankly, most of what you need is either in this book or on my website.  I don’t anticipate that the industry makes a huge shift any time in the near future.

If you have questions, please email me.  I like helping people, and I don’t mind fielding a few questions now and then about how to find a good community.

I have enjoyed my years at SeniorHousingMove.com, and I appreciate all of the comments that I’ve gotten from my readers over the years.  I hope that I have helped you find the best place to spend your retirement years.

Virginia Traweek

May 1, 2015

Dear Readers

This spring, I’m taking a brief break from blogging. While I have loved writing for you, I have an interesting opportunity that I just can’t turn down. However, I am still researching, speaking and writing about senior housing.

Although I’m not actively blogging, you can still find plenty of good stuff on the site about senior housing. In order to make it even easier, you can read my best, most informative articles by clicking on the links below. I’ve roughly grouped them by topic, but there is a great deal of overlap:

General:

Continuing Care Retirement Communities:

Independent Living:

Assisted Living & Memory Care:

Nursing Homes

Hospice/Home Health/Living at Home:

And, of course, you can always buy one of my books on Amazon:

Also, just because I’m not blogging right now doesn’t mean that I’m not here to help answer your questions. If you have anything that you don’t see answered on my site, feel free to email me: Virginia@SeniorHousingMove.com.

Additionally, I’m still happy to come speak to your group about senior housing issues. You can email me for more information.

Have a safe and prosperous 2015, and thank you for visiting Senior Housing Move.com.

Virginia

The Naked Truth about CCRC Entrance Fee Refunds

Continuing care retirement communities market the entrance fee refund as a big selling point.  They try to make it sound like an easy transaction: You give them $100,000 to $1,000,000 up front, and they’ll return a portion of that fee to your estate when you die.  Since you’ll be selling your home to pay for the entrance fee, it’s not like it’s money you’ll miss, right?

Like most things in life, the truth isn’t that simple.  Entrance fee refunds are not the straight-forward transactions that CCRCs would have you believe.  In this post, I’ll share some of the hidden downsides of the entrance fee model, specifically as it relates to the entrance fee refund.

Be warned: This is kind of a dark subject, since it deals with what will happen after you die (or move out of the community).  But, for those who want to know, here are the facts.

Virtually all communities will have some waiting period after you pass. Obviously the manager of the CCRC won’t be standing over your bedside with a check waiting for your family the moment you pass away. But, you would except a check be presented to the estate within 30 days, right? Nope.  The truth is that your family may have to wait for a long time (in some cases over a year) for the refund to be processed.

Some communities require that your apartment be “resold.” In other words, your independent living apartment must be reoccupied by a new tenant.  How long does that take?  Could be months.  Could be years if the community has trouble filling the apartment.  And guess what?  Even after it gets reoccupied, the community usually has 45 days or more to cut your estate a check.

Some communities require that ALL of your apartments be “resold.” Spent a few months in assisted living and/or nursing? Those apartments must also be reoccupied by a new tenant before you get your check.

Refund policies vary if the apartment doesn’t sell. Some contracts stipulate a one-year maximum waiting period.  Others don’t say anything about when you’ll be getting a refund if apartments don’t sell.

No matter what’s in the contract, the community still has to have enough cash to pay it back. This seems like common sense, but most people don’t really think about it.  Your entrance fee refund is 100% dependent upon the community being in the financial situation that would allow them to pay you back.  While most states have laws requiring that CCRCs keep a certain amount of cash on hand for refunds, this can be put in danger if the community is in financial difficulty. Thankfully, this has been a rare occurrence historically.

Want to protect yourself? There’s two main things that you can do:

  • Check your contract. The resident agreement will contain a detailed description of how the community plans on paying you the balance of the fee.  If it’s important to you that your estate get the refund in a timely manner, then pay particular attention to this section of the agreement.
  • Don’t move in if the terms aren’t favorable. For too long, CCRCs have made all of the rules when it comes to resident agreements.  It’s worked out for the most part, but some seniors have gotten seriously burned when communities went bankrupt. While the CCRC lifestyle makes it tempting to overlook things like the entrance fee refund policy, I believe that seniors have the power to express their displeasure and be a force of change in the industry.

Want to learn more about CCRCs? Check out some other posts:

Who owns CCRCS?

What is adult daycare?

What is memory care?

Why pushing for a move to senior housing isn’t a good idea.

Books are on sale!

Dear readers,

I’m in the process of writing/editing a second edition for my book, Continuing Care Retirement Communities: An Insider Tells All.  The old price for the first edition was $13.99 plus $3.99 shipping/handling, but I’d like to clear out some of my inventory so that I have room for a second edition.  Therefore, for a limited time, I’ll be selling the first edition for $5.99 plus $3.99 shipping/handling.  This is a huge steal, and it’s cheaper than the Kindle version.  This will only last for as long as I have the first editions on hand.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone! BUY IT NOW

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