The results of a groundbreaking survey regarding the financial well-being of seniors housing residents are now available to download. The survey was designed and conducted by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) to better understand the current and future economic situation of the individuals living in private pay independent living and assisted living communities.
The survey gathered information on the income and assets of the population at the time of the survey (2011), as well as retrospective information concerning living arrangements, care provision, and financial gifts given. Topics addressed include the costs and satisfaction with the communities, methods of paying for the community, evidence of spending down or giving away assets, financial concerns, and the geographic mobility among the residents.
The survey's sample consists of 2,617 respondents living in freestanding independent living communities, freestanding assisted living communities, and communities that offer both independent living and assisted living care segments. The survey respondents completed an anonymous questionnaire consisting of 41 questions posed across eight (8) pages. The results of the survey are so extensive that the findings are presented in a four-volume set of papers spanning 107 pages.
Key results from the survey reported by the CRR include:
Residents in independent living and assisted living communities are generally mid- to high-income households who receive most of their income in annuitized forms: Social Security, pensions, and private annuities. Investment income is also relatively common among the residents.
The majority of residents report that they are self-reliant, with few relying on family to pay for their community and care. While about one-third of the residents report paying for their expenses out of their income alone, many report actively spending down their assets for their care.
Overwhelmingly, residents feel as if they are getting good value for their money.
There is substantial geographic mobility among the residents from their previous residence, which was typically an arrangement where they lived alone or only with a spouse.
Many residents received non-financial assistance before they moved to their current community, either from family or another type of care community.
Combined independent living/assisted living communities seem to attract residents from longer distances than do freestanding communities.
The research was performed pursuant to a grant from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC), the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) and the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA). The survey results can be downloaded from the websites of the CRR (crr.bc.edu), NIC (www.nic.org), ALFA (www.alfa.org) and ASHA (www.seniorshousing.org).