Senior Resources » What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?

What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?

elderly couple walking down the street in a ccrc development

There are many retirement communities that offer low-maintenance, senior-friendly housing, catering to those with active, social lifestyles. But, what about an option for retirees who have medical or personal care needs? Can they too enjoy the same type of community life and leisure? Answer: YES! A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) might just be the perfect choice for outgoing seniors with specialized health and wellness needs. Why swap amusement for care when you can have both? With a CCRC there’s no need to give up social engagement or fun just because you need a little more. Instead, you can have it all!


What makes a CCRC different from traditional retirement communities?

home care provider with husband and wife at bedside

When you picture a retirement community, chances are you’re imagining something like this: A well-kept development. Probably gated. Quiet, but welcoming. Everyone knows their neighbor – they play cards, go bowling, and take regular fishing trips together.

While it’s not entirely inaccurate, that perception doesn’t even scratch the surface of all retirement communities have to offer. Today, aging adults are more social and wellness-driven than ever, steering senior housing buying trends toward active adult and independent living communities, according to Builder Online.


CCRCs have the unique quality of combining traditional retirement living with the services of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. CCRCs help retirees plan for the possibility of future medical conditions or needs while also providing amenities, social opportunities, and leisure time.

Related: Assisted Living: Features To Look For & Questions To Ask

Some common features to expect from a CCRC are:

  • Housekeeping services
  • Wellness or fitness programs, gyms, and swimming pools
  • Complimentary local transportation
  • Organized community excursions or day trips
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Personal care assistance with activities of daily living (ADL)
  • 24-hour emergency care
  • Memory care
  • On-site recreational activities
  • A calendar filled with events, classes, and clubs
  • Plus, more!

How much does a CCRC cost?

piggy bank with heart and houses in background

Well, that depends. The cost of CCRCs nationwide varies quite a bit. Your final bill will be dependent on things like location, amenities, and payment structure. Nevertheless, here are some important aspects of costs and expenditures you should know:


Entry fees – The greatest advantage of CCRC living is the readily available on-site care. But, having medical care and professionals at your fingertips at all times is costly. That’s where entry fees come in – they’re the upfront cost for care you might need and subsequently is at your disposal. The average entry fee is between $300,000 and $350,000, though some facilities charge upwards of $500,000. These may seem like intimidating numbers, but keep in mind, many times entry fees will be refundable (depending on your contract structure). Also, it’s possible for an entry fee to qualify as a pre-paid medical expense tax deduction.

Service fees – The average monthly service fees of a CCRC ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. This fee will depend on your payment structure and whether you paid anything upfront before moving in. The monthly cost will sometimes include room and board.

Lifecare contracts – This is an all-inclusive contract. It usually features higher upfront costs and perhaps higher monthly fees. However, it is usually a contract that covers everything. Room and board, amenities, services, and medical care for now and later.

Modified contracts – This is a middle-ground type of contract. Residents will maybe pay less upfront or monthly (which will cover some services or future care) and then pay a la carte for situations or needs as they arise.

Fee-for-service contracts – These contracts feature lower entry and monthly fees. Personal care and medical services are paid for on an as-needed basis.


Related: Retirement Communities: Features To Look For & Questions To Ask

If you’re considering moving to a CCRC…

elderly woman holding a magnifying glass

Moving to a new home is a big decision. Finding the right new home for you is an even bigger decision. Start here on your search for continuing care retirement communities. Then, visit these other resources for more info!

Bob Carlson’s Retirement Watch

My Life Site

Popular Articles About CCRC

Originally published September 18, 2023


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