The true value of retirement living

Are you considering what the next chapter in your life will look like? Or perhaps you’re helping a loved one to weigh their post-retirement options? A big part of that decision could be choosing between staying in your current home or moving to a retirement residence, especially if you require more support.

Beyond lifestyle, health and location considerations, your budget will no doubt play a big part in your choice. Sometimes, at first glance, the monthly cost of a retirement residence can seem to be more than staying in your own home and arranging for additional private homecare services; however, this isn’t entirely true. What you may not realize is the range of services included in your monthly residence fee—as well as the valuable benefits these services offer—can actually make a retirement residence the best value for your money.

Here are some of the top-value services and amenities often included in a retirement residence’s monthly fee**:

Built-in social opportunities.
The value:
Seniors can sometimes feel solitary living in their homes, especially if mobility is limited by health issues; however, a retirement residence provides numerous opportunities to enjoy new friends and old.
Bonus value: According to research, seniors who stay socially connected are happier and enjoy better overall wellness, contributing to healthy aging.

Restaurant-style dining among friends.
The value:
No more grocery shopping, meal preparation and clean-up.
Bonus value: Research (including Canada’s Food Guide recommendations) shows that eating with others has significant health benefits.

A continuum of care and support.
The value:
Retirement residences offer a range of supportive options, when and if you need them. From help with activities of daily living to medication management, there are optional onsite services to cover a wide range of health and lifestyle needs.
Bonus value: If you require more support services, you don’t always have to move, a worry that many seniors face.

The value:
No more indoor cleaning, as well as managing the cost of exterior home maintenance (lawn care, snow shovelling, repairs, etc.).
Bonus value: You are free from worry about maintaining a property—and you have more time to pursue the activities you love.

A safe, secure living environment.
The value:
Staff are onsite 24/7 to help in any situation.
Bonus value: Living in your own private suite with freedom from concern about intruders or emergency situations.

Onsite activities and amenities.
The value:
A dynamic list of interesting, meaningful (and included) activities is on your doorstep—no more extra expense for outside classes or the challenges of getting there.
Bonus value: Discovering (or re-discovering) new passions and interests—including many brain and body fitness classes—that keep you active and engaged.

Total peace of mind.
The value:
It’s hard to put a dollar figure on living a satisfying, secure lifestyle, where you can pursue your passions, while connecting with friends and family. However, most seniors find retirement-residence living is worth every penny.
Bonus value: Seniors’ loved ones come to the same conclusion.

Trying to determine if you can afford the lifestyle in a retirement residence? Visit the Finance Section on for expert guidance from financial educator, Kelley Keehn.