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What Does Independent Living Cost? 

What Does Independent Living Cost Main

Key Summary

Learn about the cost of Independent Living, including the most expensive and least expensive states, what that price includes, and your best options for financing.

If you or your loved one is ready to transition from a life of chores and household responsibilities to a lifestyle of leisure and pleasure, then look no further than Independent Living. This type of retirement living opens doors to new experiences, friends, hobbies, and more, lifting burdens such as laundry, cleaning the house, and mowing the yard. Your to-do list goes away so you can focus on fun.

Independent Living Community costs will vary depending on the location, the specific community, the accommodations you prefer, and the types of amenities and services available. This article will discuss the benefits of Independent Living, the average costs associated with it, what is included with your investment, and the best way to finance this type of living.

What Is Independent Living and What Does It Include?

Independent Living Communities offer active seniors the opportunity to enjoy more freedom and a maintenance-free lifestyle. By taking the day-to-day chores from you, you will have more time to do the things you want to do. Many communities provide you with access to a team of staff, including housekeepers, professional Chefs, medical professionals, and more. This type of community is an excellent option for people who don’t need specialized medical care services but want assistance with daily living (ADL) activities, including housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation services, and security.

Services and Amenities

The incredible services and amenities found in Independent Living can seem endless, but a few really stand out. On-site amenities may include luxurious private living quarters and beautiful common spaces such as living rooms, sunrooms, beauty salons, fitness centers, libraries, manicured gardens and lawns, patios and more.

Services can include the conveniences of housekeeping, laundry service, transportation, and 24-hour emergency help if needed.


Restaurant-style dining service is essential for many, and Independent Living Communities often have elegant dining rooms for residents to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, many communities will offer dining programs so you can choose the number of meals per month through a dining plan that works best for you. Dine and leave as you please. There is no need to carry around your wallet or stress about shopping and cooking.


All activities are tailored to empower residents’ minds, bodies, and souls, plus they encourage bonding with others in the community and connect residents with common interests. They can also help stimulate the mind, like cooking, painting, book clubs, etc. And even offer physical challenges such as yoga, tai chi, walking clubs, and personal training.

What Does Independent Living Cost?

The value of Independent Living is evident through the ample services, activities, and amenities provided to senior residents. So, if you’re worried about the cost and being able to afford it, know that this is an investment in yourself, and you are worth every penny.

The cost can range dramatically depending on where you live and other choices regarding living accommodation, services you’re interested in, etc. According to Genworth’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly price varies from $2,000 to $5,000 for Independent Living. Many prospective residents often make comparisons in pricing if they are between care types. For example, questions such as “is Independent Living cheaper than Assisted Living?” may arise. While every situation is different, Independent Living may be less expensive than Assisted Living because it does not require the extensive medical and personal care you would find in Assisted Living.

Costs may also be associated with specific communities that offer different varieties of services, amenities, and other items. Learn more about what that may include in our article “What Types of Independent Living Communities are There?

Independent Living Costs by State and Zip Code

Like the housing market, the price for Independent Living will change based on your state. The most expensive location for Independent Living is the District of Columbia, and the least costly is in Missouri, according to Genworth. Below is a guide for the average monthly cost of Independent Living Communities by state (or territory):

Five Most Expensive States for Independent Living

  • District of Columbia - $6,978
  • Alaska - $6,830
  • Rhode Island - $6,826
  • Massachusetts - $6,500
  • New Jersey - $6,495

Five Least Expensive States

  • Missouri - $3,000
  • North Dakota- $3,391
  • South Dakota - $3,350
  • Kentucky - $3,448
  • Alabama - $3,503

How To Pay for Independent Living

You have options for paying for Independent Living, such as private funding, or life insurance. For personal financing, you may have saved retirement funds, obtained a monthly income, or have home equity to pay for long-term care. Also, seniors can sell their life insurance policies for cash, or what is known as a life settlement, and use that to pay for an Independent Living Community. However, it is crucial to understand that Medicare and Medicaid are not options for paying the monthly costs of Independent Living.

Find an Independent Living Community Near You 

Independent Living is an excellent fit for those who intend to enjoy retirement with daily activities and social opportunities along with the added benefits of transportation, security, housekeeping, and dining options.

Referah is here to assist with your search and make it easy to find a community that fits your idea of “home.” We invite you to learn more about your Independent Living options. Begin your search for a local Independent Living Community today!

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