By Max Greenberg
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About this blog: I developed a special interest in helping seniors with their challenges and transitions when my dad had a stroke and I helped him through all the various stages of downsizing, packing, moving and finding an assisted living communi... (More)
About this blog: I developed a special interest in helping seniors with their challenges and transitions when my dad had a stroke and I helped him through all the various stages of downsizing, packing, moving and finding an assisted living community. I live in Palo Alto with my wife and we have three grown children, one still in college. I have been in the Bay Area since 1977 (except for seven years in Newton MA — just missed all that snow too much.) I've worked in sales and marketing in retirement communities for seven years, and have hired and managed home care workers for family members, and have a pretty good idea of how aging in place, or shopping for and selecting the right retirement community works. I now run my own business, Palo Alto Senior Living, providing real estate and senior transition services. This blog is designed to share my experiences, insight and knowledge with seniors and their baby boomer kids and provide useful information to help develop a roadmap for smooth transitions or aging in place. I welcome readers to share their experiences, both good and not-so-good, in the hope that we all can benefit from each other. (Hide)
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1) We are healthy and fine today, but what exactly happens after we move into Independent Living (IL) and one of us needs care? Can we remain in our IL apt and have caregivers help us there? Would we have to move into Assisted Living (AL) and how much extra would we have to pay? Who decides if we have to move into AL?
2) (If you paid a returnable upfront entrance fee which can run from $500K - $1million or more): When we vacate the apartment, how long does it take to get the returnable portion of the entry fee back (usually between 70-90%). Do we have to wait until it is resold (usually this is the case.) Do I still have to pay the monthly fee while it is unsold (usually the case if you are purchasing a condo rather than paying an entry fee.)
3) Is there a charge for moving from one apartment to another, or from one level of care to another?
4) Ask to see the historical rate increases on the monthly fees for the past 5 years, and projections for the next 5 years.
5) Confirm that there is a 90 day cancellation period (state law) that begins on the day you close on the apartment and start paying the monthly fee. It usually does not begin on the day you physically move in. If you are closing on the apt and not moving in for a month or two, negotiate to have your 90 day cancellation period begin on the day you physically move in.