Treemont Retirement Blog

Assisted Living, Houston TX: Your Financial Questions Answered

Posted by Lisa Witt on Nov 30, 2014 11:42:00 AM

Retirement Homes: Your Financial Questions Answered

Money is always a criterion in any buying decision.  It is likely a high priority in senior living decisions as most seniors are on a fixed income and want their savings to last as long as possible. 

It's time to consider moving to a retirement home in Houston, TX.  What questions should you ask to better prepare yourself for visits to senior living communities?  

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1. Buy-In vs Rental Apartment.  Some communities require a large, upfront “buy-in” of $250,000 or more.  This fee may be refundable if the resident’s passes away and/or may require the apartment to be sold to another customer.  If the community is not full and is looking to lease “newer” apartments, then your apartment may take a back seat to newer “buy-in” apartment sales and result in a delay of payment to your estate.  An senior apartment rental typically calls for a one-year  lease, simiilar to a traditional apartment lase.  Ask if you are bound by the annual lease or can give a 30-day notice should your health or other situation change.  Find out what is included in the monthly payment:  meals, house-keeping, transportation, activities, emergency call system in apartment, complimentary laundry room and utilities, carpeting, window treatments and individual apartment thermostats.

2.Retirement Community Fee.  Is there a fee to move-into an assisted living community?  Is this a one-time fee or a refundable fee?  What is the fee used for? Often times this fee contributes to common activities and also to the enhancement of apartments as new residents move in. Many seniors eagerly anticipate having a robust activities program that includes educational seminars, entertainment, celebrations/ parties, shopping trips and so forth. Some new residents may not recognize the value of these activities in terms of socializaiton with fellow residents. A community fee can ensure a robust activities program that serves the interests of a diverse community. Many residents find new friends late in life. The opportunities for socialization provided by an activities program is a key element of retirement community  life. Here is a sample of an Activities Program at one retirement community.

3. Pet Fees.  Is there a fee to have your pet live in your apartment?  Is this a one-time fee or a monthly fee? Pets can be a treasured source of comfort as seniors transiton to a new living environment.  Residences that are pet-friendly are unique. The fee is often a modest one to cover wear and tear on an apartment.  To read more about the thereaputic role pets play, click here.  

4. Parking Fee.  This assisted living fee is self-explanatory. Is there an opportunity to rent a parking space?  Is the space covered or non-covered?

5. Other Fees.  It is good to inquire if there are other fees or requirements such as purchase of renters or wheelchair insurance or to have a wheelchair fee. More seniors have access to wheelchairs via Medicare.This is a great asset but it is also important that residents with wheelchairs operate them safely to keep fellow residents safe. Often time, communities will ask that residents with wheelchairs have a wheelchair fee to cover unanticipated damage to walls in their apartments. While rare, wheelchair insurance is important to protect wheelchair users in the event of resident accidents. As with any apartment rental, it is important to protect your personal valuables with a renters insurance policy. You might ask if renters insurance is mandatory or discretionary. .

These are some of many questions seniors might consider consider when searching for a retirement home or assisted living in Houston, TX.  Click here to view other topics to consider.  Here is an illustrative Rate Schedule for an assisted living Houston, TX retirement home. 

There will undoubtedly be other financial questions pertaining to senior living in Houston, TX you may have that I've not anticipated.  Please send them my way to and I'll be happy to do my research and respond. Thanks for tuning in to this blog.

Treemont Assisted Living Houston TX brochure


Topics: Top 10 Questions for Assisted Living