- Thirty-seven percent of seniors over 80 years old are paying over 30 percent of their monthly income on housing. Unfortunately, that housing might not even meet their needs for accessibility, comfort, or safety.
- This affects younger seniors as well, as more than one-third of seniors over 50 are spending 30 percent or more a month on housing.
- Even more shocking is that 23 percent of senior homeowners, as well as 30 percent of renters, are spending more than half of their monthly income on housing costs.
What Is Affordable Senior Housing and Care?If you are an older adult with limited mobility or chronic health issues who need medical aid or daily assistance, an assisted living facility is an option. However, assisted living is one of the more expensive types of senior living. This is due to the moderate or high level of care involved with senior services. If you require specialized care, such as memory care, dementia care, or diabetes care for seniors, then you will most likely pay a premium for this type of senior living. This brings up the next question concerning paying for assisted living for seniors.
What Are Some Affordable Senior Housing Options?Back to budgeting for housing expenses, there are several options for affordable senior living.
Low-Income Senior Apartments and CondosSeniors who are interested in low-income apartments and condos should check out the Good Samaritan Society. This is an evangelical Lutheran organization that provides religious housing for older adults on a budget. You would apply for budget-friendly senior apartments through the Good Samaritan Society branch in your area. The minimum age is as young as 50, which is beneficial for this age group of seniors. You do not have to be a member of a Lutheran church to use these services, but you will have to show proof of your low income.
Cooperative Housing for SeniorsIn a housing cooperative for low-income seniors, you can save money by helping out. These co-ops typically involve apartment rentals, in which seniors all pitch in to handle maintaining the building. For example, older adults are given chores or jobs, such as answering the phones at the front desk or cleaning the community kitchen. In doing so, this helps to cut administration costs and makes senior living more affordable.
Section 8 HUD Housing for SeniorsHUD senior housing is a type of Section 8, which is government-controlled low-income housing. This type of senior housing may be available in apartments, condos, single-family homes, or townhomes. In order to be eligible, older adults must apply with a local housing authority. While there is almost always a long waiting list for HUD housing, older adults who meet certain qualifications may be provided with immediate housing. This includes being homeless or without a safe and sanitary place to live.
Virtual Retirement CommunitiesAnother modern way to save money on housing for seniors is to become a member of a local virtual retirement community. This is a type of community outreach that provides older adults with a variety of accessibility services. For instance, a virtual retirement community might provide transportation, grocery shopping, tree removal, or group outings for members. Within a virtual community, the members pay a very low annual fee of approximately $400, which goes to employees who provide the services for older adults. This is one of the lowest costs for senior care services available in the US.
Adult Family Homes or Adult Foster CareAn adult family home is a type of foster care that involves a group setting of seniors who live collectively in a home environment. These residential homes must be approved, licensed, and monitored by the local Department of Family Services. The home itself is managed by paid supervisors, as well as a team of counselors, nurses, dietitians, and social workers. Within the home, older adults are provided with daily needs, as well as housing, meals, and social activities. Keep in mind this type of affordable senior housing is for individuals with a low level of care who do not require specialized medical care.
What Are Budgeting Ideas for Seniors on a Fixed Income?When you know exactly how much money you have as a senior with a fixed income, it can be easier to set a budget. At the same time, a fixed income may not be enough to cover the necessary expenses. To see where you are with your fixed income as an older adult, start by writing down your mandatory expenses. These include:
- Medical insurance
Did You Know: There are hundreds of brands that offer discounts for older adults to help you save. Visit our guide to senior discounts to learn more.
Savings Tip: As you calculate your budget and work on getting your finances in order, check out our financial guide for seniors. We cover important financial topics like planning for expenses and ways to make your money stretch.