The Truth About Life Plan Communities

Top 10 Life Plan Community Questions Answered

The transition to retirement can be seamless when you find the right community. So, where do you start? We’ve touched on some of the basics of finding the best continuing care retirement community and answered some surface-level questions, but let’s take a deeper dive into understanding Life Plan Communities.

Learn how to choose a Life Plan Community and bust some of the myths associated with it by reading on.

Fact vs. Fiction: Life Plan Community Myths

There are a few myths to be aware of when looking at Life Plan Communities. These often shed a negative light on transitioning into your new phase of life. However, it’s essential to understand what’s fact and fiction. Here are a couple of the top myths associated with Life Plan Communities and the truth behind them.

You’ll lose your independence when moving into a Life Plan Community.

Answer: Fiction.

The first thing that comes to mind about transitioning into a retirement community is the loss of independence, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Communities like Seafields at Kiawah Island, for example, offer various activities that foster personal growth and will benefit your independence in the long run. In fact, Seafields is made up of a majority of independent living residences. The benefit of this approach is that you can explore your ability to choose, and adapt comfortably without the hassle of maintenance or upkeep that comes with living independently in your own residence.

You must be a certain age to live in a Life Plan Community.

Answer: Fiction.

The second most common myth is that you have to be a certain age to think about moving into one of these communities. Though some Life Plan Communities do have a minimum age, you should consider your options well before that time and start making a plan.

Suggested: Is Independent Senior Living Right For Me?

Living in a Life Plan Community is like living in an institution.

Answer: Fiction.

Lastly, many believe living in a Life Plan Community is like living in a nursing home. However, most Life Plan Communities incorporate a plethora of amenities to give the same comfort of aging in place. Seafields offers numerous amenities such as community-led activities and spacious, functional floor plans that help to solidify your independence, as well as help you to engage and thoroughly enjoy your new life filled with leisure.

A Deeper Dive: Top 10 Questions to Consider

Now that we have a better understanding of what’s true and what’s false when it comes to Life Plan Communities, let’s explore some of the questions to consider before moving into a Life Plan Community.

Related: How to Choose the Right Senior Living Community

1. Where is the nearest hospital?

With age comes the responsibility of understanding your current health situation and knowing where your closest healthcare providers are. Luckily, Seafields is a community that has not only incorporated new healthcare technology making virtual care convenient, but they have also broken ground on a new facility that will grant access to physical care for all of Kiawah Island. The new MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion will provide convenience and security to all of the residents of the Sea Islands.

Considering nearby healthcare options is essential to ensure your wellness and safety will be the top priority in your new community.

2. Does the area have local accommodations?

Getting out and about around town is imperative for moving into a new community. It helps you to adjust to your new environment and get to know your community. Local amenities such as grocery stores, transportation, and walkability are all equally important when considering a Life Plan Community.

Seafields provides a variety of nearby walking paths and trails to get you out and about in your neighborhood, as well as offering concierge services. The island is also located adjacent to Freshfields Village, a timeless and serene setting with a perfect blend of shops, businesses, and restaurants. These accommodations make it easy to enjoy your retirement.

Additionally, Charleston is within easy reach of the community. With its rich history and Lowcountry charm, the city still retains much of its character. When family members visit, this makes for an excellent day trip.

3. Does the staff work a regular schedule?

Independent and assisted living communities rely heavily on their well-trained and vetted staff. Understanding their hours and availability is key, as they can help you with some daily tasks and provide helpful information. When transitioning into a community like Seafields, this is an important factor to consider. Our staff is available 24/7 to help you with any needs you may have. 

4. What are the available floor plan options?

Senior living provides the most contemporary and functional floor plans. These trends in senior living will set the tone for a comfortable lifestyle after retirement, from technology to mobility.

Floor plans are available at Seafields in a wide variety of layouts. Learn more about the many options you have to choose from in our blog about thoughtfully designed floor plans.

5. Are there outdoor living areas?

For a healthy lifestyle, outdoor space offers many options for getting out of the house. You can enjoy fresh air and socialize with neighbors in these areas. At Seafields, we strive to create an inviting outdoor space for our residents. Private balconies and verandas are available in many of our independent residences.

6. Does the community provide various options for dining?

Dining is an important consideration when moving into a new community. Aside from the Freshfields Village dining options, when you choose to live at Seafields, you’ll have a variety of dining options just around the way and within walking distance from your residence. This includes fine dining, patio, lounge, and grab-and-go options. With many food choices, the possibilities are endless. Dining is an important consideration for accommodating any food restrictions and discovering new and exciting tastes.

7. Are there any entrance fees?

In addition to maintaining your chosen residence, the entrance fee funds long-term capital improvements and the community’s care continuum. In other words, it’s your investment in the care you’ll receive in the future. Depending on your contract, you or your estate may have a significant portion of your entrance fee returned.

Related: Retirement Community Entrance Fees: What They Are and What’s Included

Unlike real estate, this is an investment in the quality of life for you after retirement. In the same way as any club membership, you will be required to pay an entrance fee to join the Seafields community and reserve your desired residence at either a 90% or 0% refund to your estate. After you pay your entrance fee, you will have lifetime access to your residence and all the amenities and services at the property. You will also be required to pay your monthly fee after you move in.

Each year, residents are assessed monthly fees (usually in January), and any adjustments will be announced during a town hall presentation to all residents. Seafields residents will receive a monthly credit of “campus cash” that can be used for any food equivalent to two meals per day. You can also roll over unused campus cash to a certain extent and use it for visiting family members or friends.

8. Is there a waiting list?

Occasionally, there is a waitlist for joining some communities. As a result, you will need to start thinking about your transition as soon as possible and decide whether the community is worth your time based on the wait time. Since many people apply before they are 65, this isn’t uncommon. 

At Seafields, to apply, you don’t have to be 65 or older, but you and your partner must be at least 62 when you close your contract. We also currently do not have a waitlist. We strongly recommend that those making reservations now are very serious about their commitment. 

9. Are there any special requirements?

For some communities, you’ll be required to take specific tests for proper evaluation. To take advantage of what Seafields offers for future needs, future residents should be mentally, physically, and financially healthy before entering. In order to determine if you are capable of living independently and safely, a medical evaluation is required. Your residency agreement may be amended to exclude certain healthcare benefits if you do not meet these requirements. 

In addition, you will need to fill out a financial application. The rule of thumb is that residents should have twice the assets and income of the apartment they are considering, however, special circumstances may allow for variances.

10. Does this senior living option qualify for tax deductions?

There are two potential tax savings that can be gained by moving into a CCRC. Monthly fees can be deducted once per year, and entrance fees can be deducted annually. As a prepaid medical expense, you can deduct the costs even if you live independently at a CCRC and require little or no care.

Interested in learning more about the CCRC tax deduction?

Read our blog to learn how this tax deduction can benefit you.

Join Our Community at Seafields at Kiawah Island

Asking the right questions and comparing your options is essential to making an informed decision about senior living. The importance of mental and physical wellness is emphasized in well-balanced Life Plan Communities like Seafields. 

We strive to provide residents with an elegant lifestyle, a friendly atmosphere, and a diverse range of recreational opportunities at Seafields at Kiawah Island. With 90 independent living units and various floor plans, our community provides spacious living that feels like home.

To start your new life at Seafields, click the button below. Let us help you begin your new phase of life with refinement and leisure!