Independent Living: Cost vs. Value

For older adults who are retired or nearing retirement, determining how and where they'll live during retirement is an important decision. One great option for seniors is independent living communities. 

The baby boomer generation is fueling demand for senior living options that are not only high quality, but are also high in value. Independent living is a type of retirement lifestyle choice that has grown in recent years, especially among older adults looking for a retirement option with an active lifestyle that offers both flexibility and convenience. 

However, like any housing option, independent living communities vary in amenities, services, cost, and living options, so seniors should take the time to research these communities to determine if they fit with their lifestyle and make good financial sense. 

In this article, we will explore the cost of independent living with its benefits and overall value. 

What is independent living? 

Independent living communities are designed for older adults seeking a retirement lifestyle that is free of the demands of home ownership and offers an environment where they can socialize with their peers.  

Residents in independent living communities can choose from upscale housing options including one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or three-bedroom apartments.  

In addition, these communities offer convenient on-site services and amenities for residents.  

Independent living’s services and amenities 

One of the main advantages of independent living is the variety of services and amenities offered to residents. Most independent communities offer the following convenient services: 

  • Housekeeping 
  • Personal laundry service 
  • Mailroom 
  • Concierge services 
  • Apartment repairs and maintenance 
  • Transportation to shopping and appointments  

In addition, modern independent living communities like Allegro’s Fort Lauderdale, FL, location offer the following amenities: 

  • Art gallery 
  • Movie theater 
  • Cocktail lounge 
  • Formal dining room 
  • Fitness center 
  • Game room  
  • Yoga studio 
  • Pool and cabanas 
  • Dog park 
  • Putting green 
  • And more! 

Download our Guide to Funding Senior Care and Housing to learn more.

Social opportunities 

Independent living communities keep residents socially active with a variety of planned events and activities that may include: 

  • Workshops 
  • Happy hours 
  • Continuing education classes 
  • Volunteering opportunities 
  • Wine tastings 
  • Cooking classes 
  • Fitness classes 
  • Entertainment 
  • Spirituality sessions 
  • Off-site excursions 

Independent living’s cost 

Independent living communities can be expensive, so seniors must understand the potential costs upfront. Most independent living communities charge a monthly rent, ranging from $3,000 to as much as $6,000, depending on your location and the type of apartment you select. 

Other cost factors to know and ask about up front include: 

Entrance fees: Most senior living communities require deposits or entrance fees. Ask questions to determine if the community charges these fees and if they’re refundable.     

Cost structure: Senior living communities typically have one of the following cost structure: monthly rental, or buy-in (also known as life plan or continuing care retirement communities).  

Additional fees: Some independent living communities may charge an extra fee for some activities, services, and amenities. 


Independent living is a viable lifestyle choice for many older adults seeking a maintenance-free and socially active lifestyle. Choosing independent living depends on an individual's preferences, priorities, and financial situation.   

For some seniors, the onsite services, amenities, convenience, and a vibrant community justify the cost. For others, the expense may outweigh the benefits.  

Ultimately, the value of independent living is a personal choice that should be considered carefully. Before deciding, seniors should evaluate the cost and value of independent living to make the best-informed decision for their lifestyle. 

Download our Guide to Funding Senior Care and Housing to learn more about the potential sources of funds to help you pay for senior living expenses. Contact the friendly advisors of Allegro Senior Living for more information about senior living and to schedule your tour. 

Download Your Senior Funding Guide

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