Rental com­mu­ni­ties for seniors

You pay a month-to-month rent on your res­i­dence, which typ­i­cal­ly includes main­te­nance and basic util­i­ties and a selec­tion of ameni­ties. This type of com­mu­ni­ty works best if you are able to live on your own and don’t expect you’ll need care in the future or are will­ing to pay for it out of pocket.


  • Low­er ini­tial invest­ment – because there’s up-front entrance fee
  • No long-term com­mit­ment – you can leave at any time.
  • You pay only for the ser­vices you need or want
  • Rental com­mu­ni­ties typ­i­cal­ly offer lim­it­ed ser­vices, ameni­ties and activities


  • Cer­tain ser­vices, like house­keep­ing, trans­porta­tion and din­ing, may come at addi­tion­al cost
  • You’ll prob­a­bly have to move out if your health needs change, or you can no longer pay rent.
  • If a senior liv­ing rental com­mu­ni­ty offers a high­er lev­el of care – not all do – such as assist­ed liv­ing, you’ll pay mar­ket rates. 
  • Rental fees are usu­al­ly not tax deductible.

Life Plan Communities

A Life Plan Com­mu­ni­ty like Smith Vil­lage works best if you’re look­ing for an all-inclu­sive lifestyle and want to plan ahead for your future health­care. Life Plan Com­mu­ni­ties charge an upfront entrance fee that guar­an­tees access to what is called a full con­tin­u­um of care,” There is also a month­ly ser­vice fee based on the floor plan and num­ber of occupants. 


  • Guar­an­teed access to a full con­tin­u­um of care, includ­ing assist­ed liv­ing, mem­o­ry care, skilled nurs­ing care, and senior short-term rehabilitation.
  • Dis­counts on senior health­care services.
  • The month­ly fee is all-inclu­sive, includ­ing all util­i­ties, main­te­nance, house­keep­ing, din­ing plan, activ­i­ties, ameni­ties and sched­uled transportation.
  • More social inter­ac­tion and a full cal­en­dar of activ­i­ties and well­ness programming.
  • Greater finan­cial pre­dictabil­i­ty – Since you know up front what your poten­tial costs will be, you can bet­ter plan ahead.
  • Part of your entrance fee and month­ly fee may be tax deductible as pre­paid health care.
  • Many Life Plan Com­mu­ni­ties, like Smith Vil­lage, will con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing hous­ing and health­care if your funds run low.


  • The entrance fee is siz­able. How­ev­er, depend­ing on the con­tract, it may be par­tial­ly refund­able (up to 80% at Smith Vil­lage), when you leave the community.
  • You will need to demon­strate you have ade­quate finan­cial resources.

For-prof­it vs. not-for-prof­it: It matters.

Be aware that some senior rental com­mu­ni­ties can be not-for-prof­it. And like­wise, some Life Plan Com­mu­ni­ties oper­ate as for-prof­it busi­ness­es. What’s are dif­fer­ences, and how can they affect you as a resident?


For-prof­it senior liv­ing com­mu­ni­ties have an oblig­a­tion to their shareholders/​investors to deliv­er a rea­son­able return on their invest­ments. The empha­sis on max­i­miz­ing prof­its can affect staffing lev­els, qual­i­ty of ameni­ties and ser­vices, qual­i­ty of life and the com­mu­ni­ty cul­ture. This is not to say that for-prof­it com­mu­ni­ties don’t rein­vest into their com­mu­ni­ties. But it’s like­ly not at the lev­el you’d find at a not-for-prof­it community.


Not-for-prof­it senior liv­ing com­mu­ni­ties are usu­al­ly mis­sion-dri­ven and oper­at­ed by a faith-based com­mu­ni­ty or fra­ter­nal orga­ni­za­tion. While they do need to make mon­ey, as tax-deductible orga­ni­za­tions their first duty is to serv­ing their res­i­dents, and they rein­vest sig­nif­i­cant­ly more rev­enue back into the com­mu­ni­ty. They also answer to a board of trustees ded­i­cat­ed to uphold­ing the val­ues and mis­sion of the organization.

Learn more about how Chicago’s lead­ing Life Plan Com­mu­ni­ty can ben­e­fit you. Fill out the request form below.