Caveat Emptor CCRCs

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) provide lifelong housing, household assistance, and nursing care in exchange for entrance fee and ongoing monthly fees. 

An older adult can have an independent lifestyle for as long as possible but also provide the reassurance that they can stay in same campus if level of care escalates to nursing home or memory unit level. 

Prudent investigation and use of professional assistance is advisable because:
  • CCRCs may be financially vulnerable during periods of economic decline
  • 2008 was incipient of a recession with tight real estate and credit markets
Summary 2010 GAO findings:
Risks to You

(1) CCRCs can benefit older Americans; however developing CCRCs can face a number of risks both during their development and after they become operational

(2) Few states required information that could help the consumer assess each CCRC's long-term viability, and few states conducted financial examinations. 

(3) CCRC financial difficulties can lead to unexpected increases in residents' monthly fees

(4) Most of the states GAO reviewed take steps to protect the interests of CCRC residents, such as requiring the escrow of entrance fees and mandating certain disclosures. For example, a number require contracts to be written in clear and understandable language.