Is there any tax benefit?
Always consult with your tax adviser to determine what your deductions might be. In communities where a senior is contracting for services that include healthcare, if the contract obligates the provider for those services and includes an entrance or Life Lease fee, then a portion of that fee is viewed by the IRS as a pre-paid expense for future healthcare services and qualifies as a one-time medical deduction in the year paid. The amount of the entrance or Life Lease fee that can be treated as a medical expense for tax purposes does not in any way depend on the level of health care services actually received by the CCRC resident during the year in question. It only depends on the community’s aggregate medical expenditures in relation to its overall expenditures or overall revenue from fees paid by its residents. In addition to the entrance or Life Lease fee, a portion of monthly residential fees at CCRCs may also be tax deductible for some residents. Each year, the Accounting Department at FFC computes the percentage that may be applied to determine the deductible amount which is then communicated to residents by January 31st for the preceding tax year. Remember, the IRS says a person must enter into a contractual lifetime care arrangement with a CCRC to claim the tax break mentioned above. It is not allowed to just anyone who enters a retirement facility or nursing home.
Why move to a CCRC?
Many residents believe that the most important aspect of living at a CCRC is having a secure plan for the future. Plus it’s a very good idea to decide before someone makes the decision for you! With lifetime priority access to a full continuum of services, residents and their family members have peace of mind knowing that they will have access to in-home care and assistance, personal care, rehabilitation and skilled care and a memory support community, even if they exhaust their financial resources. And the simple fact is that people living in a retirement community are physically and mentally healthier than people living alone.
What does “priority access” to health care services mean?
As a member of the Community, you will always have preference to openings in the assisted living area, the Health Care Center or The Courtyards over non-resident applicants. This is an important aspect of life at FFC. You and your family members have peace of mind knowing that if services are ever needed, FFC will ensure that care is provided throughout your lifetime.
Does joining a CCRC make good financial sense?
It really does. The cost of living includes both an initial entrance fee, which guarantees your place in the community, and a monthly fee, which covers your living costs and other services. You have a plan in place to cover your expenses no matter what life brings. Neither you nor your loved ones will ever have to struggle with what do to when you face an unexpected health issue or your finances run out.
What is a CCRC?
A Continuing Care Retirement Community offers an entire campus of living choices and health care, from independent living – doing what you are likely doing now without having to worry about maintenance, gardening, shoveling snow, etc. – to assisted living, skilled nursing and dementia care. As physical or mental needs change, you may make the transition to a different level of care in the same community without having to relocate. A CCRC allows you to live with maximum independence until such time as you need assistance. By the way, Friends Fellowship Community is the only CCRC in Wayne County.
When should I move?
Statistics show that the last four years of our lives will be spent in a combination of assisted or skilled nursing care, and do you really want to wait to the last minute to find the place you want at the time you need it? Waiting almost guarantees a panicked search to find a facility that meets your standards and has availability, or worse, leaving that chore to your loved ones. Better to choose a CCRC, get established and make new friends, learn new hobbies and as gracefully as possible, age in place.
Almost everyone says, “Don’t wait too long. Don’t wait so long that a move is completely overwhelming.” If you wait too long, you may end up too old to have the energy it takes to complete a move. And why put that burden on your children?
What happens if I outlive my resources?
FFC is a not-for-profit corporation and once a member of the Community, you are assured lifetime care. There is an application process and we require a financial statement that will help decide whether your income and assets are sufficient to sustain your stay at FFC. A significant part of FFC’s not-for-profit mission is to ensure that residents who outlive their resources, through no fault of their own, are able to continue living at FFC. These residents will receive support to cover their expenses, regardless of whether they live in residential living, the Health Care Center or The Courtyards. FFC maintains an endowment fund to offset the costs of providing this support.
How do I know if I can afford to live at FFC?
Once you have decided to make FFC your home, you would be asked to share your income and assets to be certain that it can support your living expenses throughout your projected lifespan. Every applicant’s situation is unique. Some residents may use the proceeds from selling their home, farmland, or stocks and bonds to satisfy their entrance fee, while others may have help from a loved one.
Who owns FFC? Who runs FFC?
Friends Fellowship Community, Inc. was established as a not-for-profit corporation in 1958 for the purpose of owning and operating a CCRC. There is no outstanding stock of the corporation. FFC is licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health.
Employees of the corporation manage FFC under direction of the President; a management team is responsible for the day-to-day operations and overall functioning of FFC. The Board of Trustees meets quarterly and is responsible for approving the budget and maintaining financial health as well as monitoring quality of care and services. The Board is focused on enhancing the strength of the entire organization, ensuring fulfillment of its Mission and tax-exempt purpose, and recognizing its full potential for providing services to seniors.
How long has FFC been in business and how do I know if the business is healthy and secure?
FFC opened to the first residents in 1965 and currently provides six different areas of accommodations.
The financial statements of FFC are audited each year by the independent accounting firm of Crowe Horwath, LLP. The final audited financial statement is presented to the Board of Trustees at the annual board meeting in December of each year by Crowe Horwath. The annual audit is fundamental to maintaining the organization’s financial integrity and protecting bond holders, residents, and other stakeholders. Please feel welcome to request a copy of our annual audited financial statement, which is also a part of the Initial Disclosure Statement.
What are the entry fees based upon?
The cost depends on the size and style of residence that you choose and whether there will be one or two occupants. Independent Homes, Independent Living Apartments, the Health Care Center and The Courtyards have set life lease fees. Inside the main building, square footage often determines the amount of the life lease fee for Independent Residential and Assisted Residential Apartments.
Is there a minimum age?
Yes, the minimum age at FFC is 62 in all accommodations except Independent Housing, where the minimum age is 60. (For a couple, only one would need to be 60.)
Is there a waiting list? What is the application fee and will this fee be applied to the entry fee?
Yes, a waiting list exists for Independent Housing and Independent Living Apartments, and those prospective residents receive notification of every Home and Independent Living Apartment that becomes available.
The application requires a $200 non-refundable fee, and yes, it is applied to the entry fee when the prospective resident moves to FFC.
What if I join and then later change my mind? Can I get a refund of my entrance fee?
At FFC, the entry fee is amortized over the first 24 months of residency. This means that for the first 24 months you live at FFC, you could receive at least a partial refund of your entrance fee. After two years, however, no refundable portion of the entrance fee remains.
What determines the monthly care fees?
The amount of your monthly fee is based on the style of residence you choose and the array of services provided with your accommodations. The specific inclusions of the monthly fee are detailed in the Disclosure Statement, and may include but are not limited to: meals, housekeeping, all interior and exterior maintenance, snow removal, laundry, 24-hour emergency call systems, utilities, scheduled transportation, etc. CCRCs charge a higher monthly rate as the level of healthcare services increases.
Do the monthly fees increase every year?
Yes, by approximately 3% to 4%. Approximately 65% of our operating costs are wage related. In order to retain a well-trained and motivated work force, we are required to offer a competitive wage to attract new employees and to reward current employees with performance increases each year. A large part of the resident fee increase each year is used to fund these costs of employment. All things considered, that increase is likely to be a lot less than that faced by individual households dealing with increased costs at the grocery store, drug store, gas station and utility companies.
Is there a Residents’ Association?
Yes, we have a Residents’ Association that serves as the eyes, ears and voice of the Community and that frequently meets with the administrators to uphold your interests.
What kind of medical care is nearby?
This is not an insignificant consideration. FFC is located less than a mile from one of the state’s finest hospitals, and many specialists are located in the adjacent medical office building.
Is my dog or cat welcome?
Historically, there has been a no-pet policy at FFC in any of the available accommodations. Recently, Administration recommended and the Board approved the commitment to develop a pet-friendly policy with clear guidelines applying only to Independent Housing, with an implementation date of January 1, 2016.
What kinds of activities are available?
More like, what isn’t? Our Life Enhancement Department is constantly evolving and developing new and fun activities based on what YOU want to do, nothing cut and dried or set in stone about it! If someone has an interest in painting, dancing, music, eating out at tea rooms, taking architectural tours in surrounding cities, current events, bridge, creative writing, patio gardening or you name it, FFC will offer it!
In addition to on-site health care and maintenance of property, what other kinds of amenities are provided?
Any resident can take advantage of the Wellness Center; contract with on-site physical therapists; borrow from a lovely lending library; read in a cozy reading room any of the many daily newspapers and monthly periodicals; have access to round-the-clock healthcare in an emergency; reserve a private dining room to host friends; make appointments in the Beauty Salon; participate in any of the many planned activities and outings; browse the internet in the Computer Lab; purchase essentials in the Gift Shop; create something unique in the Wood Shop or Sewing Room; and of course, walk the many paths on our exquisite and stately grounds.
Are there guest accommodations on campus for visiting relatives? What is the charge?
Yes, several apartments are available as guest rooms for relatives, and the current charge is $65 plus sales tax per night.
What is the dining situation?
Dining is considered an event at FFC, and we hope you will enjoy our newly revamped menu, offering a wonderful and exciting variety of daily choices. If you are here for a tour and would like to sample our fare, you are so welcome to have lunch on us!
What kind of transportation is available?
Our residents in Independent and Assisted Residential Apartments may call ahead and schedule a car and driver for local doctor appointments, visits to the bank or shopping mall, hair appointments, etc. Transportation is also provided by van or bus to numerous local cultural events such as to Richmond Civic Theatre productions, Richmond Symphony Orchestra or the Richmond Art Museum.
What kind of new friends will I be making?
Retirement is possibly a chance to start life over again in a new place. By the same token, many of our residents have enjoyed retiring within skipping distance of lifelong friends or family. FFC has a very diverse group of residents.
How do I downsize?
Studies show that Americans generally use only 20-30% of the space in their homes. Simplifying can be refreshing and freeing. Tossing your unworn clothing, extra furnishings, accumulated dishes and cookware, and garage, basement and attic items actually relieves you of a burden. Moving is an excellent excuse to get rid of stuff you don’t need or use, and you’ll probably never miss any of it!
Am I still hesitant to face the facts about my own retirement?
Worries about the affordability of long-term services and care top the list of concerns expressed by those looking at retirement. How do you plan to manage future health care costs? An alternative to expensive long-term healthcare insurance is to arrange for care through a CCRC. Findings from many surveys suggest that pre-retirees need to do a better job of managing the risks they will face in retirement.