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What Does Assisted Living Cost?

Updated: March 27, 2023
By: Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith
Sr. Content Manager
As Retirement Living’s senior content manager, Jeff oversees the product and publishing of all retirement, investing, and consumer wellness content on the site. His extensive expertise in brand messaging and creating data-driven stories helps position Retirement Living as a top authority for senior content and community resources.
Sr. Content Manager
Edited by: Lauren Hamer
Lauren Hamer
Lauren is the editor for Retirement Living focused on discussing current senior-related issues, including retirement planning, consumer protection, and health and wellness. With six years of finance and career journalism experience, Lauren has edited personal finance content for Credible, Angi, Slickdeals, Jobs for the Future, and more.
What does assisted living cost?

Home Health Care Costs

We all want to remain independent for as long as possible, but some seniors realize at a certain point they could use some help with daily activities. An assisted living lifestyle is often the most appropriate next step in this situation. Assisted living is independent living in an apartment with the added benefit of having help nearby for medication management, meal preparation, housekeeping and transportation. Seniors enjoy social connections, wellness programs, secure housing and cultural outings in an assisted living facility. Costs associated with assisted living include the housing, utilities, and care services.

Assisted Living Costs Nationally

There are thousands of choices across the country for seniors who want to join the assisted living lifestyle and who don’t need skilled nursing care at all times. The National Center for Assisted Living reports that more than 835,000 Americans are now residing in assisted living facilities, which shows its popularity. The average median cost for an assisted living apartment in the United States is about $3,700 per month and the majority of residents are age 85 and older.

Assisted Living Costs Per Region

Home Health Care Costs

Source: Retirement Living

You should be able to locate an assisted living facility in and around the closest city to you but keep in mind, facilities in large cities are usually more expensive than facilities in suburbs or smaller cities. Residents living in assisted living facilities are dispersed regionally as follows with 8.2 percent living in the Northeast, 21.8 percent in the Midwest, 28.1 percent in the South and 42 percent living in the Western United States. The farther north you go, the more you will typically pay to make an assisted living facility your home. Genworth reports the most expensive states for assisted living facilities are in Alaska, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut and Massachusetts, while the least expensive states include Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan.

How To Choose The Correct Assisted Living Facility

According to The National Center For Assisted Living there are 30,200 assisted living communities with 1 million licensed beds in the United States today. So, if you have decided on an assisted living lifestyle, there is most likely a community suited to your needs located in a city close to you. Communities range from four beds to almost 500, so decide on what size of community best makes you feel at home. Typical services offered include 24-hour supervision and assistance, exercise, health and wellness programs, housekeeping and maintenance, meals and dining services, medication management or assistance, personal care services and transportation. Make your choice based on your budget, needs and preferred location. There is usually a buy-in fee, which is a one-time payment for joining the assisted complex. Check to see if your chosen facility charges a flat yearly fee or a tiered fee that allows you to choose your services a la carte. With the latter, you only use and pay for the services you need, while you may find it less expensive to get the full menu of amenities. Research closely with these questions these in mind.

Bottom Line Cost of Assisted Living

The American Seniors Housing Association reported that in 2016, the median price for a one-bedroom assisted living apartment with a single occupant was $3,628 per month. The most recent records show the cost of an assisted living facility is $45,000 a year, with a proposed five-year annual growth projection of 3 percent, according to the 2017 Cost of Care Survey by Genworth Financial Inc. If the trend continues, costs are likely to go up each year, so it is important to plan for this expense as early as you can. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that an American turning age 65 today has a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support in his or her remaining years, so it’s wise to do your research now before deciding later to move to an assisted living facility.

Most Affordable Cities For Assisted Living

After retirement, you start to pay attention to your budget a little more. Cost is one of the biggest factors to consider when it comes to searching for an assisted living facility. It’s important to know how much assisted living facilities cost according to each city and state. We ranked our cities from least expensive to most expensive so you can make sure you stick to your budget.

Most Affordable Cities For Assisted Living
Rank City State Cost
1 Fort Smith AR $2,620
2 Durham NC $2,750
3 Fort Lauderdale FL $2,765
4 Greensboro NC $2,880
5 Tulsa OK $2,903
6 Miami FL $3,000
7 Tampa FL $3,000
8 Wilmington NC $3,000
9 Fayetteville NC $3,100
10 Oklahoma City OK $3,129
11 Bakersfield CA $3,150
12 St. Louis MO $3,293
13 Little Rock AR $3,300
14 Orlando FL $3,338
15 Fayetteville AR $3,360
16 Dallas TX $3,375
17 Atlanta GA $3,390
18 Phoenix AZ $3,500
19 Des Moines IA $3,500
20 Mesa AZ $3,500
21 Stockton CA $3,500
22 Riverside CA $3,500
23 San Diego CA $3,500
24 Fresno CA $3,500
25 Jacksonville FL $3,625
26 Kansas City MO $3,658
27 Tucson AZ $3,695
28 Cedar Rapids IA $3,712
29 Charlotte NC $3,800
30 Houston TX $3,825
31 Raleigh NC $3,841
32 Redding CA $3,900
33 San Antonio TX $3,925
34 Baltimore MD $4,000
35 Winston-Salem NC $4,108
36 Sacramento CA $4,473
37 Los Angeles CA $4,500
38 Chicago IL $4,695
39 Washington D.C. DC $4,800
40 Seattle WA $5,250
41 San Francisco CA $5,500
42 Oakland CA $5,500
43 Fremont CA $5,500
44 San Jose CA $5,500
45 New York NY $5,920