How much does assisted living cost?

An assisted living facility is expensive, but you can help cover the costs with the right long-term care insurance policy. Getty Images

Advancements in medicine have led to many Americans living longer. While this is good news, it also means that more people may need help taking care of themselves as they age. 

While some will need the full-time care of a nursing home, another option is an assisted living facility. The staff at these communities help residents with medical care and daily living activities, but residents generally have needs that aren't as intense as a nursing home. Residents in assisted living facilities have apartments or houses on site and can live fairly independent lives.

While an assisted living facility isn't quite as expensive as a nursing home, it can still have a significant impact on most seniors' budgets. That said, there is a way you can prepare now for the potential cost of an assisted living facility, and that's by purchasing a long-term care insurance policy

Start looking for a long-term care insurance policy today.

How much does assisted living cost?

There are a few factors that help determine how much an assisted living facility will cost.

Where you live

One of the main factors that impact the cost of an assisted living facility is your location. Genworth published a Cost of Care survey in 2021 with a tool to determine the cost of long-term care services based on where you live. This is the most recent data available, but keep in mind that costs have likely changed since then – and will continue to. 

The national average cost for an assisted living facility was $4,500 per month in 2021. However, the costs vary significantly based on your location. In New York State, for example, the average cost of an assisted living facility was $4,580 per month in 2021. In California, the average cost per month was $5,250 — and in Oklahoma, it was $3,855.

The average assisted living costs will vary within each state, too. For example, the cost of an assisted living facility in the Los Angeles area was, on average, about $5,250 per month in 2021. In Fresno, it was $3,900 per month.

Find a long-term care insurance policy now to help cover the costs.

Type of care needed

The type of care you need will play a major role in how much you pay for assisted living. For example, a resident who needs help with daily tasks will likely have to pay more than someone who only needs help with medical management. The National Council on Aging notes that some facilities will offer tiers of care, with different costs associated with each tier. 

Or, if you have Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, there may also be a memory care fee associated with a switch to the memory care unit in the same facility, which will increase your total cost.


Another factor that impacts assisted living facility costs is the facility you are using. Some assisted living facilities come with access to recreational amenities, like pools and pickleball courts. Others simply offer a place to live and some medical facilities. The assisted living facilities with more features will generally cost more.

The NCOA notes that many smaller, more affordable assisted living facilities still offer great care. It also suggests focusing more on the quality of care rather than the aesthetics of the facility.

Long-term care insurance can help

The average assisted living prices are high – and will likely continue to go up. According to Genworth, by 2051, the national average cost of an assisted living facility is expected to be about $10,923. It is important to plan now for how you'll pay for this type of care if you need it.

One way to prepare is to buy a long-term care insurance policy. This type of coverage works similarly to other types of insurance policies. You pay premiums to an insurance company in exchange for certain types of coverage. These benefits can be used to pay for many different services, which include assisted living facilities but can generally also be used to pay for nursing homes, in-home care, adult day care services and even hospice care.

The bottom line

An assisted living facility allows you to get the help you need but still maintain some independence. While this type of facility is expensive, you can prepare to pay for these costs now by getting the right long-term care insurance policy.

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