Is the long-awaited moment of retirement approaching and you are thinking of moving to a private residence that will offer you all the services? Or a loved one in your entourage is in need of care and is looking for a place adapted to their needs? In all cases, one question often comes up at the beginning of such a search: what is the real cost of a retirement home?
Living in a seniors’ residence has many interesting advantages! However, it must be done within your budget. You should know that the price of rent in a retirement home can vary greatly depending on many factors: geographic location, services offered, size, etc. It is therefore best to take the time to plan this transition and determine your needs before making this important decision. Whether your search for a residence is for yourself or for an elderly relative, we can help you better understand the cost of a retirement residence.
Understanding the true cost of a retirement home in Quebec
While your quality of life and your needs should be a priority when selecting a retirement home, it is inevitable that you will be concerned about the associated price. How much are you willing to pay to live in a residence? Depending on your income, you will of course have to choose a living environment where the cost of rent will respect a realistic budget for you.
Factors that influence the cost of living in a retirement home
In order to fully understand the true cost of a seniors’ residence, it is essential to take into account the many variables that influence the total price.
Some of these key factors include:
- the location of the chosen residence (city, region, proximity to shops and services, etc.) ;
- the services included (meals, activities, housekeeping, etc.)
- access to health care if necessary;
- the size of the rent as well as the number of rooms needed (3 ½, 4 ½, 5 ½) ;
- and much more.
Faced with all these factors, it is therefore necessary to establish what the priorities are for you. In our opinion, this is an essential aspect! Choosing to move to a seniors’ residence may become one of the most important decisions of your life. It’s important to be well prepared. Our suggestion: take the time to make a list of your main needs! This step can often be done as a family. Marie-Hélène Laplante, one of our dearest housing advisors at Visavie, talks about this in this video (English subtitles available).
Another valuable piece of advice we can give you is to take the time to compare each of the senior residences. Your Visavie counsellor will inform you of the different rates of the residences and the complete list of services offered in each of them. But above all, take the time to visit them! This is the best way to get a feel for the place. When you visit the residences with your Visavie counsellor, you will be able to meet the staff, see the atmosphere and maybe even talk to some of the residents who already live there. This will allow you to assess whether the true cost of the residence seems reasonable.
|Localisation||Private rooms||Studios||1 bedroom apartments|
|Montréal CMA||2 088 $||1 491 $||1 888 $|
|Québec CMA||1 879 $||1 547 $||1 960 $|
|Lanaudière||1 655 $||1 436 $||1 628 $|
|Laurentides||1 864 $||1 612 $||1 629 $|
|Mauricie||1 518 $||1 444 $||1 860 $|
|Trois-Rivières CMA||1 602 $||1 417 $||1 793 $|
|Montérégie||1 821 $||1 637 $||1 729 $|
|Sherbrooke CMA||1 594 $||1 517 $||1 810 $|
|Gatineau CMA||2 000 $||1 695 $||2 403 $|
|Ottawa||1 825 $||3 486 $||4 879 $|
Planning your retirement budget
It’s never too early to start preparing for retirement! In fact, this stage of our lives requires a lot of planning. There are many things to consider. And, by the way, each person’s retirement plans are different. Do you plan to retire at a very young age? Do you plan to wait until you are 65? Perhaps you dream of traveling? Each plan is unique. In any case, the budget must be well planned for this new stage of your life.
First, consider making a list of your income. These may include:
- your employment income ;
- pension plans
- your various RRSPs ;
You will then have to do the same for your expenses:
- grocery and meal costs ;
- electricity costs
- monthly car and gas payments; telephone costs
- telephone costs;
- health and personal care (hair salon, dentist, etc.) ;
- and so on, depending on your needs.
This exercise will be very useful. It will help you determine how much money you have left to pay your rent. Because there is no doubt that no matter where you live, the cost of rent is likely to be your biggest expense.
Financial assistance and tax credits: what you are entitled to
The good news is that financial assistance and tax credits are available to support seniors financially. Whether through federal or provincial programs, assistance can make it easier to pay the bills associated with the cost of living in a seniors’ residence.
Tax credit for home support for seniors
Offered by the Quebec government, this tax credit is very interesting and deserves to be discovered. It can provide a real financial boost, whether you have decided to continue living at home for your retirement or if you live in a private residence for seniors. And yes, even those who live in a (certified) residence can take advantage of the Senior Home Support Tax Credit.
However, in order to take advantage of the credit, you must meet certain simple eligibility criteria:
- be 70 years of age or older ;
- be a resident of Quebec.
If you meet these conditions, you can apply. The amount is then determined according to a number of factors. For example, for a single independent person, the amount can still reach a total of $19,500 according to the 2020 data. Let’s face it, this financial aid is pretty easy to take. There is no need to deprive yourself of it! Especially if it allows you to improve your quality of life through quality care and services that ensure your well-being.
According to Revenu Québec, here are a few examples of eligible services for this tax credit
- housekeeping ;
- assistance with dressing and personal care ;
- nursing services ;
- assistance with meals;
- grounds maintenance and snow removal ;
- domestic help ;
⇾ Interested in learning more about this topic? We invite you to check out our article specifically devoted to the Senior Home Support Tax Credit.
Shelter Allowance Program: help with your rent
Are you familiar with the Shelter Allowance Program? Its purpose is to help those whose cost of a seniors’ residence represents too large a part of their total budget. We agree: access to housing is essential. That’s why financial assistance is so important!
To find out if you qualify, first make sure your situation fits one of these three scenarios:
- a single person aged 50 or over ;
- a couple where at least one spouse is 50 years old or older;
- part of a low-income household with at least one dependent child.
Eligibility for this allowance is equally valid for those who own, rent, room with others or share the home in which they live. To learn more about this rental assistance program for people with lower incomes, consult the Shelter Allowance Program section on the Revenu Québec website.
When the time comes to find the ideal retirement home for you, don’t forget to pay attention to the rates and especially to what is included. Understanding the true cost of a retirement home involves analyzing all the factors that influence this price and choosing carefully according to your needs. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly, but rest assured that there are resources available to assist you in this process. Our friendly Visavie counselors are at your service to guide you.
By planning your budget properly before you retire, you will be better equipped and well prepared. Also, don’t forget to take into account the tax credits and assistance programs available to help you pay the cost of your rent in a retirement home. In any case, the important thing is that you can live well in an environment that will meet your needs.