The Average Cost Of Senior Living (2023)

If you’re planning a move to senior living for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to consider the associated costs and your budgeting constraints. The cost of senior living varies depending on a multitude of factors, including geographical location, type of facility, specific care needs and more. As a result, the cost of senior living varies drastically from person to person.

Understanding which factors affect senior living expenses can help older adults and their families make informed decisions—and find the right place to call home. Read on to learn more about the average cost of senior living, as well as possible financial setbacks and expert-backed guidance on managing this significant expense.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Senior Living

Many factors can contribute to the cost of senior living, shares Beau Herman, a Florida-based certified senior advisor and owner of Assisted Living Locators Orlando Northeast.

According to Herman, some of the main factors that influence cost include:

  • Location. Location has a drastic impact on senior living costs. Prices vary by state, county and even locale within a city.
  • Overall cost of living. As the overall cost of living rises in particular location, so does the cost of senior living. What’s more, many facilities increase rates annually to account for inflation.
  • Type of facility. Some facilities offer continuing care, which allows residents to age in place, from independent living to assisted living to memory care. However, other facilities exclusively offer one specific level of care.
  • Health care needs. A person’s specific care needs depend on how much assistance they require throughout the day. Senior living staff determine these needs prior to a resident’s admission and adjust them as needed, whether due to increased age, an injury, illness or other factors.
  • The size and style of senior living facility. Larger communities that offer more amenities and resources tend to cost more than smaller communities that provide the same level of care.
  • Amenities. Communities that offer deluxe entertainment options, such as a pool and a robust activity program, generally cost more than communities that only offer basic options like puzzles and board games.

Although selecting a community that offers the appropriate level of care is crucial, it’s also important to find a community where you or a loved one feel at home. Over time, specific needs and preferences may change, along with associated costs, adds Herman.


Location is an essential factor to consider when discussing the cost of senior living, says Herman. “The cost of senior living is directly proportional to the cost of real estate,” he adds, explaining that prices tend to be higher in cities and other highly populated areas compared to rural areas.

“Prices may vary by state and even by city or town within a state,” adds Amy LaGrant, a gerontologist, Alzheimer’s Association Tennessee Chapter board member and TEDx Franklin speaker.

For example, the median cost of a private, one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility in Alaska in 2023 is $6,830 per month compared to just $3,000 per month in Missouri, according to Genworth’s Cost of Care survey[1]Cost of Care Survey. Genworth. Accessed 5/3/2023. .

Cost of Living

“As the costs for supplies, food and even health care workers increase, those costs pass on to the residents of senior care facilities,” says Natali Edmonds, Psy.D., a board-certified geropsychologist and founder of Careblazers, a resource geared toward providing accurate information to those caring for someone with dementia.

To help counteract inflation, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits undergo an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which was put in place to ensure these benefits are maintained regardless of inflation. In 2023 Social Security and SSI beneficiaries received an 8.7% COLA compared to a 5.9% adjustment in 2022 and 1.3% adjustment in 2021. In fact, the 8.7% increase is the highest COLA received in over 40 years[2]Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Information. Social Security Administration. Accessed 5/3/2023. .

“Most senior living communities have written into their contracts that there’s an annual cost of living adjustment around 3% to 7%,” says Herman. However, following the inflation seen in recent years, many senior housing communities increased their rates between 10% and 15%, which outpaced the 8.7% increase most older adults saw in Social Security, adds Herman.

Care Level

There are multiple levels of care available for older adults depending on their individual needs, says Dr. Edmonds. Some of the most common options include:

  • 55-plus communities
  • Independent living
  • Assisted living
  • Memory care
  • Skilled nursing care

The required care level is based on how much assistance a resident needs with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing and eating, as well as medical attention the resident may need or even the availability of nurse-led care, explains LaGrant.

“The more oversight and hands-on care the individual needs, the more expensive the care tends to be,” adds Edmonds. As a result, 55-plus communities and independent living are generally lower in cost than memory care and skilled nursing care, which require more hands-on assistance and advanced training for staff.

Health Care Costs

As a person ages, the cost of their health care tends to increase as well. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, individuals ages 65 and over contributed 35% of the total health care spending in the U.S. but made up only 17% of the total population. Many older adults also reported experiencing difficulty affording their health care[3]How do health expenditures vary across the population?. Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker. Accessed 5/4/2023. .

Dr. Edmonds explains that senior living residents can also be affected by rising health care costs, as the cost of care within these communities is largely dependent on the resident’s specific needs. During the admission process, each resident is evaluated to determine the level of care required and the associated costs for that care.

“The cost of these senior living communities can vary within the same care level based on individual needs. For example, someone in independent living who is able to take their medications independently typically pays less than an individual in the same place who needs someone to administer their medications,” says Dr. Edmonds. She adds that aging often coincides with additional care needs, which results in a higher monthly rate—or may even require a move to a facility that offers a higher level of care and comes at a higher price.

Financial Setbacks

Aside from the overall increases in cost of living and health care expenses nationwide, older adults often experience additional financial burdens. “The biggest challenge older adults face is inadequate savings during their pre-retirement years,” says Herman.

“As we live longer, our retirement savings dwindle, making securing a stable future increasingly difficult. Inflation and the high cost of health care have made this struggle even more challenging,” adds LaGrant. Unfortunately, this financial strain often has a cascading effect on families.

“In many cases, family members have to cover the cost of senior living, which puts a strain on the family—both on their finances and their relationships. Many families, even those without significant financial resources, may not qualify for financial assistance until they ‘spend down’ or get rid of a certain level of assets, such as their home,” says Dr. Edmonds.

This stark reality makes planning, communication and close coordination all the more important between older adults and their families. Financial conversations and considerations aren’t always easy to talk about, but it’s a crucial topic families should discuss—ideally, before someone makes a move to senior living.

“While financial setbacks are more daunting to [older adults] because of their inability to make up for lost finances, the true impact isn’t necessarily an increased cost of senior living—it’s actually a reduction in senior living options,” explains Herman, who highlights the lack of affordable or subsidized senior living options in many areas. “Once an [older adult] can no longer pay for their living situation on their own and require public assistance, they’re relegated to public living options, which may not offer the same amenities [they had] previously.”


The Average Cost Of Senior Living? ›

Assisted Living / Memory Care

The average cost of assisted living in Texas, as of 2021, per Genworth's Cost of Care Survey 2020, is $3,988 / month, which is a few hundred dollars under the national average of $4,300 / month.

What is the cheapest way for a senior to live? ›

Affordable Housing Options for Older Adults
  • Staying in Your Home. This option is ideal if you do not need comprehensive care for your daily living—or just need some caregiving assistance. ...
  • Living with Family. ...
  • Public and Subsidized Senior Housing. ...
  • Assisted Living and Residential Care Options.

What does it cost to live in a retirement community in Texas? ›

Assisted Living / Memory Care

The average cost of assisted living in Texas, as of 2021, per Genworth's Cost of Care Survey 2020, is $3,988 / month, which is a few hundred dollars under the national average of $4,300 / month.

How much does senior living cost USA? ›

June 22, 2023, at 4:42 p.m. This article is based on reporting that features expert sources. Aging isn't just hard on your health – it can be hard on your wallet too. Senior care, according to various estimates, can cost more than $500,000 per lifetime.

What is the average cost of assisted living in Colorado? ›

According to Genworth's Cost of Care Survey 2021, the average cost of assisted living in Colorado in 2021 was $4,750 / month. However, based on one's geographic location within the state, the average range of cost is fairly large, with $3,800 / month on the low end to $6,275 / month on the high end.

What happens to senior citizens when they run out of money? ›

Seniors who reside in an assisted living facility and run out of funds will be evicted. Elderly individuals who are unable to turn to family for financial support and have no money can become a ward of the state. This may be the case if the senior develops a health emergency and is no longer able to live alone.

Where is the cheapest place to live on Social Security? ›

Iowa tops the list for best states to live on just a Social Security check thanks to a number of factors. Overall, the cost of living is about 16% below the national average, while one-bedroom rents are about 30% less than national norms.

Where is the cheapest place in Texas for seniors to live? ›

El Paso. El Paso is often ranked as the cheapest place to retire in Texas, but it also gets high marks for the overall happiness rating of its residence. You'll get access to high-quality healthcare, recreation, and cultural attractions.

How much money do you need to retire comfortably in Texas? ›

Adjusting this figure for average state-level cost of living, inflation, and average life expectancy at age 65 - plus a 15% financial cushion - Texas residents can reasonably expect to spend, on average, $1,306,460 over the course of their retirement starting at age 65, the 18th highest amount of all states.

What is the average retirement income in Texas? ›

Seniorly experts said, “The average retirement income in Texas is $30,751, Medicare costs $13,458, and 76.1% of seniors spend less than 30% of their income on housing.” The Census Bureau, Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Missouri Economic Research and Information Center provided data for all 50 states.

What states are affordable for seniors? ›

Several states offer a low cost of living without compromising quality of life.
  • Mississippi: The Cheapest Southern State to Retire. ...
  • Oklahoma: Retire on a Shoestring Budget. ...
  • Arkansas: Great Living at a Great Price. ...
  • Best States to Retire Tax-Wise. ...
  • Wyoming: Keep More of Your Money. ...
  • Florida: Sunshine on a Budget.

How much do most nursing homes cost a month? ›

The national median cost for a nursing home stay is $255 per day and $7,756 per month for a semi-private room. For a private room, which jumps up to $290 per day and $8,821 per month. For assisted living, the national median cost is $4,300 and $4,576 for in-home care with caregivers.

How do you qualify for assisted living in Texas? ›

Eligible applicants are people who need an institutional level of care and qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid applicants over 65 should have a maximum income of $2,250 and countable assets of no more than $2,000, though eligibility criteria varies with marital status, level of assistance needed, and other factors.

How much does assisted living cost per month in the US? ›

In 2023, the national median cost of assisted living is roughly $4,774 per month; however, these costs will vary greatly depending on both location and the type of community.

How much is assisted living per month in Colorado? ›

Multiple factors influence the cost of assisted living in Colorado. Many of these factors depend on the type and level of care you need. Long-term care financial company Genworth reported in 2021 that the average cost of assisted living in Colorado is $4,750 per month. This cost has increased by 3.83% in the last year.

Where do old people go when they can't live on their own? ›

Elderly parents who cannot take care of their basic needs such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, walking, or taking their medications at the right time should move into an assisted living facility. Mental, emotional, or cognitive decline can also indicate that your elderly loved one is no longer safe living alone.

Where is the cheapest place for seniors to live in the US? ›

Rather, Alabama is the most affordable state to retire in, according to WalletHub's “2023 Best States to Retire.” The analysis compared all 50 states across three key categories: health care, quality of life and affordability.

What is considered low income for seniors in the United States? ›

To be clear, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) defines "low- and moderate-income seniors" as those having an annual income of less than $30,000; according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's United States of Aging Survey, this equates to 40% of seniors aged 60 and over.

What is the cheapest state to retire in? ›

Five of the 10 most affordable states — Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Delaware and Tennessee — rank among the nation's most tax-friendly, according to a Kiplinger analysis. The least affordable states for retirees are clustered on the coasts: Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California.

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