Hi! I’m Lisa Sorensen. I’ve served as a Sales Advisor with St. John’s United for over 17 years, primarily working with people investigating our independent living options. Almost all of our SJU independent living communities are entrance fee based, and for some people that’s a new concept. In this blog I’ll go over three common “FAQ’s” (frequently asked questions) about entrance fees.

What’s an entrance fee and how does it work?

An entrance fee is a largely refundable sum of money paid upfront to secure a residence in a 55+ or senior living community. Just like your home is assigned a price based on its size and location, entrance fees vary based on the square footage and location within the community. An entrance fee investment lowers a person’s monthly fee, which covers services like maintenance, housekeeping, utilities, internet, and some meals. Currently at our SJU independent living communities, entrance fees are 90% refundable when a resident moves out and a new person moves in. Contracts with different refundable percentages are also being discussed for future SJU developments to give people more choices.

What are some of the benefits of an entrance fee contract?

Entrance fees allow people to preserve a portion of their assets for future use, e.g. to cover health care costs, or leave a legacy for family or favorite charities. Since an entrance fee is different from an ownership/buy-sell agreement, people enjoy significant financial savings as they say goodbye to property taxes, large homeowner’s insurance payments, maintenance costs, etc. An entrance fee also gives organizations like St. John’s United the opportunity to set predictable monthly rates for a period of time (usually a year), allowing people to plan their budgets without the worry of unexpected expenses (like unplanned home repairs).

Another bonus of the entrance fee contracts offered at St. John’s United is our Long Term Care Benefit that provides a monthly discount off the cost of higher levels of care within our continuum (assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing) should they be needed. Finally (and possibly most important), an entrance fee contract offers peace of mind to our residents and their families, because it offers one of the highest degrees of priority access to those higher levels of care. Priority access means just that – we meet our residents’ needs first, before we offer our services out to the general public…because our residents are our top priority.

Who is responsible for reoccupying the residence and when is the refundable portion returned?

The sales team at St. John’s United takes care of reoccupying apartments after they are vacated, so there’s no burden placed on you or your family, and there are no added realtor costs, etc. The 90% refundable portion of an entrance fee is returned once the original residence has a new occupant, and once the Long Term Care Benefit is no longer being used. At that time, we return the money to the resident, or to their designated beneficiaries/estate.

We’ve had our entrance fee contracts reviewed by clients who were bank presidents, attorneys and financial planners, and they’ve signed on stating this was a smart investment for their future.

Bonus question: Is an entrance fee contract right for you?

We’re always happy to sit down and discuss your individual situation to determine if an entrance fee contract is the best fit for you. Just fill out an online inquiry form and someone will contact you so we can help get you the answers you need to make a well-informed decision for your future.

Written by:
Lisa Sorensen
St. John’s United
Sales Advisor

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  • Posted on: March 1, 2024
  • Categories: Blog