Benefits of Entrance Fee Senior Living Communities

If you’ve started looking into senior living options and independent living community costs, you’ve likely encountered a complex assortment of financial options and choices. In recent years, retirement community pricing has largely evolved into a refundable entrance fee model, but what does that mean, and what are the benefits of an entrance fee independent living community?

What is a Refundable Entrance Fee?

While monthly service fees cover maintenance, cleaning, transportation, activities and much more, the entrance fee is a sum of money paid upfront to secure a place in an independent living community and, if necessary, provides financial resources that allows the resident to move through to more advanced levels of care, such as assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

Entrance fees are typically based on apartment size, location and other amenities, and are generally paid for using a combination of proceeds from a home sale, savings, investment income and pension or retirement plans. In real estate terms, think of the entrance fee as a refundable down payment that helps lower monthly costs and is refunded in part or whole, depending on the financial option chosen, should the resident move or pass away.

What are the Benefits of a Refundable Entrance Fee Community?

Contrary to what you might think, refundable entrance fees actually make independent living communities more affordable, and they can help preserve your estate.


Living in a refundable entrance fee community is affordable for almost anyone who has owned a home. These communities allow seniors to use their home equity to move into a safe and secure environment that offers independence and a full range of services and amenities at a stable monthly cost.

Service & Amenities

By securing an entrance fee from residents upfront, retirement communities are able to provide a multitude of services and amenities to seniors at an affordable monthly cost. For instance, all of the Eddy’s independent living communities offer maintenance-free living, 24 hour on-site security, dining plans, transportation services, wellness programs, social and cultural events, entertainment, fitness centers, library, on-site storage and much more. Some even have swimming pools.

Rental communities, or those without an entrance fee, are not able to provide the same lifestyle or level of support as an entrance fee community without charging exorbitant monthly rental fees, which is why rental communities usually offer residents far fewer services and amenities.


Unlike a month-to-month community, where residents frequently move in and out, the entrance fee pricing model is less transitory and helps foster a sense of community. In addition, entrance fee communities tend to attract younger, healthier, more active residents, who have planned for the future, and are still planning today.

The entrance fees also provide stability for the communities themselves. Particularly when the independent living community is a not-for-profit, entrance fees provide financial strength and ensure the community continues to thrive.

Learn More About Our Refundable Entrance Fee Communities

All of the Eddy’s Independent living communities have a refundable entrance fee paired with a monthly service fee. However, the costs vary from community to community, and there are different refund percentage levels.

Because each community has a variety of floor plans and pricing options, we recommend speaking with a Senior Living Specialist to determine which option is best. Contact us online or call 877-748-3339.