Even if we never like to think too much about this eventuality, the question arises when planning for retirement: what is the cost of living in a residence for the elderly?
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The answer is not simple, since several factors influence the rental cost, namely the geographical location, the age of construction, the surface area of the dwelling (which can range from a private or semi-private room to a apartment with two or more bedrooms), type of residence, included and à la carte services, etc.
"It is always better to make your budget according to your financial capacities and then go in search of the place where you want to live since there is a wide variety of prices from one place to another", recommends Alexandre Gagnon, general manager of Logis Retraite, an agency that offers a support service to help seniors choose a residence in the private network.
Let’s do the exercise anyway to get a better idea of the costs and the elements to consider.
The most important expense is obviously that of the monthly rent. In the calculation, we must also take into account the tax credits that are available to people aged 70 and over (we will come back to this).
The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a residence offering a standard level of care (i.e., no additional fees to pay) varies widely from region to region, according to a study by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) published in 2021 (see table).
It is in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Gatineau that it is highest at $2,403 compared to $1,888 in the CMA of Montreal. The Lanaudière region has the lowest price at $1628.
As a general rule, the cost of rent includes electricity and cable service.
"In some residences, it can also include internet and telephone, a more recent trend," says Alexandre Gagnon.
Other locations will also supply major appliances.
To this amount, you must then add à la carte services such as meals taken in the dining room.
"Usually, residences offer various package options, such as a coupon book to be used at the time of their choice, up to a monthly package for 1 to 3 meals a day," explains Alexandre Gagnon. There are also laundry and housekeeping services as well as health care provided such as medication management or bathing assistance. It all depends on the evolving needs of the person. »
Do not forget home insurance (often mandatory) and parking (indoor or outdoor).
In Quebec, people aged 70 and over may be eligible for the tax credit for home support for seniors, which can help lower the bill.
"It is granted as much to seniors who live in their home as to those living in residence," says Alexandre Gagnon. However, the amount varies greatly from person to person. »
In fact, the amount depends on the annual income, the family situation and the expenses incurred during the year for home support services. For 2022, the tax credit is equal to 36% of eligible expenses according to a maximum amount that varies depending on whether the person is autonomous, semi-autonomous, alone or in a couple.
Note that in 2021, the government announced a five-year improvement to this credit, which will gradually increase by 1% per year to reach 40% in 2026. However, it may decrease by 3% if the annual income is over 61 $135 and 7% for the portion exceeding $100,000.
As can be seen, calculating residence life can be complex. An agency like Logis Retraite, which serves clients in Montreal and its northern and southern suburbs, makes it easier for seniors or their loved ones to find their way around.
"We accompany our clients from the definition of the needs until the signing of the lease and even after to ensure a successful installation", explains Mr. Gagnon.
Logis Retraite offers its services free of charge. She receives compensation from the network of RPAs accredited by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
(for a one-bedroom apartment)