Retire with Confidence: LifeCare Contracts Explained

What is LifeCare? Benefits and Costs Explained | Wyndemere

Have you begun to plan your ideal retirement? What does it look like? We’d bet it’s filled with less stress and more time to enjoy what makes you happy. At Wyndemere, we stand behind your dreams and want you to experience a fruitful future without having to worry about access to healthcare or the rising costs associated with these services.

This is where LifeCare comes in. You may have heard this senior living term before, but what does it mean in terms of your future? We’re here to break it down for you.

What is LifeCare?

LifeCare is a type of contract offered to independent living residents at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as a Life Plan Community.


Having this type of contract upon entry to the community helps you avoid a reactive, need-based admission later down the road if your health needs change. Most CCRCs provide residents with a variety of contract options that may also include assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and/or rehabilitation.

A LifeCare contract covers senior living residences, community services, amenities, and most importantly, access to a continuum of care without the threat of increased costs.


Typically, this type of contract requires a one-time entrance fee and a controlled monthly fee so that independent living residents can feel comfortable knowing they have a concrete LifeCare plan to fall back on if needed.

For your reference, here’s a look at three of the main types of CCRC contracts and what makes each one different:


  • Type A (LifeCare) – Usually a higher entrance fee and monthly fee to, in essence, prepay for all long-term care and short-term healthcare services, along with priority access to all other amenities within a CCRC.
  • Type B (Modified) – Usually a lower entrance fee and monthly service fee. Residents will be responsible for some of the cost if higher levels of care are needed in the future.
  • Type C (Fee-for-Service) – Usually the lowest entrance fee and monthly fee. If additional care is needed in the future, monthly fees will increase to reflect the current market rate of health services.

What are the benefits of a LifeCare contract?

No one can predict what the future holds, so for any senior seeking a truly worry-free retirement, this contract is a perfect solution.


The major benefits of LifeCare are:

  • Guaranteed access to unlimited care for the entire duration of your stay
  • Guaranteed residence for life, even if you outlive your financial resources
  • Access to every amenity and service in the CCRC (fitness center, dining, wellness activities, housekeeping, transportation, etc.)
  • Predictable, fixed healthcare costs for life
  • Potential tax breaks
  • Estate protection through predictable rates for care and often refundability of a portion of your entrance fee if you leave the community for any reason

What is the cost of LifeCare?

The cost of LifeCare is different at every CCRC. According to the AARP, the national entry fee average for LifeCare is currently around $400,000. Typically, those seeking entry into a CCRC with a LifeCare contract sell their current home and use the money from the sale to pay the entrance fee. Using the AARP cost comparison tool by region is a helpful way to determine what your long-term care costs could look like.


At Wyndemere, our entrance fee is roughly comparable to Wheaton-area home costs. No matter how long you call our community home, it’s important to note that we offer two Return-of-Capital™ plans: 75% refundability of your original payment for our LifeCare contract option, or 85% refundability for our fee-for-service plan.


We also have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with Wyndemere after four months, we’ll return your entire entrance payment.

On-site healthcare met with a maintenance-free lifestyle.

At Wyndemere, we take all the moving parts of LifeCare and simplify them for you. Learn more about our LifeCare® Choice program, fill out our form, and get answers to our most frequently asked questions about LifeCare contracts to begin planning your worry-free future.